Eating healthier and enjoying better health are two things many strive for, often turn to low carb, low fat, clean eating or trendy diets. While these restricted meal plans may help if weight loss is what you are after, knowing what foods should be part of your weekly or daily menu for overall better health is key.
‘You are what you eat’ is a popular saying that refers to eating healthier food to feel healthier, but many people don’t know where to start. Trying to sift through marketing and media campaigns can be overwhelming, but taking it back to basics will make it a lot less complicated.
Keep it simple. Go for “real” food and ensure every meal and snack consists of Fruit or Vegetables, Fiber, Protein and Water.
Fill your plate with healthy fruits, vegetables, protein and always fill your glass with water. You will notice more energy and better overall health.
Top 10 Foods For Better Health
Salmon is rich in protein which is of great to build and maintain muscle tissue. Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions. Salmon is considered a fatty fish but it contains good fats that have been proven to improve health if consumed once a week.
Oatmeal is a great source of protein and fiber and a perfect way to start the day. It fills you up and keeps hunger at bay as well regulates blood sugar levels. Oats can be added to cookies, breads, smoothies and even tossed in the fridge when you make these Overnight Oats.
Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A. Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer. Berries such as blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants while raspberries are high in fiber. The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body. Add to your yogurt, morning smoothies or side salad.
Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and if you choose the Greek variety, you can get a good dose of protein as well. Live yogurt (containing probiotics) also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system. Top with berries and granola for a complete breakfast or mid day snack.
Eggs are considered a complete protein as they are full of all the essential fatty acids along with protein, vitamins A, D, E, K B2, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Enjoy scrambled, sunny side up or hard boiled for a complete snack on the go.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts such as peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and pistachios are full of good fats and protein. Although high in calories, nuts help to lower cholesterol and are a great on the go snack. Enjoy a handful when hunger strikes.
Rich in healthy fats, avocados can lower cholesterol and are full of fiber and folate that may reduce risk of heart disease. Half an avocado even contains 2 grams of protein! They are excellent in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, as a topping on a salad or mashed on toast.
Low in fat, no cholesterol, and full of important nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate, vitamins A and C make vegetables an important part of every meal and snack. Get all the colours in the rainbow for the full health benefits of vegetables including greens like spinach and kale, reds peppers, purple eggplant, white cauliflower and orange carrots. The possibilities are endless.
Beans of all kinds – black, kidney, navy, lentils or chickpeas – are all high in protein. As a plant protein, beans contains very little fat, carbs or calories and are super easy to add to soup, stews and salads. Bonus of beans is the added fiber you get for a healthy digestive system!
Yes chocolate! But a little does a lot. Just ¼ an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals. Similar benefits can be found in cocoa powder that is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL levels.
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