A List of Healthy Foods to Eat Everyday and Why
Table of Contents:
- A List of Healthy Foods to Eat Everyday and Why
- Nuts, Pulses and Grains
- Fruits, Vegetables and Berries
- Some Foods That Kids Don’t Like, Typically… (You May Have to Get Crafty)
- Why Is Spinach Good for You?
- Fish, Meat and Eggs
Food. It is all things to all people in a myriad of ways. To dieters it is the bane of their existence. To the unhappy, frustrated, or those troubled in any way, it is comfort. To connoisseurs it is almost a sensual thing. But to all of us it is the elixir of life, the fuel for our bodies. In my experience there are so many healthy, nourishing foods that it should rarely, if ever, be necessary to consume those that have been processed almost beyond recognition. Here is a guide to get you on your healthy way, in the form of a list of healthy foods to eat everyday, and why they are good for you.
Nuts, Pulses, and Grains
– Almonds – contain magnesium, vitamin E, iron, calcium, fiber, and riboflavin. Consuming these little guys significantly reduces cholesterol levels.
– Brazil Nuts – very healthy and an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates, as well as vitamin B1, E, magnesium, and zinc. Containing selenium, they aid in maintaining thyroid function.
– Lentils – Lentils are pulses that provide large amounts of fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Lentil soup is delicious and nutritious. Or add chili powder or pepper to a container of fresh lentils for a snack.
– Oatmeal – This cereal’s soluble fiber content helps lower cholesterol and reduce cardiovascular risks, as well as being a good source of folate and potassium.
– Wheat germ – this power house is high in fiber,vitamin E, folic acid, thiamin, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, and essential fatty acids.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Berries
Let’s start with celery. Low calorie, mild taste, anti-oxidant filled, and versatile, it can always be found on veggie trays right there beside the dip. Or added to soups,stews, or salads. Historians believe it originated in the Mediterranean and was used for medicinal purposes.
Being so high in anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids, it helps to prevent the oxidative stress that contributes to cancer. It is also believed to relax artery wall tissues for healthy blood flow and plays a role in improving cognition and memory.
Other suggestions for celery in your diet:
– dipped in hummus
– topped with peanut butter and raisins
– added to a spinach, banana, and apple smoothie
– stuffed with pimento cheese
– spread with cream cheese and bacon bits (easy on the bacon)
Blueberries are delicious and so nourishing. They provide ample amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They help to maintain vital body functions, protect against cognitive decline, aid in staving off cardiovascular disease, and improve the composition of gut bacteria. Fresh blueberries are best but even frozen ones pack a big health punch. Here’s a very good smoothie recipe.
Papayas and their seeds are not only delicious but very healthy. The fruit itself is loaded with Vitamin C, B, and A as well as folate, potassium, copper, magnesium, and fiber. It is refreshing and delicious and great in smoothies with other fruits or sprinkled with lime juice (as I know from experience).
The seeds are strange little critters which need a bit of TLC before being consumed. The key is to break them free from their outer sac so your stomach can digest them easier and reap their parasite-fighting properties. They contain a big amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols, and flavonoids. As well they fight cancer tumors, repair damaged skin, and are said to repair the liver.
Scoop the seeds out of the papaya after it is cut in half lengthwise. Rinse them in a strainer, rubbing the seeds until the gelatinous sac has been removed. Pat them dry and lay on a baking sheet and either heat in a very low oven or set in the sun until they are dried. They can be added to smoothies, used as a seasoning, or substituted for black pepper.
Avocados have a high fat content so are often avoided but they provide healthy fats as well as vitamins B,K, and E, and fiber. Avocado seed extract reduces the viability of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
Some Foods That Kids Don’t Like, Typically… (You May Have to Get Crafty)
Next comes Popeye’s favorite, spinach. Why is spinach good for you? If eaten raw, steamed, or lightly boiled it is a good source of antioxidants and contains all the vitamins, selenium, niacin, zinc, potassium, calcium, manganese, betaine, and iron. Add a sprinkle of apple cider vinegar to the cooked spinach and it will not only give the taste buds a bit of a kick it will also add more nutrients.
We are into the foods that kid’s don’t like, typically, so you may have to find ways to… coerce them into eating them. Maybe that is another article…?
Sweet potatoes or yams are ranked number one for their vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, protein, and complex carbohydrate content. Boiled, baked, or used in casseroles they are delicious. Or how about mashed and used as a potato substitute on shepherds pie?
Cabbage is low in calories but high in phytonutrients. As well as being known for its immunity benefits its vitamin C plays a roll in collagen production, helps fight free radicals, and some say has a protective effect against wrinkles. Eat it raw, cooked, or fermented into sauerkraut for a good hearty dose of probiotics.
Onions and garlic are known to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, as well as lowering the risk of gastrointestinal cancer. Rich in prebiotic compounds, onions promote the growth of good bacteria in your cut. Both of these vegetables are about as versatile as you can get when it comes to adding flavor to almost any dish.
Broccoli is another powerhouse. It contains fiber, potassium, folate, and phytonutrients (which reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers). It is also chock full of vitamin C and beta-carotene. A half cup serving provides 85% of daily vitamin C quota. Eaten raw or lightly steamed keeps it at its healthiest.
Fish, Meat, and Eggs
Oily fish give the most bang for your buck and include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies. They contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial to the heart and nervous system as well as reducing the risk of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chicken is an excellent source of protein but do not forget to remove the skin before cooking as it has very high levels of saturated fat. Chicken is very versatile and can be cooked in many ways.
Eggs also are protein power houses and contain vitamins B2 and B12 which preserve energy and generate red blood cells. Choline is present in eggs and this is important for cell membranes.
Now I hope I have provided you with a huge amount of food for thought (pun intended). This is just a cross section of nourishing, delicious choices to keep you happy and satiated without hitting the hotdogs, pre-cooked meals, sweets, and all the other tempting preservative-added concoctions they call food. Having an occasional treat is allowed as long as you eat proper food most of the time.
For example (and I just have to sneak this one in), one of my favorite once-a-summer treats is half a papaya with seeds removed and saved. Then a small scoop of vanilla ice cream is used to fill in that empty space. Mmmm………so delicious and refreshing. But only for a very special treat now, remember. Or maybe a couple of wee squares of dark chocolate. After all chocolate is known to relieve menstrual cramps due to the anandamide which has a calming effect and keeps anxiety and moods in balance. Who could argue with that?