Healthy food is an important part of a healthy life. The foods that we eat every day must be balanced with a good amount of macronutrients and micronutrients. Healthy foods to eat every day should include foods from all food groups for a good supply of essential nutrients.
However, it is also advised to change foods within the essential food groups to add more variety to the diet and provide a range of nutrients. Similarly, it is also important for you to like foods to follow your diet for a longer period.
Therefore, we have discussed healthy foods to eat every day in the form of food groups and added multiple foods within each group so that you can choose foods according to your palate and also add variety to your diet plan.
Fruits and berries should be an important part of our diet as they provide a good number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Regular consumption of fruits reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers the risk of cancer. Fruits are also easy to consume and do not require cooking. Some common fruits recommended are:
- Apples: Apples are a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.
- Avocados: They provide a good source of healthy fats instead of unhealthy carbs. It is also a source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
- Banana: It is a very good source of potassium. It also provides fiber and vitamin C.
- Berries: Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries fulfill the daily requirements for manganese, vitamin C, folate, phytochemicals, and antioxidants.
- Other fruits: You can also alternate with other fruits like cherries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, mangoes, melons, olives, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, and oranges for overall micronutrient requirements.
Vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also provide a good amount of a sulfur compound called glucosinolates, which regulates cell proliferation. Thus, it has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some healthy vegetables to eat every day are:
- Asparagus: It is rich in vitamin K and fiber. It also has fewer carbohydrates.
- Colored fruits: Different types of colored fruits, like bell peppers and beans, provide a good source of phytonutrients and antioxidants. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Cruciferous vegetables: vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, radish, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, and Brussels sprouts contain a sulfurous compound that protects against cancer and inflammatory conditions. It might also be beneficial for the treatment and prevention of metabolic syndromes. Additionally, they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.
- Carrots: They are commonly consumed as root vegetables and are rich in carotenoid antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin K.
- Cucumber: cucumbers contain a good amount of water with low calories. It also contains micronutrients such as vitamin K.
- Garlic: Garlic contains bioactive sulfur compounds, which have numerous health benefits. It helps in reducing inflammation and also has anticancer properties.
- Kale: Kale is a cabbage-like leafy plant that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. It also contains glucosinolates, which have multiple health benefits as discussed.
- Onions: Onions add flavor to foods and also contain bioactive compounds with various health benefits.
- Other vegetables: There are other vegetables that you can alternate for variety, like celery, eggplant, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, squash, turnips, and zucchini. These vegetables are also healthy foods to eat every day.
Nuts and seeds.
Nuts and seeds have been found to be good for your health, providing nutrients in the form of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc. A study also suggested that people who ate 5 or more servings of nuts had a reduced risk of heart disease and mortality.
It has also been found that people are reluctant to eat nuts because of the fear of weight gain. However, it has been found that nuts are a nutrient-dense food and do not result in an increase in body weight with appropriate consumption. So, nuts and seeds must be considered an important part of the healthy foods to eat every day. Some nutrient-rich nuts are:
- Almonds: Almonds are rich in vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants. It has also been found to be helpful for weight loss and metabolic health.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are nutrient-dense, with a good amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Chia Seeds: An ounce of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber, minerals like magnesium, calcium, and manganese.
- Coconuts: Coconuts provide a good amount of fiber and medium-chain fatty acids.
- Brazil nuts: They are the richest source of a mineral, selenium. Selenium is important for thyroid function and prevents thyroid disease.
Lean meat is a good source of protein. Protein is important for proper growth and development. It also helps to build muscle mass. Additionally, protein also regulates blood sugar levels and prevents the blood sugar spike that occurs when you eat a carbohydrate-rich diet. A few examples of lean meat that can be a good source of protein are:
- Lean Beef: It contains a good amount of protein and iron.
- Chicken breast: Chicken breast is low in carbs and high in protein.
- Lambs: Lamb meat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood are other good sources of protein. In addition to being a protein source, they also provide nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and iodine, which are not fulfilled through other foods. So, fish should be an important part of the healthy foods you eat every day.
Studies have also shown that the consumption of fish and seafood slows aging and protects against diseases such as heart disease, dementia, and depression. Some common sea foods are:
- Salmon: It is a famous oily fish known for its taste and rich nutrient content, such as proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and some amounts of vitamin D.
- Shellfish: It has a nutrient density similar to organ meat with a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Shrimp: It provides a good amount of selenium and vitamin B12.
Eggs are safe and healthy foods rich in albumin, vitamin B6, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and magnesium. They are considered a great source of protein.
Whole grains are a good source of fiber and carbohydrates. It is not recommended for people on a low-carb diet. It also provides a variety of micronutrients. Some examples of whole grain are:
- Brown rice: Rice is a staple food for most people in the world. Brown rice is a good source of fiber, vitamin B1, and magnesium.
- Oats: Oats are rich in fibers called Beta-glucan. These dietary fibers help in lowering cholesterol and improving gut health. They are also loaded with several nutrients.
- Bread: Brown bread is rich in fiber and provides a good source of carbohydrates. Ezekiel bread is one of the healthiest breads made out of whole grain and legumes.
Legumes are a good source of plant based protein, fiber, and iron. A few examples of healthy legumes are:
- Kidney beans: They contain good amount of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You need to cook it properly before consumption.
- Lentils: These are commonly used legumes rich in fiber and plant-based protein.
- Peanuts: These are popular snacks rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Studies have also suggested that peanuts help lose weight, but too much consumption of peanut butter can increase weight. You also need to be aware of peanut allergies.
When tolerated, milk products are a good source of important nutrients. Cow's milk provides a good amount of bioactive fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid and vitamin K2. Some nutritious milk products are:
- Cheese: Cheese is a commonly used, tasty milk product rich in nutrients.
- Whole milk: Whole milk is a good source of calcium, vitamins, minerals, animal protein, and healthy fats.
- Yogurt: It is a fermented product of milk, which works as a probiotic and contributes to gut health by providing good bacteria.
Oils and fats
Unsaturated fats are an important part of balanced nutrition with various health benefits. Some oils with a good amount of unsaturated fat are:
- Olive oil: it is a part of the Mediterranean diet, rich in polyphenols. These are the antioxidant compounds that protect the body from cancer and inflammatory disorders. Extra virgin and unfiltered olive oil have more polyphenols, but they can be expensive.
- Coconut oil: It is a saturated fat but provides medium chained fatty acids, which is beneficial to health. However, it must be used in moderation, as it can increase bad cholesterol.
Foods are important to survive but healthy foods are important for good health and disease free life. You must consume balanced foods every day, with the recommended amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins,minerals, and fiber. Additionally, foods rich in antioxidants and probiotics should be added to the diet to prevent chronic disease.
There are different foods you can try as a part of healthy foods to eat every day. You should also add variety to your food habits to fulfill additional nutritional requirements. It also avoids having a repetitive diet and can be more satisfying.
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