What are some of the best sources of natural foods?

Foods that are naturally rich in nutrients include fruits and vegetables. Lean meats, fish, whole grains, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds are also high in nutrients. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits and oranges, peaches, pears and melons, tomatoes and avocados. Yes, natural foods are some of the healthiest foods out there, especially fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables come in a wide variety of colors, flavors, and textures. They contain vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and are an important source of fiber. The plant food group includes dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, and legumes (beans and peas). Dark green vegetables include broccoli, kale, spinach, and kale.

Red and orange vegetables include acorn squash, carrots, squash, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Starchy vegetables include corn, peas, and white potatoes. Other vegetables include eggplant, beetroot, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, celery, artichokes, green beans and onions. Legumes include black beans, garbanzos (garbanzos), red beans, soybeans, and tofu.

Legumes can also be counted in the protein food group. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. It is found in many foods that come from plants, including vegetables, beans, and peas. Eating fiber-rich vegetables can help prevent stomach or intestinal problems and lower cholesterol.

Fruits bring color, flavor and important nutrients to your diet. There are many options: citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits; different types of berries; fruits that grow on trees, such as apricots, cherries, peaches and mangoes; and others such as figs, grapes and pineapples. According to the Dietary Guidelines (PDF, 30.6 million), older Americans generally don't eat enough fruit. Adding more fruit to your diet can have significant benefits for overall health.

Fruits, such as vegetables, contain carbohydrates and provide additional fiber that helps keep the digestive system moving. For even more fiber, eat fruits with skins on, just make sure you wash them thoroughly before eating them. While 100% fruit juice also counts for this category, at least half of the fruits you consume should be whole fruits. When buying frozen, canned, or dried fruit, choose options with the lowest added sugar content.

Wondering how many vegetables and fruits you should eat at one meal? Look at your plate. Vegetables and fruits should fill half the plate. Any food made from wheat, rye, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other grains is a grain-based product. This includes bread and pasta, breakfast cereals, grits, tortillas, and even popcorn.

Cereals, along with fruits, vegetables and dairy products, contain carbohydrates, the body's main source of energy. At least half of the food you eat should be whole grains. Whole grains provide iron and lots of B vitamins, and they also have fiber. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat, whole oats, whole wheat bulgur (also known as broken wheat), and whole wheat corn flour.

Some grain products are refined, giving them a finer texture and a longer shelf life, but eliminating fiber and nutrients. Most refined grains are enriched, meaning that some nutrients are added back after processing. Examples of refined grain products include white flour, degerminated cornmeal, white bread, and white rice. Not sure if you should count beans and peas as vegetables or protein foods? Think of them as vegetables if you eat meat, poultry, and fish regularly.

Count them as proteins if you're vegetarian or vegan, or if you rarely eat meat, poultry, or fish. Eating dairy products helps older adults maintain strong bones and provides several vital nutrients, such as calcium, potassium and vitamin D. For heart health, choose from the many low-fat or fat-free options in the dairy group. These provide you with important vitamins and minerals, with less fat.

Certain alternatives to fortified dairy products can provide nutritional content similar to that of dairy products. For people who choose dairy alternatives, fortified soy milk and yogurt, which contain added calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, are included as part of the dairy product group and have a nutritional content similar to that of dairy products. Other plant-based milks (for example, almond, rice, coconut, oat and hemp milks) may contain calcium, but are not always fortified with the vitamins and minerals found in dairy products. Watch for added sugars in dairy alternatives; reading the label can help you choose sugar-free or low-sugar options.

See more foods from the dairy product group. While many beverages can be part of a healthy eating pattern, some add calories without adding nutritional value and should be avoided. Drinks that do not contain calories, especially water, or that provide beneficial nutrients, such as skimmed and low-fat milk and 100% natural juice, should be the main beverages you consume. Examples of beverages that tend to have added sugar include soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters.

Most sweetened beverages don't help meet food group goals and often contain a lot of calories. In addition to avoiding processed foods that may contain added salt, sugar and fat, there are several reasons to opt for natural foods. For example, a carrot picked directly from the ground would be classified as natural, but that carrot cake that is sold in the supermarket, not so natural. To help motivate you to include more natural foods in your diet, below are 12 benefits of eating natural foods.

There you have it, the next time you're tempted by chips or a heavy cake, remember that avoiding prepared foods and choosing fresh, natural foods could save you time and money and do wonders for your waistline. .

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