Looking for ways to eat healthier? Perhaps you want to shed those stubborn extra pounds, but don’t want to start dieting? Forget about fad diets, because your body needs all the nutrients it can get to function properly. Starving it would be very bad for your health.
Eat everything, but in moderation, and you’ll stay as healthy as a horse. However, the following foods are some of the healthiest you should put on your plate, so make sure you eat them as much as you can.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. They may improve digestion, and various disorders related to the immune system.
Their antioxidant properties are precisely what makes them incredibly healthy, as antioxidants fight free radicals, and can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as reduce inflammation. Berries may even improve memory in older adults.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat other fruits, because they are very healthy, but they do contain more sugar than berries. Citrus fruits, avocados, and grapes may be the healthiest of all, but there’s still a reason why berries are considered a superfood.
Apples are a type of fruit that definitely deserves a place on this list, as they are unbelievably rich in antioxidants, and may even extend your lifespan. They also contain high levels of fiber and vitamin C.
Many people call it a “miracle fruit” because of its many health benefits. According to a study on apple consumption, eating apples daily can significantly increase good cholesterol, while decreasing bad cholesterol, thus promoting cardiovascular health. It may even regulate blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Apples are great if you get hungry between your main meals, as they can serve as a very healthy snack that makes you really satiated.
3. Greens and Other Bright-Colored Vegetables
How many times has your mother told you to eat your greens? She really had a point in telling you they’re healthy, as they’re some of the richest sources of nutrients.
For instance, kale, spinach, and a number of other leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins C and K, zinc, iron, magnesium, folate, and calcium. They also contain carotenoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and may reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many types of cancer.
Some of the other bright-colored vegetables that you should eat a lot include:
- Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli – carotenoids, folate, fiber, vitamins C, E, and K
- Bell peppers – lycopene, potassium, folate, vitamins A, E, K1
- Tomatoes – lycopene, potassium, folate, vitamins C and K
Fun fact: Did you know that tomatoes are actually a fruit? However, almost everyone, including nutritionists and culinary chefs, considers it a vegetable.
Garlic is one of the healthiest foods out there. It contains selenium, fiber, manganese, vitamins C, B1, and B6, and great amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and copper, among many other nutrients.
Many studies indicate that garlic can reduce the risk of cancer, improve the immune system, and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. So, be sure to add it to other ingredients next time you cook a meal. Not only will it give your food a tasty distinct flavor, but it will also greatly improve your health.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are great sources of fiber, potassium, carotenoids, and vitamins A and C. They combat free radicals precisely because of carotenoids, which are antioxidants.
Don’t worry about increasing your blood sugar if you eat these potatoes, because they will actually help you control it, which makes them perfect for people with type 2 diabetes.
6. Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Nuts and seeds have lots of health benefits, as they’re rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, plant protein, and minerals, such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorus.
They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re also great for shedding extra pounds.
The healthiest nuts and seeds you should include in your diet are:
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
The same goes for legumes, which also contain a lot of heart-healthy fats, plant protein, and fiber, as well as magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, and other healthy minerals.
The best legumes you can eat include:
Ginger is one of the favorite flowering plants used both in medicine and as a spice. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can even reduce pain and nausea.
There are studies showing that ginger may improve cardiovascular health, and many researchers believe that it may reduce the risk of cancer, as well as help with cancer treatment. Some also believe that it may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
You can eat fresh ginger, you can drink ginger juice, or you can use it as a spice in its powdered form.
Eggs are often associated with high cholesterol, but you don’t need to worry about that if you eat them in moderation. According to the Heart Foundation, you can safely eat up to 6-7 eggs per week.
Eggs are actually quite rich in nutrients, such as high-quality protein, selenium, phosphorus, choline, iron, and vitamins A, B, and D. They also contain antioxidants, and they can be great for cardiovascular health.
Fish contain a lot of nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids and iodine, and they can reduce the risk of numerous diseases, such as heart disease and dementia. They can also help with depression.
So, fill your plate with plenty of fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, trout, shrimp, and shellfish, and enrich your diet with protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies) have anti-inflammatory properties, and they’re excellent sources of vitamins A and D.
10. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are probiotic-rich foods that are incredibly healthy for your gut.
They’re rich in good bacteria (probiotics) and help with improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and even maintaining a healthy weight. They can also reduce inflammation and cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Are you ready to live a healthier and happier life? Including all these delicious foods in your diet will help you take your health to a whole new level.
There are plenty more foods you should eat to keep your health in top condition, so be sure to explore the topic further. Your body needs a lot of healthy foods to function normally, so make sure your diet is versatile and contains a lot more than the aforementioned nutrient-rich foods.
Most importantly, make sure you maintain a balanced diet, so that you can achieve optimal health, and feel absolutely fantastic every day.