It is a fact of life that can’t be ignored: you need to eat healthy to be healthy. Choose the right foods and you can reduce your risk of many diseases. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could be living a life of chronic inflammation and illness.
When your body recognizes anything that is foreign (like invading microbes), your immune system becomes activated. This triggers an inflammatory response directed towards the assumed “threat.” When this inflammation persists, it can become your enemy, placing you at risk for diseases like cancer, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s.
Typically, the foods that contribute to inflammation tend to be bad for our health. Foods like white breads and pastas, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed red meat, and margarine are the main culprits. An alkaline diet helps fight this inflammation by balancing the pH level of your body. Research shows us that a balanced pH, achieved through eating a variety of alkaline foods, may reduce the risk or severity of many chronic inflammation-related diseases (hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis) . Here are some disease-fighting alkaline foods to help you ward off pesky inflammation for good.
Dark, leafy greens include everything from spinach and kale, to bok chow and dark lettuce. They are filled with powerful antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals. Dark, leafy greens are packed with carotenoids, folate, chlorophyll and fiber → all of which help to inhibit or slow down the growth of cancer . These veggies also reduce the risk of both cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline related to the aging process . The calcium helps strengthen bones and fight against injury. It is even good for your skin, promoting collagen production for a smoother complexion .
Broccoli is another disease-fighting food that contains a substantial amount of sulforaphane, a potent component that boosts the body’s protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals. Sulforaphane also targets cancer stem cells…those are the cells that help cancer grow. Broccoli helps you fight breast, liver, prostate, skin, stomach and bladder cancers .
Avocados have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL), increasing the good cholesterol (HDL), and reducing triglyceride levels. Avocado is a great source of carotenoids, minerals, phenolics, vitamins and fatty-acids → this means they work wonders in flighting high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and heart disease. .
Celery has anti-hypertensive properties, reducing high blood pressure that can lead to heart disease or stroke. The antioxidants in celery work as anti-inflammatory agents, fighting free-radicals that lead to the development of inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Celery also fights cancer through compounds called polyacetlynes, which have tumor-fighting abilities. Read more about all the health benefits of celery…here.
Bell peppers are antioxidant superfoods. The plant-based antioxidants help reduce the damage that oxidation places on your cells. They also contain beta-carotene, a carotenoid that reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease . The lutein in bell peppers even supports eye health and helps to prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in elderly adults. .
Need some help with incorporating these foods into your diet? Try one of these easy recipes!
Lemon Pesto Salmon with Broccolini Chop from the Alkaline Sisters.
Beef Stir-Fry with Peppers and Pea Shoots from The Clever Carrot.
Avocado-Herb Salad with Goat Cheese from Tiffani Thiessen and the Food Network.