Jody Victor’s Foods That Help Keep You Well

Did you know that coffee and some other beverages and foods can help keep you well?

Over the years, our thinking has changed about certain foods and beverages. Coffee, for instance, has gone from public enemy number one to our best friend. But, as they say, all things in moderation.

Your morning cup of java gets you going for the day – and it may also protect you from type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. But coffee is no replacement for fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, so drink it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

If you like your coffee light, think about using skim milk instead of cream or those powdered substitutes. Your body’s bone mass peaks when you’re in your late 20s, meaning calcium-rich foods such as skim milk are essential to your diet. Skim milk is a great source of calcium because it’s low in fat and contains vitamin D, which can help your body absorb calcium. Getting 1,000 to 1,200 of calcium per day can help prevent osteoporosis.

For a boost of fiber, start your day off with steel-cut oats mixed with raisins and apples. Oatmeal has a low glycemic index, which will help you feel energized all day long and keep hunger at bay. Avoid instant oatmeal – it’s typically loaded with sugar.

For a snack later with your afternoon coffee break, try apples. Apples also have a low glycemic index, which can help curb hunger, and they’re packed with vitamin C. They’re also an excellent source of soluble fiber, which can lower your cholesterol and glucose levels.

If you need to relieve stress, try crunching on unsalted almonds to get some aggression out. The nuts are a good source of vitamin B2 and E, as well as magnesium and zinc. Like vitamin C, vitamin E has been shown to fight the free radicals that can cause heart disease.

Not a coffee drinker? Research has shown that antioxidant-loaded green tea may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer – and boost your metabolism. Choose an organic brand over bottled iced green tea, which can be loaded with high fructose corn syrup.