Some people perceive food as our worst enemy. But the truth is, it can help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, stroke, liver disease… and of course, it keeps us from dying of starvation. The health of your body is in direct proportion to your food choices, so it’s time to start including the following foods in your diet every single day:
They are big time power foods. Antioxidants help control free radicals, so that our cells stay a product of normal bodily functions. Antioxidant-rich foods can also reduce and prevent heart disease. So what foods are rich in antioxidants?
- Blueberries are the perfect example. They have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit, and contain less than 1 calorie per berry!
- Green tea is also a miracle worker. It has been linked with reducing cancer, increasing life span, and fighting disease. It also gives your metabolism a boost, which helps you burn calories.
- Pomegranates will fight disease and give you folic acid. Plus, it’s also low in calories with just 235 per fruit.
2. Leafy Greens
They are low in calories and rich in benefits. Check these out:
- Kale has just 34 calories per cup, and can help you lose up to 23% more weight! Fill up on this delicious veggie and watch the pounds fall away.
- Raw Spinach is even smarter at 7 calories per cup. Plus, your bones will thank you later, because this veggie contains almost 200% of the daily recommended levels of Vitamin K.
Okay, what is an omega-3? Well, it’s a “good” fatty acid that your body needs to function. And since we don’t produce them all on our own, we have to get them from foods or nutritional supplements. The following foods are rich in Omega-3s and will give you the maximum amount you need to function and lose weight:
- Salmon contains some of the highest levels of this essential fatty acid as any food on the planet. Try it canned, which is cheaper than buying it fresh.
- Sardines may be tiny and canned, but they’re less expensive than regular fish, are high in protein, and are packed with what…? You guessed it: omega-3s.
Fiber is also a super food, meaning that when you include it in an already healthy diet, it can severely reduce your risk of encountering diseases like colon cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and digestive tract disorders. 20 grams per day is ideal, and it can be found in so many places! Fruits and vegetables with the skin on, whole grains, cereals, beans, peas and nuts, are high in fiber and a great addition to anyone’s diet.
You probably already know how critical protein is for health and weight loss. Check out these great, healthy sources of protein:
- Two large eggs contain a whopping, lean 12 grams of protein, which is more than 25% of your daily protein needs. In fact, an International Journal of Obesity study found that women who had an egg-based breakfast every day lost more than twice as much weight as those who started their day with just a bagel or other carb.
- Greek yogurt is hard to top when it comes to diet-friendly protein. Just a 7 oz. serving contains as much protein as half a chicken breast!
- Quinoa is a crunchy grain that contains about 8 grams per cup. Plus it’s a healthy carb so you will get your healthy fill of that, too.
6. Chicken Breast
This lean protein is full of essential vitamins and nutrients that assist in strengthening our immune systems. It’s also reputed to be one of the safest meats available on the market. And it can be spiced up in such tasty, creative ways! Season it with spices, marinate it, and then bake it or grill it to serve and enjoy with almost any meal!
7. Monounsaturated Fats
Fat can be such a scary word, but they keep our body from starving and our brains from going insane. Monounsaturated fats contain one double-bonded carbon molecule, as opposed to the two or more in polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats have none. Monounsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and solidify when placed in the refrigerator. Monounsaturated fats, which are sometimes called omega-9 fats, come in two forms, defined by the way the molecules are configured. These two forms are known as eliadic acid and oleic acid. You can find them in these heart-healthy foods:
- Almonds contain just 7 calories per nut and have loads of protein and healthy fat. This combination prevents blood sugar fluctuations that lead to overeating.
- Avocados are a fruit (yes, a fruit) that contain the monounsaturated fat that will release hormones to keep you fuller, longer. Include one in your breakfast to keep the cravings at bay all day!
- Olive Oil is a multi-use monounsaturated fat that naturally curbs inflammation, cell damage, and chronic disease. It’s also great at reducing belly fat, and makes a fabulous, healthy salad dressing!
Let me know in the comments if this post resonated with you and if you have any questions or tips I haven’t already covered!
To your health,