Mar 11, 2011


Research confirms that by including certain foods in your diet you can help fight many health problems. 



High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, but several foods can help reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol or boost levels of HDL (good) cholesterol: 

Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and phytochemicals that help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which reduces the chance of it being deposited in the arteries.

Beans, pulses and porridge oats contain soluble fibre, which encourages the body to excrete cholesterol before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Nuts help increase levels of HDL cholesterol, as does oil-rich fish, whose omega-3 fatty acids also help to protect the heart by making the blood less sticky and likely to clot. They help to reduce the risk of heart disease, too, by encouraging the muscles lining the artery walls to relax, improving blood flow to the heart. 

A review of studies that looked into the relationship between green tea-drinking and heart disease found that people who drank three or more cups a day were 11 per cent less likely to suffer from a heart attack. 

Recent studies have shown that eating 25g soya protein a day can lead to a 10 per cent reduction in both total and LDL cholesterol. 

Alcohol (red wine in particular), when drunk in moderation, has also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

EAT LESS full-fat dairy products and fatty meat, all of which contain saturated fats, which encourage the liver to produce LDL cholesterol. Foods containing trans or hydrogenated fat (often found in shop-bought biscuits and cakes) also increase LDL cholesterol.

Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Have oil-rich fish at least once a week
Choose unsaturated fats rather than saturated
Keep your weight within the ideal range
Aim to do at least 30 minutes exercise at least five times a week.


Changes in diet including increasing fruit and vegetable intake, upping magnesium and calcium-rich foods and cutting back on salt help to combat high blood pressure. Here are the areas to focus on: 

Fruit and vegetables (particularly oranges and bananas) are rich in potassium, which can help to counterbalance the effects of too much salt. People with high blood pressure are advised to eat 7-9 portions of fruit and vegetables each day to boost their potassium. 

Magnesium and calcium can also help to control blood pressure; to maximize your intake, include lots of wholegrain cereals, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, nuts and peanut butter in your diet. 

In addition to eating less salt and more fruit and vegetables, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) also recommends eating three servings of low-fat dairy foods a day. 

EAT LESS salt. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that a high salt intake is a major factor in the development of high blood pressure. 

Eat at least two servings of fruit or vegetables at each meal
Take regular exercise and if you smoke, quit
Learn to relax - stress increases the risk of high blood pressure
Eat no more than 6g of salt a day based on the severity of hypertension.


Mood swings, headaches and fatigue are common symptoms of pre-menstrual tension and can be exacerbated by low blood-sugar levels. 

Eating low-GI, carbohydrate-rich snacks, like oatcakes, will help keep blood sugar levels stable. 

New research suggests that boosting levels of vitamin B6, calcium and vitamin D can help relieve many PMT symptoms. Foods rich in B6 include wholegrain cereals, whole meal bread, bananas, pulses, brown rice, nuts and yeast extract.

Low-fat dairy products are the best source of calcium and oil-rich fish provides vitamin D. 

EAT LESS salt. Cutting back on salt can help to offset the bloating and fluid retention commonly associated with PMT. 

Eat a healthy, balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereals
During the last two weeks of your cycle try eating a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal every two to three hours.


Low levels of B vitamin folate (also called folic acid) and B6 have been linked with depression - in a study carried out at Harvard Medical School in Boston, one in four depressed patients was deficient in vitamin B6. Foods to eat include: 

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include avocados, while foods rich in folate include breakfast cereals, oranges and dark green, leafy vegetables

Other studies suggest people who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fats are less likely to suffer from depression.

EAT LESS processed foods, as ready meals and refined cereals tend to be lacking in essential nutrients. Alcohol can be a depressant, so is best avoided. 

Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Choose a wholegrain cereal for breakfast
Poor appetite is a common symptom of depression; if your appetite isn't what it could be, it's worth taking a vitamin and mineral supplement.


A good calcium intake while bones are still growing will increase bone density, making them stronger and helping to prevent fractures later in life. Find out about good sources, plus other foods that will help to beat osteoporosis: 

Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, in a form that is easily absorbed by the body.

Vitamin D, vital for the absorption of calcium, is found in very few foods. However, oil-rich fish, egg yolks and liver all provide useful amounts. 

Magnesium may have an important role to play in helping to keep bones healthy. Good sources include Brazil nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds, bananas and dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach. 

Studies have found that women who have a good intake of vitamin K have denser bones and fewer hip fractures, so add kale and broccoli to your diet.

EAT LESS salt and fizzy drinks. A high salt intake can cause calcium to leach from the bones.

Large amounts of vitamin A can weaken bones - as a precaution, the Food Standards Agency recommends that people who eat liver regularly (more than once a week) should not increase this amount, and avoid taking vitamin A supplements. It also recommends that anyone at risk of osteoporosis should not take more than 1.5mg of vitamin A per day. 

Some studies suggest that a large intake of phosphoric acid from fizzy drinks weakens bones as calcium is drawn out of them to neutralise the acid. Excessive alcohol intake can also damage the cells that make new bone. 

Eat at least three servings of dairy products a day. If you don't eat dairy, include other calcium-rich foods or take a supplement
Take regular weight-bearing exercise and quit smoking
Drink no more than three units of alcohol a day (four for men) and have at least one alcohol-free day a week.


There is a strong link between diet and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and glaucoma, three of the most common causes of impaired vision and blindness in people over the age of 60. Eat more of the following foods:

Several studies have shown that those who eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (especially dark green, leafy vegetables) are less likely to suffer from AMD. 

The phytochemicals lutein (found in spinach, kale, broccoli, kiwi fruit, Brussels sprouts, peas, sweet corn and papaya) and zea-xanthin (found in spinach, oranges) are believed to help protect the lens of the eye from damage by free radicals. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables and vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the risk and slow the development of cataracts. 

A good intake of omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, may also help to protect against glaucoma. 

EAT LESS salt. High blood pressure is believed to increase the risk of glaucoma. 

Make sure you eat your five-a-day
Eat oil-rich fish at least once a week
Smoking and obesity increase the risk of AMD, so quit smoking and keep your weight within the ideal range
Protect your eyes in the sun by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. People who are really concerned about their health must relay on the habit of taking natural ingredients for health benefit. You may also take help from the Noni fruit extract so as to make your life more healthy and fit.