Can Certain Foods Really Save Your Life?

'Super foods' can help prevent disease, prolong life, and more.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Quinoa, broccoli, beans, and almonds hardly sound like life-savers. But according to scientific research and a few recent books, these and certain other foods are just that. Almost daily, new studies reveal more about the powerful substances found in particular foods, and how they can improve our health and/or prevent disease.

It's true, experts say -- what you put in your mouth really can affect how long you live, whether you get certain diseases, and how your body ages.

"Absolutely, there are foods that when added to the diet can make a significant health difference," says David Grotto, RD, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.

He offers a few examples: "If you have arthritis, eat ginger, peppers, and yogurt; for headaches or migraines, try blueberries, mushrooms, or rosemary; insomnia sufferers, try cherries, Romaine lettuce, and walnuts; and if you are overweight, eggs, oats, and pears can help you slim down."

Joy Bauer, MS, RD, Today Show registered dietitian and author of Joy Bauer's Food Cures, agrees. "You can treat common health concerns, look younger, live longer, boost mood, and manage diabetes and more by choosing the right foods," she says.