The 10 best foods for health · 1. Drink 8 to 12 cups of water a day. Eat dark green vegetables at least three or four times a week. Good choices include broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens such as kale and spinach.
Eat whole grains at least two or three times a day. Look for whole wheat flour, rye, oats, barley, amaranth, quinoa, or multigrain products. A good source of fiber has 3 to 4 grams of fiber per serving. A great source has 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
Try to eat a bean-based meal at least once a week. Try adding legumes, such as beans and lentils, to soups, stews, salads and sauces, or eat them alone. Try to eat two or three servings of fish a week. One serving consists of 3 to 4 ounces of cooked fish.
Good choices are salmon, trout, herring, oily fish, sardines and tuna. Include two to four servings of fruit in your diet each day. Try eating berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day and 1,200 milligrams if they are 50 years or older.
Eat calcium-rich foods, such as fat-free or low-fat dairy products, three to four times a day. Check out this list of calcium-rich foods. You'll find a breakdown of the calcium content in various vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, cereals, fish and more. Soy contains isoflavones, genistein and diadzen that are not found in any other food and have been shown to lower blood cholesterol and slow bone loss.
Broccoli provides good amounts of fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. However, overcooking broccoli can destroy many of its key nutrients. For this reason, it is best to eat it raw or lightly steamed.
Learn more about the nutritional impact of broccoli here. Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals are harmful substances generated by the body. They cause undesirable changes in the body and can contribute to chronic diseases, as well as to the aging process.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that offers a wide range of different nutrients. For example, this powerfully nutritious plant is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. People can cook or steam kale. They can also mix it into smoothies or juices for a nutritional touch.
Learn more about how to include kale in your diet here. Blueberries provide substantial amounts of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Unlike minerals and vitamins, phytonutrients are not essential for survival. However, they can help prevent diseases and maintain vital bodily functions.
Discover the nutritional power of blueberries. Some people avoid eating avocados because of their high fat content. However, avocados provide healthy fats, as well as vitamins B, K, and E. Avocados are also a good source of fiber.
Avocados are very nutritious and very satisfying. Sweet potatoes provide dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and potassium. The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes with that of several other vegetables. Sweet potatoes ranked first for their vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein and complex carbohydrate content.
Eggs contain vitamins such as B-2 and B-12, which are important for conserving energy and generating red blood cells. Eggs are also a good source of the essential amino acid leucine, which plays a role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Eggs also provide a good amount of choline, which is important for cell membranes. Barley is a grain full of fiber, so the body digests it more slowly than more refined grains.
It is also believed to help lower blood pressure and keep blood sugar levels stable. Mushrooms are full of nutritional benefits and can be an excellent substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes due to their complex, savory flavor and firm texture. In addition, mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D (a nutrient that many of us are deficient in) and one of the only widely available types of products that contain significant amounts of selenium. The latter, according to WebMD, helps prevent cell damage.
Many varieties are also believed to have immunostimulating and anti-cancer properties. Naturally gluten-free, amaranth is richer in muscle-building proteins than wheat and brown rice, with more than 9 grams per cup and also surprisingly high in other nutrients, such as calcium and fiber. Ironically, (or perhaps the way nature gives us a little slack) cinnamon, the hot spice that gives added flavor to sugary baked goods, can help control blood sugar and prevent diabetes. Sauerkraut isn't just for sausages; this lacto-fermented cabbage, which contains natural compounds, may have powerful properties to fight cancer and slim the abdomen.
Most cheeses are naturally very low in sugar due to the fermentation process that produces them, and Parmesan cheese has the added benefit of reducing sugar cravings that cause abdominal bloating. It's a natural diuretic, so asparagus, which contains less than 5 grams of sugar per serving, can help relieve swelling and other unpleasant sensations. According to a study published in the Natural Medicine Journal, participants were divided into two groups and both ate a variety of foods, including bagels, muffins and rolls. Although small, kiwis contain a significant amount of actinidin, a natural enzyme that helps facilitate digestion by breaking down proteins in the body.