Do you know the best foods to eat for a healthier body? One of my goals for 2009 is to eat healthier. I’m not overweight or in terrible shape, but I know that my eating habits are not what they should be.
As I grow older, I want to do what I can to ensure my quality of life doesn’t deteriorate. Therefore, this year, I’m going to concentrate on choosing the best foods to eat.
Keeping it simple by focusing on the eight best foods to eat
There is so much confusing information out there about how to eat healthier. It can all be overwhelming and confusing.
Some people seem to really enjoy researching what to eat and closely monitoring their diet. Not me! Instead, I want to keep it simple. I think this is the best way for me to stick to eating healthier.
So, I’ve done a little research on the best foods to eat and I’ve found the eight foods that are the best to eat everyday. These suggestions come from the publishers of the book Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds–or More!
I’m going to concentrate on these eight super foods to make it easy and simple.
The eight best foods to eat everyday for better health!
Spinach is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate. It will help me reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. The goal is to eat one cup of fresh spinach or a half cup of cooked spinach a day. This isn’t as hard as it seems. You can throw a few fresh spinach leaves on top of a salad or pizza, or add it as an ingredient to your morning omelette (you eat a good breakfast right?).
This one is pretty easy for me because I like to eat yogurt. It boosts your immune system by providing tons of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt also helps to protect your system from cancer and cavities. I’d like to keep my own chompers to eat with when I get old. Just make sure that your yogurt includes live, active cultures and avoid brands that include high fructose corn syrup. Mix blueberries and walnuts into your yogurt and you have a powerhouse breakfast or snack.
3. Red Tomatoes
I can add tomatoes to my sandwich or salad, drink low-sodium V-8, or just slice one up and eat it by itself! These powerhouses are packed with lycopene which is a terrific antioxidant. The equivalent of 8 cherry red tomatoes or one glass of tomato juice a day can reduce my risk of several different cancers as well as coronary artery disease!
Carotenoids are fat-soluble compounds that reduce the risk for a wide-range of cancers. They also help ease inflammatory diseases like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. A half a cup a day of carrots a day is low in calories and packs all the carotenoids you need. I like to eat raw baby carrots as a snack or add some grated carrots to my salad.
As I mentioned above, mixing blueberries into my morning yogurt or blending them into a fresh fruit smoothie for an afternoon treat is easy. These tiny berries pack more antioxidants than any other North American fruit. They help prevent cancer, diabetes and age-related memory loss. They are also rich in fiber, as well as, vitamins A and C. I’ll strive to eat one cup a day.
6. Black Beans
What to boost your brain power? Eat a half of cup of black beans a day! These jewels are loaded with anthocyanin which improves brain function. Black beans are also good for your heart. The half a cup I mentioned contains 8 grams of protein to keep you from feeling so hungry so often and 7.5 grams of fiber for good colon health. Black beans are great in burritos, quesadillas, or tossed in a salad.
The walnut is truly a super food and I only need to eat about 1 once per day! They pack more heart-healthy omega 3s than salmon, more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and half as much protein as chicken! Only walnuts include all three of these benefits. They are great as a mid-morning snack all by themselves!
Oats, like you find in oatmeal, have soluble fiber which reduces the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber also helps to lower cholesterol which is something I need to do. I will limit my intake to about a half a cup a day because oats are loaded with carbs which convert to sugar.
Eating healthier is not as hard as it seems
I feel that focusing on these eight foods is a simple way to eat healthier without going crazy. It is amazing to me the amount of benefit I can gain from just these eight simple foods. Heart disease and cancer are obviously two of the biggest things that concern me and this strategy addresses them head on. These foods are also low in calories and when combined with 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, I might even see a few pounds drop off the old body!
Note: I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. I am simply passing along what I’ve read from credible sources. You should consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen!
Photo by NatalieMaynor