7 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating

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7 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, there are plenty of delicious, natural foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs. As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” So why not be something great?

Avocados

Let’s start with one of the trendiest superfoods out there – the humble avocado. Creamy with a distinctive nutty flavor, avocados are chock full of heart-healthy fats. In fact, 77% of the calories in an avocado come from fat, mostly monounsaturated fat. These fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce inflammation.

Avocados also contain plenty of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K. They make great additions to sandwiches, salads, and dips like guacamole. Try smashing one on some whole-grain toast in the morning for a satisfying, nutritious start to your day. Your heart will thank you!

Blueberries

These small berries pack a big punch. Just one cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories but over 3 grams of fiber and a whopping 24% of your daily vitamin C needs. They also contain more antioxidants than almost any other fruit or veg.

This impressive nutrient profile contributes to blueberries’ many health benefits, from improving memory and brain function to lowering blood pressure and risk of heart disease to fighting cancer. Pretty impressive for something so small and delicious!

Fresh or frozen, blueberries make great toppings for yogurt, oatmeal, or salads. You can blend them into smoothies or even bake them into muffins or pancakes. Just be sure to eat them regularly so you can reap those awesome health perks.

Broccoli

Okay, you were probably expecting broccoli on a “healthy foods” list. But don’t let its reputation fool you – this cruciferous vegetable is downright delicious when prepared properly.

Raw or cooked, broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, a plant compound with powerful anticancer properties. It’s also a fantastic source of vitamins C and K, fiber, folate, and minerals like potassium and manganese. Plus, broccoli contains plant nutrients called glucosinolates that help prevent inflammation. Talk about being packed with the good stuff!

The key is not to overcook broccoli into mush. Instead, roast or steam it lightly to bring out its sweet, almost nutty flavor. Then, flavor it up with garlic, lemon, olive oil, or spices. Your taste buds and your health will rejoice.

Dark Chocolate

Well, this is an excuse to eat chocolate we can get behind! Research shows that high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa contains fiber, iron, magnesium, and compounds called flavonoids that function as antioxidants.

The flavonoids in delicious dark chocolate lower blood pressure, balance the blood flow, and even lower LDL cholesterol. Those benefits, plus the mood-boosting quality of chocolate (hello, endorphins!), make enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate most days a smart choice.

When choosing dark chocolate, look for at least 70% cocoa with limited added sugar, and stick to 1-2 small squares per serving. Then, sit back, savor, and let that luxurious goodness melt in your mouth. Both your body and mind will thank you!

Eggs

Many people shy away from eggs due to fears about cholesterol, but eggs have been partially exonerated. While they are high in cholesterol, their effect on blood cholesterol levels and heart health is more nuanced than was previously believed.

In fact, eggs are good sources of selenium and vitamins, as well as powerful antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. Plus, eggs are hands-down one of the best sources of high-quality protein around. Protein is important for building healthy muscles and tissues as well as keeping you feeling fuller longer after eating.

Aim to eat eggs several times per week, varying your preparations. Scramble them with veggies for breakfast, enjoy an omelet for lunch or dinner, or even blend them into smoothies. Your best bet is to eat the whole egg instead of just egg whites. Those nutrient-rich yolks contain the bulk of eggs’ vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Fatty Fish

By “fatty fish,” we’re referring to fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring that are rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These powerful anti-inflammatory fats have been linked with improved heart health, brain function, and mood regulation, just to name a few benefits.

Studies find many people don’t eat enough fatty fish, so make an effort to incorporate it into your routine at least twice a week. Grilled, baked, or pan-fried preparations work wonderfully. Roll chopped fatty fish into fish cakes or tacos for a different take. Just be mindful of potential contaminants, and opt for low mercury and sustainably sourced choices as often as possible.

Green Tea

Around 2 billion people worldwide drink green tea daily, owing at least in part to the beverage’s reputation as an amazingly healthy elixir. Compounds in green tea called catechins are powerful antioxidants, boasting anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

Some of green tea’s most profound benefits include boosting brain function and metabolism, protecting against heart disease and diabetes risk, and even prolonging life expectancy. Not too shabby! So swap out your afternoon coffee or soda for green tea and harness some of those incredible health gains. Even just 1-2 cups per day make a difference.

Start Filling Your Plate

These 7 delicious, super nutritious foods should absolutely be part of your regular repertoire. Of course, there are many other great options out there, too, depending on your tastes and dietary needs. But focusing on incorporating more of these everyday MVPs is sure to take your overall eating habits up a notch.

 





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