Foods that Minimize the Effects of Your Junk-Food Habit

In a perfect world, you’d eat healthily all the time, but let’s get real. The good news: Consuming certain nutritious foods with harmful foods can help minimize the damage.

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1. You splurged on: Hot Dog

Food Rx: Sauerkraut

Why it works: Hot dogs are packed with nitrates, which have been linked to cancer, but topping your dog off with some kraut can help prevent damage. Sauerkraut is high in a powerful compound that may stop the nitrates from converting into carcinogens.

2. You splurged on: High-Fat Meal

Food Rx: Grapes

Why it works: Chowing down on a high-fat meal floods your system with triglycerides and slows circulation. Consuming 1 cups of antioxidant-rich grapes with your meal prevents some of the negative effects.

3. You splurged on: Salty Foods

Food Rx: Chocolate

Why it works: Just indulged in a salty meal? A few squares of dark chocolate can lower your blood pressure in as little as two hours. Have 2 ounces of chocolate made of at least 60% cocoa for dessert.

4. You splurged on: Pizza

Food Rx: Rosemary

Why it works: When pizza (or any high-carb food) is heated past 250˚, it creates harmful chemicals that scientists have linked to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants in one tablespoon of fresh rosemary added to the dough can slash the chemicals by 60%.

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5. You splurged on: Red Meat

Food Rx: Red Wine

Why it works: Drinking a glass of red wine with your steak can cut down on your body’s absorption of toxins that can lead to heart disease. But don’t overindulge: Seven ounces is all you need to benefit.

6. You splurged on: Grilled Chicken

Food Rx: Coleslaw

Why it works: Grilled meats—pork, beef, and chicken—have been linked to an increased cancer risk. Cruciferous vegetables, like the cabbage in slaw, contain a compound that helps clear the carcinogens from your body.

7. You splurged on: Fast Food

Food Rx: Cherries

Why it works: Eating a fast-food meal can unleash a torrent of free radicals that damage cells. A dessert of cherries, blueberries, grapes, or kiwis will speed antioxidants into your system to fight the damage.

8. You splurged on: Bagel

Food Rx: Vinegar

Why it works: Vinegar can prevent the spikes in blood sugar caused by a carb-heavy meal. A spoonful on your salad will slow digestion and help prevent the peaks and valleys in glucose that can fuel overeating.

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