Call them healthiest foods or super foods, there really is no difference. The key to healthy life, and proper diet lies in the addition of some of the healthiest foods on the market. Nobody can add all 16 foods from the list to their daily or weekly diet, but you can add just few.
Adding half of the foods on the list to your diet will ensure you healthy life, and a body to die for. I’ll give you some tips and advices how to implement each food into your diet, so stay with me.
Lemons are arguably one of the best and easiest healthiest foods to add to your daily diet. The simplest way to add lemons to your daily diet is to squeeze half a lemon into your morning glass of water. Or, if you are a tea person, green tea can be enriched with a squeeze of lemon as well.
Why is lemon on this list? Because one lemon provides more than 100% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C. The more vitamin C in your body, the more balanced cholesterol levels you have. And there is no better immune booster than vitamin C. That being said, grab your lemons!
Do you remember that when you were a child, your parents were constantly saying “eat your broccoli, eat your broccoli”? I know mine did. I’ll admit, I was not always a fan of broccoli, because I found its taste a little blunt. However, my parents were always finding ways to improve the taste of broccoli (my mother often steamed for example), and I am grateful they did.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can find on the market, one of the rare veggies that can satisfy more than 100% of the daily dose of vitamin K and two times the daily dose of vitamin C. Nowadays, I still love steaming broccoli, but I’ve found some people love it more by cooking it in the microwave. Simply zap it in plastic bag and put it in the oven for two minutes on high temperature.
First off, when you think of salmon as one of the healthiest foods, think of wild salmon. Farm grown salmon does not come with the same healthy nutrients and ingredients as wild salmon. Now, what makes salmon so healthy?
For starters, wild salmon is one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids. Going further down the road, a serving of salmon provides 50% of the daily dose of niacin, the B3 vitamin that is responsible for protecting your brain from conditions like Alzheimer’s. Last, but not least, salmon is a great source of protein, packing almost 20g per serving, which is one of the reason why’ll find almost anyone trying to gain muscles eating salmon. From a nutritional standpoint, salmon packs 175 calories per serving, 10g fat, 54mg cholesterol, and no sugars, carbs or fiber.
Let’s talk snacks. There are two snacks I love, one of them being walnuts. Whenever I feel hungry during the day, and lunch or dinner is two or three hours down the road, walnuts are my choice. Why? Because they eliminate sugar cravings.
Now, from nutritional standpoint, the biggest benefit of consuming walnuts is the omega-3 fatty acids, essential for reducing cholesterol. All nuts have omega-3, but walnuts are on the top of the list. They might be little high in calories (300 calories per one cup), but they pack 8g of protein per cup and 3g of dietary fiber. A bonus tip: grab some walnuts before going to bed. Walnuts contain melatonin, an antioxidant that can help you sleep better.
I said there are two snacks I love, and after walnuts, almonds are next on the list. Which isn’t surprising, because almonds are the second best food from the nut family. They also come packing some serious omega-3 fats, but they also act as probiotics, or food for probiotics.
In essence, almonds help regulate our gut health, improve our immune system and provide decent doses of vitamin E. Almonds have fewer calories per cup, but they also contain less protein.
One of the healthiest foods on the market has to be avocado, a fruit rich in good fats that can lower cholesterol on its own by 20%. Avocados are great sources of folate, fiber, protein, and fiber.
One avocado contains almost 14g of fiber, which is great if you need to eat something that will keep you full. My advice for you is to add avocado to your salads, since studies have shown that avocado can help absorption of other healthy nutrients.
If you need proof how healthy garlic is, just check any list for home remedies. There is no disease, condition or illness you cannot cure with garlic. The small veggie is one of the best antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammation and anti-fungal foods on the market.
You won’t get much protein, fiber or other nutrients from garlic, but you get tons of vitamins and minerals, as well as compounds that help fight off cancer. Crushed garlic provides the most nutrients. Therefore, do not overcook garlic since high heat can kill off the nutrients in it. Anything more than 10 minutes is too much.
Whenever I am writing something about spinach, I always remember of Popeye, that animated cartoon character most of us grow up with.
Spinach makes its way on the list because of the richness in antioxidants that improve eye health, iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and tons of other minerals. Among vegetables that protect you from cancer, spinach is the best.
If you are looking for a super food or healthy food that can protect you from almost anything, and you cannot stand garlic, look no further than banana. Consuming one or two bananas per day protects you from some of the worst conditions like cardiovascular diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Bananas are tropical fruits that are rich in rare minerals like magnesium, but they also contain healthy doses of vitamin A, iron, vitamin C and much more. I recommend getting a banana or two in the morning, to get your sugars going from natural sugar, not processed.
We are at the fruit section of the list of healthiest foods, and you cannot ignore blueberries here. For years, blueberries have been the gold standard when it comes to antioxidants, packing more antioxidants pound per pound than any other veggie or fruit.
Before the Western world discovered green tea, blueberries were the gold standard for protecting you from aging and free radicals.
Kale and spinach, those two are the best leafy greens, with kale being widely recognized as superfood. Some studies even show that kale is better than spinach when it comes to cancer protection. Kale is one of the best sources for vitamin K.
What makes kale harder to consume on a daily basis is the fact that kale is not as versatile as spinach. I’ve found that the easiest way to include kale in my diet is by smoothies, and I am sure many of you will find the same.
12. Black Beans
Now here is a food that you probably do not use in your cooking. I know very few people that are fond of black beans. And I always tell my friends, do not ignore black beans. They are extremely healthy, packing more than 15 grams of protein per serving, and they come without zero cholesterol, unlike most meats that are sources for protein.
Black beans also come packing some decent doses of iron, fiber and antioxidants. What you can do with black beans is add them to your salad, or to your pasta. And of course, a burrito without black beans is not a burrito.
When it comes to citrus fruits, lemons are the first choice among people. But do not underestimate grapefruit as well. While grapefruit is not considered as a superfruit or superfood, it sure belongs on the list of healthiest foods.
What makes grapefruit good is the low amount of sugars, but high amount of vitamin C. Which in essence, allows you to consume grapefruit in the afternoon and in the evening as well. I don’t know if you knew it, but most nutritionists recommend consuming fruits by 1pm. After that, the sugars from fruits cannot be processed by your body, and they are converted into fat. Grapefruit, on the other hand, can be consumed the whole day.
14. Sweet Potatoes
If you thought carrots are the best source for vitamin A, think again. Sweet potatoes have slow, but steady taken the top spot as best source for vitamin A, and they are considered a superfood in the past few years.
Aside from vitamin A, sweet potatoes are great source for potassium, and also protein. That being said, next time you cannot find a good and healthy side dish for your meals, look no further than sweet potatoes.
Essentially a seed, quinoa makes its way on the list of healthiest foods because of the healthy dose of all 9 essential amino acids. There is no other fruit or vegetable that provides all 9 amino acids in one serving.
Vegetarians also love quinoa because of the protein, since one serving contains almost 8 grams of protein. My advice, cook some quinoa seeds and add them to your salad.
16. Chia Seeds
Another healthy food that the Western has recently discovered. Some 10 years ago, chia seeds were not as talked as they are today. One serving of two tablespoons of chia seeds packs four grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, and five grams of omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to minerals, chia seeds contain potassium and calcium, two very much needed minerals for healthy body. When you add chia seeds to your smoothies, you do not need to “grow them with water”.
Smoothies are simple and easy way to add chia seeds to your diet. But I will also give you a simple recipe for chia pudding. You need three tablespoons of chia seeds, ¾ of a glass of almond milk (you can use water or regular milk), and some fruits (berries). Place the seeds in a jar, soak them in milk, and let them stay overnight. In the morning, add the berries, and enjoy your easy to make homemade chia pudding.