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Five disease-fighting foods

Give your eyes, heart and overall health a boost with these smart picks

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With science revealing the health benefits of so many foods…

We can take pleasure in eating in a whole new way. “Your risk for developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cataracts, Alzheimer’s and many cancers can be reduced if you incorporate the right foods into your meals on a regular basis,” says Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian and author of the new book, Foods That Fight Disease. 

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Black beans

Packed with protein, fibre and nutrients such as magnesium, iron and folate, these legumes keep the heart happy by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.

Recipes to try:
Rotelle with Black Beans and Tomatoes
Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip

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Walnuts

Like salmon, walnuts contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also full of plant sterols (which lower LDL cholesterol), magnesium, copper, folate and vitamin E.

Recipes to try:
Pork, Apple and Walnut Sliders
Flambéed Apple and Walnut Salad
Walnut Trail Mix

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Cranberries

Packed with bacteria-fighting anthocyanins, this tart little fruit also benefits the heart by  inhibiting the build-up of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Recipes to try:
Cranberry Semifreddo with Toasted Almond Meringue
Apple Cranberry Sangria
Brown and Wild Rice, Walnut and Dried Cranberry Salad

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Oats

This whole grain delivers cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre and energy-yielding carbohydrates without spiking blood sugar levels. Oats also keep blood pressure in check.

Recipes to try:
Oat Bran and Almond Bread
Bing Cherry-Walnut Oatmeal Crumble
Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies

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Spinach

It’s hard to beat this green leafy vegetable for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. The latter protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, the most common cause of severe vision loss in Canada. High in calcium and vitamin K, spinach is also great for bones.

Recipes to try:
Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Feta Cheese, Slivered Almonds and Berry Mint Dressing
Tarragon Chicken with Baby Spinach
Spinach, Prosciutto and Asparagus Salad

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Spinach

It’s hard to beat this green leafy vegetable for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. The latter protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, the most common cause of severe vision loss in Canada. High in calcium and vitamin K, spinach is also great for bones.

Recipes to try:
Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Feta Cheese, Slivered Almonds and Berry Mint Dressing
Tarragon Chicken with Baby Spinach
Spinach, Prosciutto and Asparagus Salad

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