Contrary to popular belief, healthy eating does not revolve around plates full of celery sticks. In fact, it is about consuming the right quantities of foods from each food group. Looking for healthy foods to eat, are you? Opt for a balanced diet consisting of the five major food groups:
- Whole Grains: Think twice before you ditch carbohydrates from your diet. Foods bursting with carbohydrates are broken down as glucose molecules, which are the body’s main source of energy. Whole grains are among the best sources of carbohydrates because they do not digest easily. This prevents the body’s sugar level from rising and falling too quickly.
- Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Consuming adequate protein reduces the risk of muscle loss and helps curb hunger, and this eventually leads to weight loss.
- Fruits and Vegetables: You cannot eat healthy without including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and veggies are rich in fiber and water that keeps you full and hydrated at the same time. Fiber also provides roughage for the digestive system, leading to improved gastronomical health.
- Fats: A healthy and balanced diet should consist of moderate amounts of fat. Fat is one of the primary sources of energy, providing three times more energy than carbohydrates!
- Dairy: Low-fat milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt are all rich in calcium and protein, vital for healthy bones and skin. Eating calcium rich foods improves bone mass and bone density, preventing conditions, such as arthritis.
List of Healthy Foods
Are you determined to switch to healthier food? Perhaps it is time for you to familiarize yourself with these healthy foods, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and are energy boosters.
Of all the leafy greens, kale is the king. This green veggie is loaded with powerful medicinal properties and is a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of kale consists of only 36 calories, giving you more reason to include this vegetable in your diet. Some benefits of eating kale include:
- Lose Weight: Kale contains minimal calories but is rich in fiber that helps keep you full for long periods, i.e. it is perfect for weight loss.
- Iron-Rich: Kale is now being termed the ‘new beef’ because it contains more iron. Iron is an important component of the blood and plays an imperative role in cell growth and proper liver function.
- Detox: Apart from green tea, kale is a fabulous detox food that is rich in anti-oxidants. This leafy green is rich in sulfur and fiber, which help flush toxins out of the body.
- High Vitamin Content: Kale is high in vitamin A and C, which improves vision and boosts the immune system respectively.
Alternatives: Spinach, red cabbage, radish greens
This sneaky food may cook like grains but it is actually a herbaceous plant. The plant is one of the best sources of protein and contains all nine essential amino acidsrequired by the body. According to Forbes, here are some of the benefits of including Quinoa in your diet:
- High Fiber Content: Apart from aiding in weight loss, fiber plays an imperative role in preventing heart diseases and relieving constipation. Quinoa has twice as much fiber as any grain and helps people feel full without consuming too many calories.
- Gluten Free: This healthy food is completely gluten free, perfect for people who are suffering from gluten intolerance.
- High in Proteins: ‘Essential amino acids’ are amino acids which are not produced by the body and thus need to be consumed through a healthy diet. Quinoa is an exceptional food that is rich in all seven essential amino acids and is an excellent source of protein.
Alternatives: Couscous, spelt, millet
Want more Quinoa Recipes? Check out these 8 tasty new quinoa recipes that are great additions to your meal plan.
Have you ever wondered why a glass of lemonade felt so refreshing on a hot summer day? Lemons are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals that provide the body instant energy. Start your morning with a glass of warm lemon water to flush down toxins and lose the few extra pounds. Benefits of lemon include:
- Boosts Immune System: Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, great for fighting off colds and respiratory symptoms.
- Aid in Weight Loss: Lemons are among the best foods for weight loss. Start your day off with a glass of warm lemon water to curb hunger and reduce bloating.
- Cleanses the System: Lemon effectively cleanses your system and releases toxins, which stimulates the liver and aids with detoxification.
Alternatives: Oranges, grapefruits, kiwis
According to BBC Good Foods, salmon is among the healthiest foods in the world. Salmon is rich in a number of healthy fats, including omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA. Ditch unhealthy sources of protein and improve your diet by including salmon. Benefits of eating salmon include:
- Rich in Nutrients: Salmon is nutrient dense and is rich in a number of vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fatty acids.
- Brain Food: Salmon is ‘brain food’ and boosts long-term and short-term memory.
- Rich in Vitamin D: Vitamin D is imperative for good health and reduces the risks of cancer.
Alternatives: Eggs and other seafood
Healthy Food Recipes
Now that you have a list of healthy foods, incorporate these foods into your diet.Browse through the internet for recipes. Here is a healthy Kale smoothie recipe to get you started by Real Foods:
Healthy Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups stemmed kale, chopped (can be substituted with spinach)
- 1 ripe banana, chopped
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups pineapple, chopped
- Chunk all the ingredients inside a blender and puree until smooth
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. fried basil
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 salmon, 6 ounces
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 4 lemon wedges
- In a small bowl, stir together garlic powder, basil, and salt
- Cover the salmon fillets with the above mixture
- Melt butter in the skillet and cook the salmon on top of it 5 minutes, each side
- Serve with lemon wedges
Try these simple recipes and eating healthy will never seem like a chore again.