Throughout the next few weeks I’ll be discussing five foods that firefighters MUST eat. You’ll see a lot of themes: these foods reduce cholesterol and ward off heart disease, help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight, improve immunity and fight off cancer.
Cheerios aren’t the only food that’s good for your cholesterol; any food that is high in soluble fiber can do so. And fiber has another big benefit: it helps you stay full, making you more likely to be able to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. We all know the portion sizes at firehouses can get out of control; eating filling foods can help you stay out of that trap. So #1 of the five foods firefighters MUST eat is a high fiber breakfast food that’s quick and easy, so you can start your day full and fighting off heart disease.
Another filling and extremely healthy food group is the “good” fats. Eating good fats strengthens the immune system and reduces risk of developing heart disease. In article #2 of this series you will learn which food can actually play a role in whether a cardiovascular event becomes fatal or not.
These five foods also contain chemicals that fight off cancer: antioxidants and phytochemicals. Antioxidants work by reducing the amount of free radicals (which are unpaired electrons) in the body. These wreak havoc internally by damaging cell linings, thus promoting inflammation and hindering the immune system. Since stress and exposure to pollutants produces free radicals, firefighters may be especially prone to developing them. Phytochemicals have direct actions against specific kinds of cancer. Foods #3 and 4 have both antioxidants and phytochemicals and they are likely already in your diet. Now you’ll know to eat more of them.
Do not miss the last article when I’ll reveal food #1: the wonder-food. What most people do not know is that this is the ONLY food that can be considered a lean source of protein, AND a high-fiber healthy carb, AND a vegetable. I am constantly recommending that people eat more of this tasty, easy to prepare food that goes in (or with) almost anything.
The best part about these five foods is that they are already very common in most people’s diets. In other words, they’re not weird foods that you have to go to an offbeat health food store to find. Like I said, you probably already eat these foods from time to time, and now you’ll know to eat them more often!
(Part 1 of 6)