Good health starts with a good diet of healthy foods. Giving up to highly processed foods and eating whole, natural foods can have a tremendous positive impact on our health. We should all eat a varied diet based on quality proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Nuts, greens, fruits and berries, fish, meat, yoghurt and eggs should all be part of our daily meals.
We will look at 8 foods that should always be on our grocery list.
They are full of vitamins, minerals, healthy monounsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats. Any kind of nuts are recommended – walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts. Moreover, they are easy to store (make sure to keep them in a dry place) and you can be taken at the office just as well. Since they are calorically dense, make sure to eat no more than 30-50 g each day.
Many yogurts on the market are made using “good bacteria”, which is good for our digestive tract. Moreover, yogurt is both filling and loaded with calcium, potassium and vitamin B. Some varieties have plenty of sugar, therefore, we should properly check the labels before buying them.
Greens such as broccoli, cabbage and kale have plenty of nutrients and may help lower cancer risk. Spinach is highly recommended as well. It is loaded with iron and vitamin K, the latter preventing osteoporosis, diabetes and arthritis.
Blueberries are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They can be consumed on their own, or mixed with yoghurt. Since they are not calorie dense, about half a cup to one cup a day should be the right amount to be consumed, preferably at breakfast, or in the afternoon, 2-3 hours after lunch.
Unlike some other types of fish, studies have shown that mercury levels are relatively low in salmon. Salmon offers plenty of proteins and heart-healthy fats such as omega-3’s. We recommend the consumption of wild salmon, since farm-raised one may have been exposed to or treated with antibiotics.
Eggs are another versatile source of protein, since they can be consumed at any meal, not just breakfast. They contain vitamin B2 and B12, both being important for energy and red blood cells. The egg yolk contains most of the vitamins, minerals and fats. Recent research has shown that a moderate consumption of eggs is healthy and does not increase the risk of heart disease.
While most fruits contain primarily carbohydrates, the avocado is different, being high in healthy fats. Moreover, it is high in vitamins B, K, and E, having also a very high fiber content. Important to note – studies have shown that regular avocado consumption lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Meat from pastured animals is ideal for our health. It has more “good” fats and fewer “bad” fats, than its commercial counterpart. Moreover, free-range meat does not contain added hormones, antibiotics or other drugs. Grass fed animals produce foods that are rich in vitamins, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
We should remember that a balanced diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Once in a while, we can also indulge in something sweet.