10 Foods Science Says Help Prevent Chronic Illness


It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. But many people may not realize just how powerful plant-based foods can be when it comes to protecting your body from disease.

For a long time, scientists have known that certain chronic illnesses can be caused or exacerbated by a poor diet. A person’s risk of cardiovascular issues, obesity, diabetes, and other debilitating illnesses can often rise dramatically if their diet contains too many unhealthy items.

By contrast, people who live in cultures where plant-based diets are the norm tend to avoid these illnesses at a better rate. But for many years, scientists were unsure of the exact reason why plant-based foods seem to keep chronic illnesses at bay.

Now, thanks to a scientific review published by the Institute of Food Technologists, researchers have uncovered some of the scientific reasoning behind why plants are so good for the human body. And more importantly, they’ve given us a list of which foods are best at warding off diseases.1

According to the scientists, these foods are best for protecting yourself against chronic illnesses:

  • Artichokes
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Lentils
  • Olives
  • Pumpkins
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Watercress

Some of these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet – like olives, pepper, and garlic. Others, like watercress and pumpkins, might be more specialty foods. But now that you know this list, it will be easy for you to add some of these foods to your regular routine.

They might even help add some extra spice or flavor to your next meal! But most importantly, of course, these foods will help you ward off those dangerous chronic illnesses. So be sure to keep this list handy the next time you go to the grocery store!


1Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). "Plant-based diets can remedy chronic diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2012. 

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