“6 Foods That Should Be A Part Of Your Every Day Meal”
Dieting is a tough act whereas, eating is fun. Right? That means the easiest way to drop pounds and slim down is to do exactly what you’re already doing: eat! Just make sure you’re getting in the right foods. Below, we uncover which nutrient-rich foods deserve a place in your diet daily and how to sneak them into your meals. But some foods deemed “super” are a little too exotic to fit into our everyday diets (ahem, goji berry?!) or something—like, say, sardines—that you’d only have once in a while. Healthy? Yes. Would you eat them every day? Nah!!. And while we’re all for trying new foods, especially the super healthy kind, it’s nice to know that you can stock up on superfood staples every week and they’ll be easy to fit into your diet.
All berries are great sources of fiber—a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy and working properly and is good for your heart and your waistline, since it’s so filling. All berries are good for you so be sure to mix it up. In the winter, when berries aren’t in season, grab frozen (without sweeteners) which are great for smoothies, oatmeal, or thawed in yogurt. Raspberries boast the most fiber at 8 grams per cup—and also contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties. The same amount of blueberries has half the fiber (4 grams), but is packed with anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help keep memory sharp as you age. A cup of strawberries contains 3 grams of fiber, but more than a full day’s recommended dose of skin-firming vitamin C.
What can’t nuts do? They’re packed with healthy poly unsaturated fats and magnesium, two important nutrients for heart health. These nutrients may also offer protection against insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Antioxidant compounds found in nuts, including ellagic acid and resveratrol, can reduce the wear and tear on your body from free radicals. In turn, this lowers inflammation, which may reduce cancer risk. Plus, nuts provide insoluble fiber, which studies suggest may help you stay healthy by feeding beneficial gut bacteria. Spread nut butter on toast, grab a handful of nuts for a snack or make your own simple trail mix.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are so brilliantly orange due to their alpha and beta carotene. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phyto chemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals. One medium sweet potato—or about 1/2 cup—provides nearly four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A, plus some vitamin C and B6, potassium, manganese and lutein and zeaxanthin.
There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice.
Yogurt contains probiotics or “good bacteria” that help keep our guts healthy. It’s also rich in calcium. Just 1 cup of yogurt provides nearly half the recommended daily value of calcium and delivers phosphorus, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and protein. Choose Greek yogurt for an even bigger protein boost and whenever possible reach for plain. Flavored yogurts tend to have lots of added sugar which add calories without nutrition.
The éminence grise of health food, oats garnered the FDA’s first seal of approval. They are packed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease. Well, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, they deliver steady, muscle-friendly energy.
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