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Treat Your Health Right at the Dinner Table

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us slip into unhealthy eating habits when we are busy, but there are many quick and delicious ways to treat the heart and body better. builds a case for reducing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cataracts and aging with fruits, veggies, whole grains and olive oil. The key focus is the phytonutrients, which are the healthy natural chemicals in foods and spices, that build healthy bodies and reduce inflammation.

Our food supply contains more than 5,000 phytonutrients, with key names like alkaloids (caffeine), polyphenolics (stilbenes, flavonoids, lignans, tannins), phytosterols (sitosterol), and carotenoids (beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, astazanthin and lycopene).

Here are some examples of what phytonutrients can do in tasty food choices.

Tomato treats - Enjoy fresh tomatoes, sauce, soup, tomato paste, and tomato juice as you get lycopene to lower cancer and heart attack risk.

Olives or marionberries - Both supply polyphenolics to lower heart disease while other phenols, rosemary and sage seasoning, reduce inflammation in the body.

Fine fish - Choose salmon, trout and shellfish to use astaxanthins to lower blood pressure and strengthen coronary arteries.

Red fruits and veggies - Enjoy raspberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, red apples with skin, red onion, red beans, kidney beans and red cabbage to get anthocyanins that reduce diabetes problems, cancer risk, Alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure and heart attack risk.

Choose these fruits and veggies - Papaya, carrots, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, mangos, peaches, apricots, butternut squash and sweet potatoes all contain beta-carotene to improve the immune system and vision, and cut the risk of cancer and heart attacks.

Yellow fruits and veggies - Grapefruit, lemons, peaches, tangerines, apricots, nectarines, papaya, pineapple, yellow raisins and yellow peppers contain bioflavonoids to maintain strong bones and teeth and good vision. They also reduce heart attacks and cancer.

Select green veggies - Broccoli, leafy greens and green peas, plus kiwi and melon provide lutein to maintain vision and reduce macular degeneration or cataract risk. They also lower heart disease risk.

Veggie array - Choose broccoli, kale, cabbage, turnips, watercress, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Swiss chard to get indoles that lower risk for prostate and breast cancer.

Whole grains, nuts, vegetable oils, legumes - Make these healthy choices to improve cholesterol, reduce prostate cancer and fight inflammation.

All green veggies - Get chlorophyll to act as a powerful antioxidant in all of your green vegetables.

Scoop up as many different choices from this list to vary your menu and get the maximum amount of phytonutrients to improve your health, Pick recipes from to create new favorites for your family.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monrovia, Calif.

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