Eating healthy is not as hard as you might think. When we’re on a diet, it always seems like there’s nothing to eat except for salads, but the opposite is true. There are plenty of foods you can eat without gaining fat, and you’d be surprised to learn how many foods you can eat that are both extremely nutritious and delicious! Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean being on a diet; you should make a choice to eat better every day – it doesn’t mean renouncing the good old carbs that have always been there for us and eating exclusively fruits and vegetables, but simply integrating them into your daily menu. Scroll down to see the diversity of healthy foods, and you’ll realize that eating healthy is a piece of cake!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away is not just something your parents told you as a child to get you to eat more fruits! Apples are indeed one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and they contain almost no fat, which means you can eat them without gaining weight.
Apples contain a lot of food energy, such as fiber, vitamin c. and antioxidants. These are fancy names and they sound pretty convincing, but not all of us know what antioxidants are and why are they good for us – that’s what we’re here for! We have in our bodies damaging substances called free radicals, which cause undesirable changes in our body; the antioxidants help to combat these free radicals.
Fish is one of the best sources of protein and vitamins, particularly omega-3 and vitamin D. Specifically, as strange as it may sound, fat fish are the best sources of nutrients: they contain oils that are known to provide benefits for the heart, and are a great option for people in the risk of heart diseases. Studies have found that people who eat fish regularly are at a lower risk of suffering a heart attack.
Yes, there is such things as healthy fats; after all, we need to have all the major food groups, and the includes fats. But that’s not all – it was also found that fish are good for improving your cognitive skills and memory. To top it off, fish are lean and low in calories – so there’s really no reason not to eat them! The best fat fish are salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel.
Legumes are incredibly high in nutrition and provide a great source healthy fiber and protein – which makes them a perfect replacement of meat or fish, for the vegetarians among us. They are loaded in protein, fiber, iron and vitamins, specifically B1, B3, B5 and B6. The names might mean nothing to you, but these are some important vitamins!
Common legumes include different kinds of lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas and soybeans. Legumes are not just nutritious, but are extremely satisfying. There are plenty of different ways to eat them, and so you can eat legumes everyday without getting bored of it.
Let us begin with the most important fact: oats are a gluten-free whole grain. Consider changing your breakfast from a bowl of cereal, which is packed with sugar, to a bowl of oats: they are a great source of fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and at the same time – low in calories! It doesn’t get any better than that.
Studies have found that eating oats can lower the risk of suffering from heart disease, as it reduces the levels of blood cholesterol. Oatmeal has always been around, but in the past 20 years it gained popularity, as awareness of its many health benefits was significantly raised. Combined with a low-fat diet (as detailed in this article), it can do magic to your body!
Avocado is another example of a food that contains healthy fats. Much like fish, it also provides vitamins and omega-3. Because avocados are packed with healthy fats, it keeps you full and satisfied for a long time.There are plenty of dishes to prepare with avocados, and we here that there’s even a cookbook dedicated purely to the green plant.
Last but not least, avocados are incredibly photogenic. Since awareness of the health benefits of avocados was raised, their popularity was accordingly raised, and with the Instagram culture that is here to stay, they have somehow become the biggest stars of social media.
Broth based soups
If you ever traveled to South East Asia, you probably noticed they eat soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they are incredibly thin. What’s their secret, you wonder? The answer is broth-based soups. Their diet is comprised mostly of rice, clear soups and vegetables – and you can’t go wrong with that.
Broth based soups are incredibly low in fat, but rich in zinc, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. They are good for lowering risk of heart disease, but here’s something we haven’t heard yet – broth-based soups are exceptionally good for your digestion. If your stomach is sensitive, broth-based soups are known to improve digestion, and so they are a perfect choice for dinner, lunch or even breakfast, if you keep your mind open.
Coconuts and coconut oil in particular don’t just smell and taste good, but they are extremely healthy for us. You’ve probably heard of the hundreds of original uses people find for coconut oil – such as hair mask, face mask, skin mask and whatnot, but the best thing you can do with coconut is actually eat it.
Using coconut oil in your food has some surprising health benefits. What makes coconut oil so healthy is that it’s rich in healthy fats and fiber. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while healthy fat is good for you, there’s also such a thing as too much fat, and you don’t want that either. So, moderation is key here.
Finally, something good on the list! With all due respect to avocados and apples, they don’t really make for a good movie snack. You might find it hard to believe, but this isn’t a mistake – popcorn really does belong on this list. Provided that it’s not extremely salted nor contains any added ingredients (such as butter), in its natural state popcorn is an ultimate snack for people watching their weight.
Popped corn seeds, otherwise known as popcorn, are surprisingly low in fat and calories. Corn is whole grain, so it covers your daily amount of grain consumption, and it’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as zinc and calcium. However, to our dismay, this doesn’t apply to movie-theaters popcorn, as it tends to be packed with salt and butter.
Beetroot is an acquired taste, and many of us don’t like it, but those who do are in luck, because it’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat. What’s special about beetroot is that the dietary nitrates it contains have been found to enhance athletic performance, and that’s the reason why you hear of athletes eating (or drinking) beetroot all the time.
Studies have found that beetroot can help reduce risk of heart disease, as it keeps your cholesterol under control and your blood pressure in check! Beets have a bad reputation for some reason, but don’t shy away from them – It can be a great addition to your meal or to your morning shake, if you’re a shake person.
We’re back to the Asian cuisine, because they know how to keep it healthy! We’re referring to the edible kind of algae, mostly seaweed – and not the kind that grows on top of ponds or at the bottom of pools. Algae isn’t just incredibly nutritious, but it can actually create positive changes in your body, such as replacing dysfunctional cells.
Studies show that algae stimulates the natural healing, regeneration and repair of your body. And to the boring part – like any other healthy food, it contains vitamins, protein and iron – which are all needed to strengthen your body and immune system.
Okay, so everyone knows about the health benefits of apples or oats, but here’s another delicious food you probably didn’t expect to find on this list: Pineapple. The tropical fruit contains a crucial amount of nutrients, including vitamins, fiber, protein and iron. They are also rich in antioxidants and contain enzymes that improve your digestion.
Not that you need another reason to eat more pineapple, but studies have found that the nutrients provided by pineapple can help reduce the risk of disease, such as arthritis, ans speed the body’s recovery after suffering injuries or surgery, or even an extraneous exercise.
And we’re back to the obvious: another green vegetables that’s good for your health. But unlike broccoli or green beans, kale only gained popularity in the past few years, when we discovered another surprisingly healthy ingredient that’s been right under our noses this whole time. Kale contains antioxidants, which we already established the importance of, vitamins and calcium.
The high amount of fiber and antioxidants in kale can help reduce the risk of disease, specifically diabetes and heart disease, as it lowers the blood glucose levels (the amount of sugar in your blood) – so kale is sort of the superman of foods, as it combats the enemies of our body. Seems like a good enough reason to start eating kale today.
As simple as it seems, cottage cheese is another one of the healthiest foods you should add to your diet. You may not know this, but cottage cheese is rich in protein, magnesium, potassium and vitamins, in just the right amount of each. Thus, cottage cheese can do wonders to your body: it improves your digestion, maintains blood cholesterol and sugar levels, and strengthens your teeth!
How can a simple thing such as cottage cheese do all those things? Cottage cheese also contains calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and also strengthens your hair and fingernails. That’s why eating cottage cheese regularly is also a great way to keep your hair strong and lively.
citrus fruits include mandarins, oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit – they are so varied, that you can find them all year round. Really, there’s no excuse why not to eat them. A popular use for citrus fruits is making juice or shakes, and 3 percent of the citrus fruit in the world is used to squeeze juices!
You might know this about oranges, but all citrus fruits are rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which strengthens our immune system – that’s why drinking fresh orange juice can perform as a natural remedy to avoid a cold or flu. It’s advised to eat or drink citrus fruit all year round, but especially when you’re feeling under the weather, as it strengthens your body.
Celery sticks with peanut butter are a great option for an afternoon snack that is both healthy and surprisingly delicious. Consider replacing the same old peanut better and jelly sandwich with this snack – and your body will thank you. Celery is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, as it is rich with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and low in calories.
The reason it makes for a perfect snack after a big lunch is because celery also improves your digestion; in addition to antioxidants, it contains anti-inflammatory nutrients, which supports the digestion system. Since it’s comprised of mainly water, celery is good for maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
Cantaloupe is one underrated fruit. Unlike apples or oranges, no one really knows the many health benefits of cantaloupe – that’s what we’re here for! Much like celery, cantaloupe is comprised of a high amount of water, vitamins and minerals.
According to recent studies, the antioxidants contained in a cantaloupe can improve your vision and lower the risk of having your vision deteriorated at old age. But wait, that’s not all – studies have found that the antioxidants found in a cantaloupe can reduce the risk of developing asthma. Seeing as eating cantaloupe now can help you in the future, there’s no better time to start.
Cucumber is something you can find in any cuisine, anywhere in the world. It’s perhaps the most common garden vegetable, and it’s as healthy as it is simple. The lean vegetable contains in it more vitamins and minerals than you probably imagined. First off, since cucumbers are 95 percent water (we all know that), eating cucumbers can keep you hydrated.
The different vitamins contained in cucumbers can help improve your vision (no, it’s not just carrots), your immune system and your blood pressure – all that in the simple green vegetable that we all have in our kitchen. It is important, though, to peel the cucumber or make sure to wash it carefully.
Berries of any kind aren’t just beautiful and delicious, they are also high in fiber, vitamins and potassium, which makes them super healthy. Much like cucumbers or cantaloupe, berries can help combat disease such as age-related blindness, heart disease and even cancer. Studies have shown that pterostilbene, a nutrient found in abundance in berries, may help protect your body from colon cancer.
Of course, this should all be taken with a grain of salt – berries and other fruits and vegetables aren’t magical remedies of disease, but eating them regularly in a balanced diet can certainly help reduce risk of such disease. Berries can be easily integrated into your diet in the morning with a bowl of oats or yogurt, in a shake as an afternoon snack, or just have them as they are, any time of day.
Try not to go nuts when you hear this, but nuts of almost all kinds are one of the healthiest things you can eat. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and even peanuts – they each contain different nutrients that are necessary to maintain a healthy body. Almonds are rich in calcium, cashews are high in iron, walnuts contain omega-3 and antioxidants, hazelnuts are rich in magnesium and vitamins, and pecans contain healthy fats.
Though they are rather high in calories (compared to other foods on the list, that is), nuts are still incredibly nutritious – in moderation. They are a perfect snack especially for the vegans out there, as they contain iron and protein, which are usually consumed through meat products, so they provide the ultimate replacement of meat for vegans and vegetarians.
Let’s start with the question we’re all wondering but are too embarrassed to ask: what are chia seeds? We hear so much about them lately, as they are covering almost every dish on our Instagram feed and in coffee shops, but how many of us really knows what they are produced from? Chia seeds are the edible seeds of a plant from the mint family.
Why are they good for us? Chia seeds are exceptionally high in protein, healthy fats and fiber, and they are low in calories, as they contain no sugar. According to studies, the special power of chia seeds is combating high cholesterol and diabetes, as it helps to maintain low blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
There’s a reason why Popeye’s magic muscle-boost was spinach, and why your parent insisted you eat your broccoli – green vegetables are incredibly healthy for you! Green vegetables of all kinda are high in antioxidants, minerals, fiber – pretty much everything that is good for us – you can find in green vegetables. Pretty amazing, huh?
Eating green vegetables regularly can have plenty of health benefits; among other things, it improves our vision, it improves our metabolism and digestion, and it provides us with sun protection! That’s right, it has been said that green vegetables increase our body’s defenses again sun damage. That’s not to say you can throw way the sunscreen, but just make sure to integrate as many green vegetables to your diet as possible.
Another ingredient we all have in our kitchen is eggs, and you’d be surprised to learn the wonders it can do to your body! First off, eggs are extremely high in protein, with the full package of amino acids and selenium, which are important for us. Just as important, they are also rich in minerals and vitamins.
The best way to consume eggs, though, much like popcorn or anything else on this list, is in their natural form – without additives or too much salt. Accordingly, the best form of eggs is hard-boiled eggs, since they are not fried, and they are more satisfying to your body than any other kind of egg.
This might come as a surprise to you, but yogurt is an crucial ingredient in many different cuisines around the world – some people simply can’t live without it! And you should start eating yogurt to, if you haven’t until now. Yogurt contains the nutrients almost all dairy products do, such as calcium, magnesium and vitamins (B2 and B12 to be precise).
But yogurt is healthier than milk and other dairy products, including even cottage cheese; yogurt contains probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that are naturally present in our digestive system – these are crucial for strengthening our immune system and our bones.
The better kind of potatoes, sweet potatoes are another example of healthy fats. They provide us with minerals, fiber and protein, and though they are rather high in carbs, they are still extremely nutritious. It is also said that anthocyanins found in purple sweet potato can protect us from suffering brain damage at old age.
There are plenty of ways and variations of eating sweet potato; the most common are sweet potato chips, baked or fried – it’s delicious both ways, mashed sweet potatoes, and adding baked sweet potato as a side dish to almost every meal is possible (well, perhaps not breakfast).
Last but not least is chicken, because we don’t want the eternal carnivores feeling left out. Lean meat of any kind, such as chicken, is also healthier than most of us know. Chicken is very rich in protein, and so it’s the main source of protein for most people around the world (not counting vegetarians). We mentioned protein as an important nutrient in all the foods on the list, but why is it so good for us? Protein helps to strengthener and maintain our muscles, that’s why athletes regularly consume it after a workout.
Chicken is also a great source of minerals that play an important role in protecting our bones. Last but not least, chicken improves our immune system, and so much like orange juice, drinking chicken soup when you’re feeling under the weather is not an old grandma tale – it is scientifically based that it can boost our immune system.