It seems like almost every day the news media is reporting on some food that’s found to be bad for you. One day it’s carbs, another day fats, and yet another day meat – I mean, how is a girl supposed to EAT??
Now I must admit that I don’t believe there are many “bad” foods (it’s all about balance, right?).
But these YES foods are packed with essential nutrients and compounds that have been positively associated with preventing diseases and minimizing the adverse effects of aging (how great is THAT?)
But here’s 10 AMAZING foods you should be adding to your diet:
1. ALMONDS – They’re one of my favorite snack foods and a good source of potassium, low in ‘bad’ fats and high in ‘good’ fats. However, like most nuts they are high in calories so watch how many you eat. I usually eat about 10 or so as a snack. And they’ll keep you FULL for a while, really.
2. SALMON – We’ve been hearing a lot about omega-3 fatty acids. In short, they are essential to human health but cannot be manufactured by the body. So we must get them from foods. The American diet is also severely lacking in omega-3 and salmon is a great way to get some.
3. APPLES – They do say that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and I couldn’t agree more! They’re crunchy, come in many colors, and available in the U.S. most of the year. They’re a good source of fiber too.
4. BROWN RICE – You’ve probably heard by now that we all need to eat more “whole grains”. Brown rice is a whole grain and much superior to white rice. White rice has basically been stripped of the good stuff while brown rice includes the bran and germ of the natural grain. It is SO EASY to replace white rice with brown rice and get the added benefits.
5. STRAWBERRIES – I fell in love with strawberries in France. They eat them in season when they’re bursting with flavor and are a bright red color. I would literally buy 4 pints at the local farmer’s market and eat them within a few days – easy for me to do! Like most berries, they contain powerful antioxidants and lots of vitamin C.
6. TOMATOES – They eat a lot of tomatoes in both Italy and France and those Mediterraneans are doing something right – and tomatoes are a big part of the picture! They’re loaded with vitamin C and have lycopene which has shown to have cancer-preventing properties.
7. QUINOA – Another whole grain option which is becoming popular today, though I actually discovered it in France. It’s been around for thousands of years (yes, thousands!) and native to South America. It was even once called the “Gold of the Incas” for it’s values in increasing the stamina of warriors. It’s high and protein and also a complete protein, which means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids.
8. YOGURT – The French are known for their love of yogurt and I can tell you the yogurt isle at the supermarket in France is HUGE. Personally I eat the whole-milk yogurt, though the low-fat ones are good too. I ONLY buy the PLAIN yogurt as the fruit and other flavored ones here in the U.S. have LOTS of sugar. Best to add your own fruits (like strawberries) and a pinch of sugar for just a touch of sweetness.
9. CARROTS – Remember parents and doctors telling us to eat our carrots to help our eyesight? Turns out they were right! Carrots have antioxidant compounds that help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, and also promote good vision, especially night vision.
10. KIDNEY BEANS – They’re rich in fiber, iron and protein. They can be a great substitute for the occasional meatless meal and a good source of magnesium, folate, and potassium. They’re also full of fiber which helps keep you full.
Though you may hear about good foods and bad foods, just know that all foods are fine if eaten in moderation. But if you’re looking to eat BETTER, these amazing foods can to point you in the right direction.