What we eat has a direct impact on our health. Nutrient-rich foods help our bodies function properly and protect us from disease. Conversely, foods that are high in sugar, fat, and calories can contribute to weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
Eating the best foods for good health is not as complicated or costly as many people think. In fact, some of the most nutritious foods are also some of the most affordable.
The Healthiest Foods for You and Your Family
Most experts agree that the best way to eat for good health is to focus on nutrient-dense whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are essential for our overall health. Additionally, they are generally low in calories and unhealthy fats.
By filling our diets with these healthy foods, we can reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. So next time you’re wondering whether the food you’re eating is good for your health, just think about how many nutrients it contains. If it’s packed with nutrients, chances are it’s good for you!
A trip to your local grocery store puts literally hundreds of food choices before you. Some are obviously healthy choices, but the majority use outright fabrications to get us to believe our diets are good for us.
To help you choose more wisely, here are 20 of the best foods for good health, in alphabetical order. These are the best foods to eat for your health, weight loss, and maintaining a healthy weight.
The Best Foods for Good Health, Dieting, and Maintaining Your Weight:
1. Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. They may also lower cholesterol.
2. Asparagus is loaded with anti inflammatory nutrients and high amounts of folic acid, and has even been shown to halt the formation of cancerous tumors.
3. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are known to be good for your heart. They are also exceptional carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Eating them helps your heart stay healthy, regulates blood sugar, and may even have anti-cancer benefits.
4. Berries, no matter the color, are naturally chock full of antioxidants that help your brain and eyes. Recent studies have found that strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have properties that help to reduce the risk of both breast and cervical cancer.
5. Bell peppers are a natural source of antioxidants (the vitamins A, C, and E) and may help the body in neutralizing free radicals, cutting your chances of disease.
6. Black beans have all the same beneficial compounds you find in berries, tea, and red wine, plus lots of protein and fiber. They’re an affordable way to keep your heart healthy, your body cancer-free.
7. Broccoli is loaded with vitamins C and K, plus the phytochemicals indoles and sulforaphane, which are thought to be cancer-fighting nutrients. This crunchy veggie has also been shown to be good for the cardiovascular system.
8. Brussels sprouts are another of the cruciferous veggies that are a natural source of nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K and the mineral selenium that’s known to help the body fight free radicals.
9. Butternut squash is full of vitamin C and low in calories too. Plus it has beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, nutrients that have been shown to lower the risk of developing lung cancer.
10. Chicken breast is a fantastic source of lean protein as well as coenzyme Q10, essential for the turnover of skin cells. It’s a great muscle food.
11. Edamame is a Japanese soybean that’s loaded with vitamins B and C, and is one of the only natural sources of vitamin E. These beans are also a natural protein source and are loaded with antioxidants and isoflavones.
12. Eggs are essential for a high protein diet, always available, and affordable too. Research has linked the intake of eggs with better brain health, lower inflammation, and improved heart health. There’s even a finding that eating eggs can help your cholesterol levels, and that’s good for your heart.
13. Flaxseed can be sprinkled over your morning cereal or blended into a smoothie to give you an abundant source of calcium, magnesium, and fiber. The seeds also boast high levels of lignans and have been associated with the prevention of many health conditions, including heart disease.
14. Garlic is known to cut your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while also protecting blood cells and vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress. The natural compounds in this herb might also protect against the cellular changes that lead to cancerous tumors or help them grow.
15. Onions are naturally loaded with sulfur-containing substances, so they aren’t great for your breath, but they do wonders for the rest of you. More than one study has found that eating onions can have benefits for your heart, as in protection against heart attack when eaten as part of an overall heart-healthy diet.
16. Spinach is a leafy green that is one of the most nutrient-dense items you can buy. Add to a salad or steam it as a lunch or dinner side dish, and you’ll get your daily dose of vitamin K and so much more, perhaps even protection from an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
17. Salmon is a fantastic choice with lots of lean protein and omega-3 heart-healthy fatty acids that have been shown to lower the risk of death due to heart disease. Wild caught salmon is the most nutritionally pure and doesn’t have the food coloring and antibiotics of farm-bred.
18. Sweet potatoes are full of complex carbs and phytochemicals and are a fabulous source of many vitamins, beta-carotene and fiber. Multiple studies have found a parallel between eating this tasty sweet veggie and having healthy eyes.
19. Tomatoes are a natural source of antioxidants and are low in calories too. They have lots of lycopene, a substance that might have cardiovascular benefits and may also protect your skin from damage by the sun. Regular tomato consumption in men might even help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
20. Yogurt is one of the top ways to eat dairy and still lose weight fast. Many studies have linked the consumption of yogurt to better digestive health and an overall lower amount of body fat. Some yogurts can have lots of sugar, so you might want to try Greek yogurt for a more natural alternative.
We’re all familiar with the phrase “moderation in all things.” When you center your diet around the best foods for good health, two things happen:
- Moderation in your eating habits becomes much easier.
- Cravings of all kinds will disappear. That’s important because very few of us want to give up all foods that aren’t particularly healthy.
The real secret to eating healthy is to educate yourself about the best foods for good health and then commit to learning to maintain a healthy balance between the foods that ensure the best health along with the best weight and the ones that don’t.