10 Best foods
It is said that to eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.
Studies suggest that food plays 70% of the role in helping to stay fit. The other 30% comes from physical activity.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to cost a lot either. If you base your choices on whatever is easily available during a particular season, you can eat healthily and save money.
A good diet consists of foods from various groups, such as nuts, vegetables, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, and fruits. When including the various food groups in the diet, ensure to not exceed the daily calorie requirements.
Although no single food item can provide all benefits, some may provide more benefits than others. Such healthy food items are often called superfoods. While superfoods have enormous health benefits, people may not include them in their diet if they are allergic to them or have any strict dietary preferences (vegan or vegetarian).
Ten of the best foods that may be included in the diet are
- Eggs: Eggs are a great source of various nutrients, including protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and minerals. They have long been villainized for being high in cholesterol. Several studies, however, have shown that when taken in moderation as a part of a balanced diet, eggs help maintain heart health. The essential fatty acids present in eggs are great for the brain. Other benefits of eggs include promoting eye health, bone health, muscle health, weight management, and boosting immunity.
- Berries: These delicious colorful fruits are a powerhouse of antioxidants and fiber. They help promote satiety and thus, help manage weight. They are good for the eyes, heart, gut, and immune system. They can be eaten on the go and added to yogurt, cereals, shakes, and smoothies. They do not cause high blood sugar spikes when eaten in moderation since they have a low glycemic index (GI). GI is the extent to which a particular food raises blood sugar levels. Berries have a GI of around 40, thus they may be consumed in moderation by diabetic people as well.
- Nuts: Nuts are rich in protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, vitamin E, and unsaturated fats. They help keep the heart healthy, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, lower the risk of blood clots and prevent plaque buildup in blood vessels. Nuts are high in calories, hence must not be overeaten.
- Cruciferous vegetables: They include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and mustard greens. They help provide the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are good for immunity, heart health, gut health, and overall well-being.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in protein and calcium. A 100-gram serving of yogurt provides just around 65 calories. It also contains good bacteria that keep the gut healthy. Yogurt can be included in the diet in various ways, such as added to smoothies; sprinkled with oats, granola, or nuts; or enjoyed as is.
- Foods containing lycopene: Lycopene is a bright red compound found in tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables, including red carrots, papayas, watermelons, pink grapefruits, and guavas. Although there is no sufficient evidence, some studies show that the antioxidant and immunity-boosting properties of lycopene may help fight cancer cells. Grapefruit may be avoided by people consuming certain medicines, such as blood thinners, blood pressure medicines, medications to treat high blood cholesterol, and medications to treat erection problems. Consult your doctor for this information.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories (around 22 calories in 100 grams). They are also the richest vegetarian source of vitamin D.
- Fish: Fish is a great source of protein, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are highly beneficial for the health of the heart, eyes, brain, skin, hair, bones, and blood. Include fatty fish, such as mackerel, cod, and salmon in the diet.
- Whole grains: Whole grains and their products, including oatmeal, whole wheat flour, quinoa, and multigrain flour provide energy, fiber, and protein. They help promote satiety and prevent binge eating.
- Leafy greens: They include spinach, fenugreek, kale, collard greens, and watercress. They are rich in vitamin C and E, carotenoids, minerals, and fiber. They help build immunity; regulate cholesterol; keep the heart, skin, and gut health; and manage weight.
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McManus KD. 10 Superfoods to Boost a Healthy Diet. Harvard Health Publishing. August 29, 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-superfoods-to-boost-a-healthy-diet-2018082914463