The 5 Greatest Foods For Your Health

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I was taught that there is no such thing as a good or bad food. My teachers explained that what makes some foods “evil” and others pristine has nothing to do with their individual morality and everything to do with how we use them.

After reading hundreds of books on food and attending dozens of lectures from some of the top minds in health and nutrition, I still hold this belief to be true.

However there are a few messages about food types that seem to be universal, even among differing branches of belief. In this article, I am providing what I believe to be the 5 healthiest foods for human health based on the theory of least resistance—meaning almost everyone who has written a book or considers himself/herself an expert in nutrition has no gripe with these foods:

1) SEA VEGETABLES, or “seaweed”

Quite frankly, sea vegetables are the most misunderstood and under-utilized food in Western culture! There are approximately 90 minerals identified in modern nutrition and ALL of them are represented in seaweed. Sea vegetables are higher in vitamins and minerals than every other food on the planet ounce for ounce; they contain 20-200% more minerals than land-based vegetables. Seaweed holds high levels of Vitamins C, D, K and B and has more Vitamin A than carrots.

coral-seaweed.jpg

Seaweed is also very rich in protein and strengthens the kidneys and nervous system. When eaten consistently, sea vegetables calm hyperactivity, reduce stress and are excellent for the thyroid gland. People complain about the taste and the general rule of thumb with seaweed is this: the worse it tastes for you, the more you need it. Dulse, Kelp and Nori are excellent types.

2) CACAO

Chocolate originates from a bean called “Cacao”, and is one of the most complex food substances on earth. According to Healing with Natural Foods author Paul Pitchford Cacao has over 300 chemically identifiable compounds. Energetics of Food author Eric Gagne claims raw chocolate has 700 naturally occurring chemicals and almost everyone agrees Cacao is one of the highest anti-oxidant foods on the planet (including the New York Times)!

cacao.gif

This is beneficial because antioxidants fight “free radical cells” which cause inflammation and disease in our bodies. Cacao also contains 10x more magnesium and chromium than any other food in the world. Magnesium is the most important mineral for our health activating over 350 processes, according to Pitchford. So YES, chocolate is extremely healthy, just make sure to buy raw and organic chocolate from a health food store. An excellent way to integrate this food into your diet is by adding it to health shakes.

3) QUINOA

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA) is an ancient whole grain, and has been consumed by people for more than 8,000 years. Quinoa has the highest nutritional profile of all grains. It contains high levels of dietary fiber and B Vitamins and has all 8 essential amino acids. Whole grains are some of the best sources for nutritional support, providing long-lasting energy (as a result of the body absorbing them slowly unlike simple carbs).

quinoa.jpg

Quinoa is high in zinc, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E and is known to strengthen the kidney and heart!

4) KALE

It is well-known that leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and jam-packed with a wide array of vitamins. Energetically speaking, leafy greens contain a high concentration of chlorophyll, the “life-blood” of our planet…and Kale is the king of them!

my friend found a good website

It’s never surprising to see studies on diet and disease that say “vegetables—especially green leafy vegetables—are associated with a lower risk of…” as they have a high concentration of Vitamins A, C and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, lutein and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are components of fruits or vegetables that may help to prevent disease, and perhaps even help to treat some disorders.

kale.jpg

Kale goes a step further and is also an incredible source of calcium, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. For a green, Kale is unusually high in fiber and in many ways is a true superfood, and certainly one of the most nutritious foods known to man!

5) BERRIES

According to raw food extraordinaire David Wolfe, berries are the most natural food for human consumption and a cleanser for the human body. We spend so much time thinking about what we put in our bodies we forget the importance of what comes out (David Wolfe calls himself the world’s biggest “gastronaut”…I love it)! Furthermore, berries are a wonderful source of Vitamins C, E, calcium and folic acid and are rich in phytochemicals.

berries.jpg

Berries are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been linked to lowered cholesterol levels. Some forms have even shown to have anti-cancer properties in laboratory settings The goji berry, the #1 food in Chinese medicine, is one of the highest anti-oxidant foods on the planet and well-worth looking into!

In conclusion, I am aware that the foods described in this article are not considered “main course” items in our society. However, learning more about these foods and integrating them into your diet can do absolute wonders for your health. Try them out, as they really are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet…

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99 Responses to “The 5 Greatest Foods For Your Health”

  1. Ian says:

    I eat berries every morning. Great article.

  2. Peter says:

    Nice one… I’m going to head to the health food store for some raw and organic chocolate :) .

  3. bluskygirl says:

    Another great benefit of the seaweed family is the iodine content. You wouldn’t know it, but Americans don’t get nearly enough iodine. Our country’s solution to the iodine problem was to add it to salt since we don’t eat anything iodine rich. The problem is that iodized salt really only provides enough iodine for minimal health. We use iodine for creation and regulation of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, among other things.

    Great post! I agree with all your food choices. :)

  4. Jason says:

    Very interesting… I’m going to have to start looking into adding a couple of these into my diet, but I have one problem with couple of them. My bitter taste buds are super-sensitive, so anything that has bitter in it makes me gag.

    I’ll have to put them in something else that has strong flavor, so I don’t taste them :P

  5. Jack says:

    Chocalate and berries for desert anyone? Nice article Todd.

  6. Dave says:

    I’ve been drinking Goji Juice (made from Goji Berries in China) for over a year, and I must say it works.

  7. Richard Wiesenthal says:

    I have been adding Wakami to soups and stews for years… it is quite delicious and adds a great deal of flavor.

  8. Thanks for sharing this wonderful list of healthy foods. I always believe that it doesn’t matter how expensive or exotic a food is; it should be healthy to eat.

  9. paul ostroff says:

    Blueberries are king of the berries,while pomegranate, in juice form-is the king in liquid form.I have no problem with the others,except for perhaps the exclusion of wild salmon!

  10. paul ostroff says:

    What also happened to whey protein? The cabbage family feel neglected,as does oatmeal,and legumes.

  11. Todd says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments…PAUL, if the list was “10 Greatest Foods…” than the cabbage family would have made it….but only had room for five in this one!

  12. I have to confess, I have never tried Quinoa and I cannot really explain why. I guess it is just not something you find everyday on the supermarket shelf.
    I love seaweed but I feel other people still think you’re a bit strange (or Japanese) if you eat it.
    I adore berries and most fruits. I love snacking on fruit or nuts rather than cookies.
    Kale is great, I’ve tried it several times but, sadly, it is not seen as often as it should be in the shops.
    Thanks for the great article. I agree with another commenter that oats should be in the list somewhere.

    • susan says:

      Quinoa is sold in most supermarkets. Bob’s Red Mill brand. I buy kale all the time in my supermarket as well. I don’t know where you are shopping. Maybe you need a larger store. I live in a very rural area in Maine and shop at the Hannaford Shopnsave in Calais or Machias. Maybe ask at the customer service desk.

      • Kristie S says:

        Do you add anything to the quinoa I haven’t figured out a recipe yet that I enjoy I was introduced to quinoa when I found out I am gluten intolerant so the dietician suggested this to replace pasta. I also live in Maine it’s a small world, I would greatly appreciate any help…thanks

        • alice says:

          I love quinoa, and will often sautee some onions and garlic in a pan, add the quinoa, water, and a bit of stock, to give the quinoa a bit of flavour.

        • Audrey Travis says:

          A fantastic addition to quinoa: chopped mint, dried cranberries and a light dressing of olive oil, lime juice, salt and fresh ground pepper. The mint really makes it! Enjoy!

    • Julia says:

      Kale is very easy to grow and hardy too. Look for the curly blue kale in your seed catalog or nursery. I have had the same plant growing in a flower bed for the last three years. I am from north west Ohio and our winters get below 0˚. Not sure how it does in south.

    • Christine Stone says:

      Quinoa is gorgeous….. just needs boiling like rice, I add one of those little stock pots to it…… it’s really lovely.

  13. dia says:

    A really useful list. Some of the foods you included are not so popular but this gives me new ideas how to make my menu richer by including them in it.

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  16. Lieven says:

    We grow & eat our own berries – organic, of course! Eating them raw is the proper thing to do & we do store them in our freezer for winter use.

    Kale: so easy to grow! We prefer it raw – after a few frosts it only gets sweeter. A crunchy salad & sandwich ingredient!

    Watch out: don’t consume any food, however wholesome, for months on end. Our genes didn’t evolve in a supermarket, so our bodies can’t cope with long term overdoses of whatever good or bad nutrition. Give your immune system a break!

    For example:I’ve been using Indian ginseng for 5 years now: three weeks on, one week off; sometimes I take a short dandelion cure, or I have plenty of nettles, but only in spring – that’s one of the many proper ways to use the healthiest foods.

  17. Todd says:

    Thanks for the useful comment Lieven, and yes, using these foods properly is a HUGE part to great nutrition!

  18. Deborah says:

    Loved your list. The book you mention, Energetics of Food is actually authored by Steve Gagne. Great book!
    All 5 of these great foods can be eaten RAW. The seaweed blends into Energy Soup giving the salty taste we enjoy. Or you can use the Nori sheets to make raw sushi (preferably without the sea creatures!) Sprout the quinoa for a day and it is ready, the chocolate cacao nibs or powder blended with coconut oil & aguave nectar makes a wonderful chocolate sauce for on top of those fresh berries. Kale can be marinated with extra virgin olive oil, pressed garlic,thin onion rings, grated carrot, slivered red bell pepper & nama shoyu (an unpasturized soy sauce). Just toss the greens & veggies with the oil/sauce mix, it will break down as if it has been steamed. Yum!

  19. Todd says:

    Thanks Deborah, and GREAT points about Raw Food. I should really post an article about the benefits of raw food on WTC, or have someone like you write a guest article :)

  20. [...] 4 Effective Practices for Gaining PerspectiveHow To Reduce Inflammation In The Body (And Why You NEED To Do This)!10 Simple Ways to NEVER Get Sick AgainHow to Maintain a Healthy BrainThe 5 Greatest Foods For Your Health [...]

  21. Mike says:

    Amalaki via Zrii drink is highly recommended by the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.

  22. [...] Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, shows that Americans should eat more whole grains like quinoa, barley and brown rice to help lower their risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes, [...]

  23. [...] the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), where I became certified as a holistic health counselor, these lifestyle attributes were [...]

  24. Gael Bage says:

    I grow my own veg and fruit organically,I think i may try growing quinoa to sprout the seeds later.
    Loganberries, tayberries and cultivated blackberries are easy to grow and take up little space because they can be grown against a fence, only buy one plant of each because they are easy to propagate just layer the tip into soil and when it produces new roots cut it away from the parent plant. See how on my gardening website under the name Tussiemussie
    http://www.growsonyou.com/Tussiemussie

  25. sahan says:

    David Wolfe became famous by posing himself as the author of another man’s book. He is extraordinary at posing himself as smeone he is not and taking the credit for someone elses work.

  26. Yvonne says:

    Wonderful article. Here’s my challenge. I’m allergic to all berries. Any suggestions for foods that can be substituted for the berries. Would kiwi work?

    Thanks

  27. OLGA VELEZ says:

    I AM ALLERGIC TO SHELL FISH (IODINE) I GUESS.

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF I AM ALLERGIC TO SEAWEED OR KELP? I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE SEAWEED AND KELP,
    BUT I DONT KNOW IF I AM ALLERGIC TO KELP AND SEAWEED? PLEASE TELL ME HOW CAN I FIND OUT?
    THANKS,
    OLGA VELEZ

  28. james edward cutiepay says:

    the most nutritiuos beverage here in the Philippines is Tanduay..it is a juice like drink often found in most of the super markets and store throughout the country..it can instantly cure minor pains and diseases such as headaches flu colds stomachaches and many more..only one lap a day is more likely enough..it is highly demanded in the market today..best served when chilled..

  29. [...] ever seen or grown. Kale is very nutritious. Kale is regarded by many experts as one of the most nutritious plants grown. It has over 100% of two major vitamins. It has omega 3’s. It is a good source of fiber, has [...]

  30. Aaron says:

    Good list, but of coarse everyone has their own personal list. The only problem with berries is the sugar content. Cacao can be a problem if you use sugar to sweeten it, that’s why I never touch it. Fish would be great if there was no mercury in it. I eat dulse, spirulina and use kelp capsules.

  31. marcy rafael says:

    nice list.. but if you can add lots of important foods for healthy life, much better.. thanks a lot.. hoping for some more list..

  32. i have a tyroid gland im 32 i want to know how to make the seaweed medicine mine is a hypertyroid

  33. Gary says:

    I’m just getting into eating healthy. I am over weight and have gone on a diet of mostly salads and a green drink for breakfast. I am so hungry all day. Is there anything I can eat that will take the hunger away?? I’ve been on this diet for about 6 weeks.

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks

  34. Todd says:

    Gary lot to say here. First off, congrats on deciding to eat healthy!

    Second, dont make too many drastic changes all at once…or you are likely to fall backwards to old habits. Healthy eating is habit forming…and you can make new, better habits stick by slowly integrating them into your life and sticking to them!

    Third, drink a lot of water…always helps with hunger…and also snack more during the day. Have some nuts and dried fruit in between meals to hold off the hunger! So much more I could say, but would need more info! Good for you though Gary, and keep it up! SOON, you will start feeling more vibrant and alive then you ever thought possible!!

    Todd

  35. Gary says:

    Todd,

    Thanks or your thoughts. I am wondering if my body needs some nutrients it is not getting, and I need to eat some specific food. Maybe that is why I am hungry (I do take some multi vitamins)?? Also are there any foods that make it so you aren’t so hungry. And finally are there any books or information on how to eat healthy etc. (maybe a site on the internet)

    Multi

  36. Todd says:

    hey Gary….I would DEF check out the book of the school i went to, Integrative Nutrition….it is an amazing book on everything nutrition and theory. You can probably buy at http://www.integrativenutrition.com

    And man, there are libraries of books on this topic….hope this helps!
    Todd

  37. Gary says:

    Thanks Todd, I know there are a lot of books. The trouble is they mostly contradict each other. I will try “integrative nutrition”.

    Thanks again,

    Gary

  38. Steven Rosenthall says:

    Dude, Todd, where in the hell are we supposed to find a raw cacao bean?!?!?!?!?

  39. Todd says:

    Hi Steven! DEF go to http://www.rawfood.com and you can get all the food mentioned here, including Cacao beens! Plus, any health food store or whole foods will carry Cacao! Hope this helps!
    Todd

  40. farouk says:

    i like the idea of mentioning unusual types of food that others rarely mention, good job :)

  41. Rodney says:

    I like to juice Kale before running, it gives me an incredible energy boost. However, I have heard excessive intake of Kale will mess with your thyroid.

    Now as bad as the Kale pulp is to eat (I eat it for the fiber), I can somehow manage to get a cup of it down after juicing. However, that’s a treat compared to eating one leaf of the fish jerky of the sea (i.e. Dulse). I guess I really need it, huh?

  42. Todd says:

    Hey Rodney, YES, Dulse, Kelp, and all other ‘fish jerky’ are perhaps the biggest missing element in the modern human diet. There are more nutrients in sea vegetables than all food cultivated on land. More minerals than ALL food on the planet. I highly recommend you mixing it in your diet! Let me know how it goes..

  43. Craig says:

    WHAT ABOUT SPINACH ????

  44. Moses says:

    Todd,

    Aside from kelp, I’ve been taking spirulina and chlorella as supplements for year or two now. You didn’t mention those two specifically, so I’m wondering how you think they stack up compared to other sea vegetables.

    Also, is spinach a comparable replacement for kale?

    Thanks

  45. Todd says:

    Craig and Moses, YES, spinach is incredibly healthy in terms of being chock full of nutrients….but be careful and only purchase organic spinach. the leaves are thinner, more frail than Kale…energetically prone to chemical tampering more then other greens.
    And moses, I consume both Spirulina dna Chlorella on a regular basis…and my opinion is that Spirulina is another one of those great unsing foods….VERY healthy fr the immune system :)
    Todd

  46. Kate says:

    I have a question about seaweed.

    After eating a bit of kelp handpicked from the Pacific Ocean (off the coast of Oregon) in June of 2004, and nearly dieing because of it, anytime I eat any kind of seaweed, no matter the amount, it does a horrible number on my stomach and digestion.

    My question – is this purely a cause of my near tragic experience with seaweed? Why would commercial seaweed cause such issues? Is it safe considering the toxicity of our oceans?

    I’d be curious to hear your feedback on this.

  47. bobbie joe hipicrite says:

    well those are some dang goood recipes there :) mmm i like em berries and i like em frozen

  48. boob says:

    hiya!! sup all ya!! i like em sea plants eh?? yummy. i like fresh from the sea and covered in mayo and grape jelly. :) mmm.

  49. gladiola says:

    any thoughts on the nutritional value of brewer’s yeast?

  50. Malhar says:

    Great list!
    But in India we do not find seaweeds in supermarkets and Quinoa easily….are there any other choices to it?

  51. appo vickie says:

    i like the list but being in a third world country Uganda i have never seen any of the above foods where can i access them and how much does each cost?

  52. Dibbels says:

    Don’t forget the much-shunned coffee–shown to have extremely high amounts of anti-oxidents. Even decaf!

  53. A.Balakrishnan says:

    very educational

  54. gingerperth says:

    one easy and delicious way to get your healthy foods every day is to make a daily green smoothie. it tastes like melted fruit ice cream. blend frozen chopped kale, frozen berries, seaweed, sweetener and some liquid [like water, almond milk, lemonade, whatever] and mix until thick and creamy. you can’t taste the greens or seaweed if there is enough fruit in there. i usually add bananas, apples, dried dates, whatever i have. i also add ground flax and chia seeds (grind in coffee grinder just before using], spiralina, chlorella and some cinnamon. you could also add your cacao. the purple berries mixed with dark green leaves makes it an awful colour, though. for noobies, i make it with yellow fruits like mango and pineapple and add mint. then it is a beautiful lime green colour. i’ve never known anyone to not like the taste of this smoothie.

  55. William says:

    Homemade shakes, yea, thats it, get a good blender, add your nutritious foods, blend it up, and right there, you have a nutritious smoothie, but do not drink more than 10 ounce glassfull in the morning, and you’ll save money, because you won’t be using more than your body needs for the day. I know when I overindulged in the smoothie, I found myself slopping on the commode, and thats a drag. Therefore, proper intake for the amount of energy being used for the day is the way.

  56. [...] And then there is this list which I guarantee that 98% of the population has not eaten except for perhaps the fifth item once in a blue moon. But take a look and see why it just may be correct. The 5 Greatest Foods For Your Health [...]

  57. hyde says:

    any philippine entry here? our foods are also very nutritious and some can even cure diseases!…

  58. terri adkiss says:

    iam sick with a cold and allergies what food would help help

  59. ccourt says:

    Hemp Hearts and dragon fruit!!!!!

  60. Dorothy says:

    Do you have recommended amounts for the ingredients of the basic morning shake?

  61. juliana says:

    my grandparent and i always makes berry shakes.

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  63. lee-anne says:

    from now on, i will ate those nutritious foods..nice article…tnx..it can help me to rduce my baby fats..and my waistline..(27??)tnx

  64. pinky lonzaga says:

    i thought that grapes is the most nutritious foods. now i have to require my family members to eat the foods stated above. is there another option. because i live in Philippines and i guess most of these foods cant be afford my the common people. any suggestion?

  65. Looks like a good post and supporting comments that you have here. I would like to point out that other sites have made a varying case, especially in terms of gardening. Have you seen more viewpoints on the Internet, and will you give me some direction?

  66. zoya says:

    Yes! I eat all of those foods quite often. I grow 3 varities of kale in my garden and i use it in salads, and i love it lighty fried with coconut butter and flaked almonds and garlic. I make berry smoothies with raw cocoa powder all the time! it is how i get my chocolate fix.

  67. thanks for posting, its good

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  70. Jane says:

    Hi:

    I agree, great article. Thanks, Todd.

    I found the article to learn more about foods that increase and decrease inflammation. I immediately got rid of some stuff in my cabinets, and am eating a berry salad now (something I do regularly). However, the berries just couldn’t counteract all of the high glycemic stuff I was eating. I’m sure I’ll feel less achy in no time.

    Keep up the good work!

    Jane

  71. [...] The best of all whole grains: QUINOA pronounce Keen-Wah [...]

  72. This is not related, but a majority of person probably have no idea of this, precisely what the heck. Skipping meals can bring about out-of-control hunger, often leading to overeating. When you are very hungry, it is usually tempting to ignore good nutrition. Snacking between meals will help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much that the snack becomes a whole meal.

  73. Manimehalai says:

    sea weed,cacao, quinoa,kale,berries-can you please tell me the equivalent Tamil names

  74. Seth says:

    You want confirm the berries and leafs has no pesticides.

  75. Jeff says:

    Quinoa is not a whole grain – it’s a seed. You can look it up.

  76. JT says:

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  77. stan says:

    problem with seaweed is its in the sea
    problem with grass is we have been taught to cut it, that is what makes cows big and strong, not their flesh lol. grass is equal and/or superior to seaweed, which is the same from a different environment

  78. stan says:

    geez

    [as a result of the body absorbing them slowly unlike simple carbs] lol it is not a matter of slow absorption rather than the body likes simple, it will break protiens down to aminos cause humans cant use cow protien chains as is. fats to fatty acids, complex carbs to simple sugars, only way it can use them, and less energy used and less by-products.
    another supporter of this nutrition story. Notice the cow who mainly mono diets on grass was never told she has to eat a variety of foods to get complete protien. In a natural human being, rare these days, the liver may even be able to transform minerals and co enzymes into what it needs. Cant all be based in survival mode.
    chewing til water and fresh local unpoisoned/tampered with vegetaion.
    Theory based opinions or experiential based knowledge.
    How can u not believe in food pyramid and food shortages if thats been in ur face all along [someone elses theory] and you have never tested the facts of how much you really need. Give it a test, i was eating unconciously for years until i started to trust this little voice inside …now its time to make it LOUDEST
    not ego voice which lives in future and past and eats fear, heart voice that spreads and lives its life n love

  79. Michael says:

    I’ve researced this for many years and can’t argue with the list but you may want to look at the nutrional profile of Aloe Vera, Bee Pollen, Maqui and Krill oil. Try to eat beef that is grass fed, free range this is great protein and has many other nutrients.

  80. juvy says:

    Thank you very much for the excellent information and I will also thanks the lady who is very thoughtful to share it to me.It is greatly and highly appreciated.

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  81. Esther says:

    Is turmeric a goof food for fighting inflammation

  82. Michael says:

    YOU ALL ARE WRONG! What about MORINGA?!!! Do you all even know what it is????? Change your article after you research MORINGA!!! And since when is Kale more nutritious than Spinich????

  83. Carolyn Coultas says:

    Hi Todd, please can you write here about the dangers of salicylic acid. So many of us with immune problems are hypersensitive to it. Ironically it is present in aspirin the very medication we use for inflammation. I am concerned that when recommending berries people may not realise that some berries are a natural resourse for salicyliuc acid. It is also in alcohol, tomatoes and so so many other things that we consume every day. It is also used as an Acne cleanser so is a pretty ruthless substance. Carolyn :)

  84. vincent says:

    my inflammation is very hight …my potassium is hight to… is butter better them sm.bance or what….thang you

  85. Karina says:

    This article will help me focus my eating on what is really good for me. I’ve never liked kale, either whole or juiced, but probably need to just get over it and eat it anyway!

  86. Alexis says:

    Wow thats great I think I might use Seaweed for my thing trying to find the cure for Cancer cause it says healthy bones and plus you wont be that healthy for Cancer so thanks :D I’ll go catch some seaweed >:3

  87. Mel Natagoc says:

    Is purple Kale better than green Kale?

  88. Lynette Henk says:

    I have suffered with an auto-immune disease for years. Once I started including more antioxidants in my diet, my quality of life improved. Increasing antioxidants in the form of cold pressed dark chocolate helped me.

    • Sandi says:

      Lynette, I’m using an all-natural product that has 46 anti-oxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories and 92 other nutrients. Its helped me by dissolving an almond sized lump in my lymph nodes and gotten me off caffeine with no headache withdrawls whatsoever. I highly recommend it! Call me for more information 404-201-0063 or write to sandra.goldi@live.com. Sandi

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