Most of the healthy eating tips focus on what to eliminate from your diet. “Don’t eat meat … don’t eat dairy … don’t eat eggs … don’t eat sugar … don’t eat refined grains.” All of this is important, but what about the things that we should also add to our diet?
In many cases, what we eat is more important than what we avoid. It can be argued that adding some powerful nutrients to your daily diet can be more beneficial than cutting out unhealthy foods.
A recent example I’ve come across is this: If you’re going to eat a terrible meal of chicken, white rice, and eggs, adding a tablespoon of powdered cabbage will reduce the hyperglycemia of that meal. You are not taking anything away, you are simply adding a healthy ingredient on top of the unhealthy ingredients and it improves your health (source).
In other words, a pizza with a mountain of arugula might be better than no pizza or arugula (although a mountain of arugula and no pizza is clearly the best).
With that in mind, I’ve put together this monster reference guide for what I consider to be the healthiest foods that I try to include in my diet every day. No matter what your diet looks like right now, simply incorporating most of these foods on most days can have a huge positive impact on your health in terms of reducing inflammation (which seems to be at the heart of all major illnesses. related to diet), fighting cancer and maintenance Helps maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, slow the effects of aging, improve mood, improve athletic performance and much more.
To make this list, I first researched a body of research so that I can explain why each might be beneficial, and then I provided a section of my recipes and suggestions on how to incorporate them into your diet.
What I love about this list (and healthy foods in general) is that all of these ingredients are completely natural and affordable that you can find anywhere. It’s all about blueberries and chia seeds here, not kombu dashi and umeboshi plums!
[Also, a shout out to Dr. Greger from NutritionFacts.org. I find myself coming back to his research over and over again, and many links to the studies below have been found throughout his work. The guy is a genius and I highly recommend his book How Not to Die and the daily nutrition videos on his site.]
So without further ado, let’s get into the test …
Fong dijo que el salmón es una proteína particularmente buena porque contiene grasas omega-3 saludables para el corazón.
Ella recomendó comer filetes de salmón como comida, en lugar de salmón ahumado como refrigerio porque la variedad ahumada contiene más sal, así como los compuestos “no buenos” creados durante el proceso de ahumado, dijo. Las personas también tienden a poner salmón ahumado en galletas saladas o pan con queso crema y agregar granos refinados y grasas saturadas.
La Asociación Estadounidense del Corazón recomienda comer dos porciones de pescado por semana, preferiblemente pescado graso como el salmón. Otras buenas opciones son la caballa, el arenque, la trucha, la sardina y el atún blanco.
“Berries are very high in antioxidants, so that’s great,” said Fong.
Blueberries have the highest amounts, but raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are also good options. A note of caution: If you love strawberries, wash them well or buy the organic variety because they are particularly susceptible to pesticide residues, Fong advised.
Buy fresh berries when they are in season and opt for frozen ones when they are not. Try to eat half a cup of berries a day.
He added that any whole fruit is better than none, so if you don’t like berries, that doesn’t mean other fruits are useless. In general, look for a dark-colored fruit, like a pomegranate, because a darker color indicates a high level of antioxidants, Fong said.
Fong said low-fat plain yogurt is a healthy protein with no saturated fat. It does not raise blood sugar levels and contains probiotics, microorganisms that promote good bacteria in the digestive system.
Just make sure it’s plain and flavorless so there’s no added sugar. Skip the full-fat yogurt.
Fong pointed out that you can add chopped nuts or berries yourself and have three items on this list covered in one go.
Yogurt can help you feel full due to its protein content. She suggested that if you can handle lactose, have a cup a day.
4. Dark green vegetables
These include kale, kale, spinach, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts, all of which have wonderful antioxidant properties, Fong said. Eat 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup of these raw vegetables daily.
Use as little water as possible to cook it because some of the nutrients will leach out. For Brussels sprouts, try roasting them: “It’s so tasty and you don’t have to use water,” he said.
If you prefer a salad, use lettuce that has a lot of color, such as red lettuce, instead of iceberg lettuce, which is mostly water.
These beans are impressive in their high fiber and protein content, Fong said.
Go from a half cup to a cup of cooked quinoa. Eat it like rice – it makes a good base for a bowl topped with greens and sauces.
6. Steel cut oats
Less processed than quick oats and without added sugar, this option provides plenty of soluble fiber.
It really keeps people full, has good fiber, and doesn’t spike people’s glucose too much, Fong noted.
Members of an Irish clan hold the Guinness World Record for the oldest oats due to their longevity.
7. Dark chocolate
It’s about antioxidants.
“If people want some fun food that’s still good, I’d say a little bit of dark chocolate,” Fong said. This means a small square a day. Look for chocolate with a cocoa content of 70%. A note of caution: Dark chocolate can keep you awake because it contains a compound that has the same effect as caffeine, Fong said.
Nuts are high in fiber and protein, and packed with healthy fats, and they’re “great,” Fong said. It is also a very convenient and portable snack because it is dry and does not require refrigeration.
A recent study found that people who eat nuts regularly have a 14 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, compared to those who rarely or never eat them. Nuts are also often found in the diet of people who live very long lives.
Any kind of nuts is good, Fong said, and the variety is even better because their fat profile is different, so they have different good things to offer.
Eat a handful a day, but choose unsalted nuts because most people’s foods already contain a lot of sodium.
“It is linked to high blood pressure, which is linked to heart disease and stroke,” Fong noted. “If people could stop having a high preference for the salty taste, that would be great.”