-What are the healthiest foods you should be eating?
Are you looking to increase your vitality, maybe get a little boost in your energy level?
-If you're searching for the secret to building a healthier body, adding in some of the top 10 foods to your diet will definitely get you started in the right direction!
You're probably already eating many of the foods on our top ten list anyway.
For optimum health and vigor, you may just need to eat a little more.
-Add as many of these healthy foods to your daily diet as you can.
-They promote good health, and give your body what it needs for that happy and healthy life we're all looking for!
-1. Acai (ah-sah'-ee) - Everyone's heard of this healthy berry by now, Oprah's promoting it as one of the top new "superfoods" as well as many nutritionists in the health food industry.
This small dark fruit of the Acai palm of South America, is often used in health drinks, and is available in liquid form by the bottle or in supplements as well at health food stores.
The fact is, it is rich in antioxidants and increases your energy levels. You can get more done every day, and look better doing it.
-2. Beans - Protein's the name of the game here, whether it's Chickpeas, Navy, Lentils or Kidney - beans are very high in protein, they also contain little in the way of calories or fat.
If getting enough fiber is a problem for you, eating healthy portions of beans every day promotes a healthy digestive tract and reduces many cancers, and it's cholesterol free!
-3. Allium Foods - Another of the healthiest foods includes leeks, shallots garlic, and onions. Garlic has long been known for its cholesterol lowering capabilities. Allium vegetables also help guard the body against the risk of many ailments, including cancer.
They can prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure. Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state, (especially garlic) can increase their health benefits, but don't forget the breath mints!
-4. Oats - Oatmeal has always been a popular breakfast food, and in recent years is being recognized as one of the true healthiest foods.
We've all seen the commercials for Cheerio's - true story. The whole grain oats do indeed help lower blood cholesterol
It's a filling grain that also provides you with much needed fiber to keep your blood sugar constant and your appetite at bay .
-5. Fruits - "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" - Once again, another true story. Fruits are just packed with antioxidants such as Vitamins C and A. These antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body, and help reduce the risk of many cancers.
The antioxidants in fruit also boost the body's immune system and help fight the effects of aging in the body.
Grapes and blueberries have the highest amount of these antioxidants, and choosing an array of fruits in a variety of colors for maximum health is a real good idea… and a tasty one too!
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-6. Peppers - Peppers contain antioxidants as well, like beta-carotene and Vitamin C. All peppers also contain a substance known as capsaicin.
Capsaicin has anti-inflammatory properties, is a pain reliever, and can lower the risk of many cancers, as well as heart disease. They're great in salads; salsa and stuffed peppers are a personal favorite of my family. Loved as a pizza topper too! But easy on the pizza please.
-7. Yogurt - The low-fat variety is best. Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and has 50% more protein than milk. If you don't care for milk, yogurt is a great alternative to getting the calcium you need to build strong bones and pretty white teeth.
Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system. (Seemed pretty friendly to me anyway)
-8. Salmon - Eating the healthiest foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, can help you reduce the risk of heart disease and many other health conditions, such as atherosclerosis. ( wild salmon, not farm-raised, for optimal heart healthy eating)
While it is true that salmon is a fatty fish, it contains good fats that have been proven to improve the health of adults, as well as children.
Salmon is one of the richest, healthiest foods on the planet in regard to protein. Any bodybuilder will tell you, protein is a necessity for strength training and building muscle, and it helps to deter muscle loss as we age.
-Five ounces of salmon contains 42 grams of protein.
The USDA recommends that men get 56 grams and women get 46 grams of protein every day.
-9. Flax seed - Like salmon, flax seed contains omega-3 fatty acids. This health food also contains omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids as well. This gives you a lot of power in the fight against high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes.
Grinding-up flax seed is a great way to add it to fruit smoothies.
You can also sprinkle it in yogurt, have it with cereal or add it to your favorite pancake recipe, to name just a few ideas, or you can always supplement of course .
-10. Nuts and seeds - Nuts are high in fat, but fortunately for us those fats once again, are the good kind. Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats with a fair amount of protein to boot.
L ike flax seed, crush them up and use them as a coating, instead of those higher carb breadcrumbs. Seeds and nuts also help lower your cholesterol.
Eat them right out of the shell (no additives) for a healthy snack, or eat the shell and all if you like, as with sunflower seeds.
Have you ever seen an unhealthy bird?
... More Healthy Foods
-11. Wheat Germ - The reproductive portion of the wheat kernel and also the most nutrient-rich part of the wheat. Really a “natural supplement”, it contains not only a host of B vitamins, but also calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous and zinc. Not to mention the complex carbs, Omega-3 fatty acids, and a very good source of fiber.
-It should be noted, if white bread is your bread of choice, almost all of the nutrients mentioned above are removed during processing.
Skip the white bread, eat wheat germ instead!
-The high fiber of wheat germ benefits weight loss and may reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease as well.
Add it to meat loaf and burgers, or as a substitute for breadcrumbs in coatings for all your healthy eating recipes. Or try adding 2 tablespoons to any hot breakfast cereal.
It's also great as a dessert topping, our family loves it on ice cream .
-12. Brewers Yeast - Another new addition to our healthiest foods list, it probably should be number 1 on the list! Brewers yeast benefits you in so many ways. Another natural supplement, it is said to increase metabolism and increase your energy levels.
-Unlike the live bacteria in Bakers yeast, the bacteria are destroyed when Brewers yeast is dried. (a good thing, or it would "steal" your B vitamins)
Rich in protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. It has the B complex vitamins B1, B2, B3, B7, as well as B5, B6 and B9, which are often missing in the drugstore variety supplements. These last 3 are scarce in our diet and aid greatly in fighting infection, especially as we age.
-Brewers yeast benefits you with 14 minerals and 17 vitamins. It’s high in fiber but low in sodium, carbs, calories and fat.(good for weight-watchers)
High in chromium, which can be helpful for diabetics and helps lower bad cholesterol and raises the good cholesterol. It is also one of the few sources of non-animal B-12 available. (Great for vegetarians)
-Good source of DNA/RNA, nucleic acids that enhance the immune system and may prevent degenerative diseases and slow the aging process. One of the best sources for heart healthy eating.
*Although it may prove beneficial to those with Hypoglycemia or diabetes, consult your doctor first; Brewers yeast can be dangerous while on insulin or other medications as it can change how your body responds to changes in blood sugar. (Also if allergic to penicillin, mold, or have gout)
The taste is often described as pea-nuty or cheesy, and varies depending on your source. It can be added to popcorn, shakes or smoothies. Adding it to prepared soups, stews, casseroles and baking is also common.
Mixing it with fruit juice or in your favorite smoothie recipe is another good way to add to your diet.
* As with any newly added item to your diet, it is always best to add them slowly at first to be sure you are not sensitive to it in any way.
-We may call them "health foods" - but just because they're health foods doesn't mean they aren't delicious as well, these 10 (12) healthiest foods are a great way to get more energy ....and a healthy body and mind.
Everyone has their own ideas of what the healthiest foods are. It doesn't really matter how healthy a particular food may be, if you don't eat it, and healthy eating habits are very important as well.
-So make your own list, take as many from our list as you can, then add in as many healthy foods as possible from the balanced food chart.
If you eat the healthiest foods, you can't help but be at your healthiest!
- After all, you are what you eat! (Okay ...daily exercise helps a lot too)
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