You know you need to eat healthily but is it all just about quinoa and kale? Are there other great foods you should be consuming to be as healthy as possible? You’ve come to the right place because in this episode I’m going to share some of the best foods out there that you should be eating.
Some of the foods on this list are going to be familiar but I’ll share why they are so healthy and conditions that they can help with. There will also be a bunch that you may have never tried – or ever heard of – but you’ll want to start considering them.
O.K let’s do this thing…
In This Episode On The 15 Best Foods You Will Learn:
- Which grains are the best choice
- Which fruits you want to focus on
- The difference between beans and lentils
- Which foods help lower cholesterol
- Which foods are good at combating heart disease
- The 6 best types of fish to eat
- The type of rice you really want to eat
- An ancient grain you probably haven’t tried
- Why seeds are so healthy and which ones you should choose
- + a whole lot more!
Nutrition can get pretty confusing but in this episode, I just try to lay it out so you know what things you should include in your diet. As long as you are eating real whole foods you’re on the right track to better health and wellness.
After that, it’s about picking some of the best choices and trying to find the cleanest versions possible.
Healthy Foods To Eat Everyday
This article is about the 15 top foods that should be included in your diet at some point. A lot of the food mentioned might come off as unfamiliar to you, maybe you might not have seen them before, or you’re not sure what they’re for, but it’ll all be broken down in this article here today.
So, let’s start off with chickpeas here. Chickpeas are known as Garbanzo beans. They are originally from the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions.
The traditional type of chickpeas can be found in a variety of different colors, such as black, red, green, etc. Chickpeas are known to be one of the best plant-based sources of proteins. Vegans and vegetarians will really like them to begin with.
Along with that, chickpeas also contain a great number of good carbs and fiber, so they provide a clean and sustained energy level all the time. They are also abundant in vitamins and minerals. This combination is beneficial for dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, overall heart health, and cholesterol.
Chickpeas can also fight inflammation along with irritable bowel syndrome. The high fiber content in chickpeas makes them feel very fulfilling to eat, which makes this source of protein ideal for weight management.
The best way to consume chickpeas is by soaking them for about 8 to at least 18 hours before cooking. This will help make them easier to digest as well. People who tend to get bloated after having beans or anything of this sort will not have to suffer if the chickpeas are soaked beforehand. This is because when soaked for a long time, the peas will release their harmful digestive enzymes, and that’ll cause them to be easier on the stomach.
Mostly associated with either fall or Halloween, pumpkin is a really nutritious plant. This plant is also very versatile as you can have it in any way that you really want to; it’s versatile. You can have it in spice lattes, in salads, soups, etc. In short, pumpkin can be used as a very good substitute as well, such as to butter.
Pumpkins are high in potassium. And that’s good for helping lowering blood pressure. It’s also high in antioxidants, so that helps the body fight off free radical damage. It’s going to help prevent degenerative eye disease.
This plant is also rich in beta carotene, and that can help reduce the risk of certain cancers. It can also protect against asthma and combat heart diseases altogether. If you want to experience the right health benefits of it, it’s best if you consume pumpkin in its natural form and not in any processed form.
The best thing about pumpkin, though, is that it’ll last you for a really long time. For example, the pumpkin will last for a good two months when stored in a cool, dark place.
Albeit not a vegetable, peas are easy to digest and should be included in the diet. This legume family protein can be eaten in whichever way you desire, which makes it versatile as well.
Peas are known to have a very low glycemic index of only 39, which is termed as the way your body rates food. The higher the glycemic index rate is, the more intensely it will affect your blood sugar levels. So ideally, you should stay away from foods with high glycemic index rates, such as sugars, corn syrups, glucose,
Peas, on the other hand, have a low glycemic index rate, so it is a good choice for people who are diabetic or who have blood sugar issues. Peas also contain a good amount of fiber, which, again, is more than just keeping your blood sugar levels regular; but it helps to balance out things like your blood glucose levels. It slows down digesting and improves gut health since it is so filling.
Peas also have a lot of antioxidants in them, which helps with digestion, heart diseases, certain cancers, etc. They can easily be added to other foods as well, such as soups, salads, cooked items, etc. This vegan/vegetarian legume is also high in proteins. They also contain a good amount of amino acids in them, so they’re better paired off with beans and other items.
The next food item to include in your diet is fish that is high in fat. This includes fish like trout, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, eel, etc. These fish types are one of the healthiest kinds out there. They are high in healthy fat and natural oil, which actually keeps their body temperature normalized and balanced in cold waters.
Fish like them also have a high omega-3 fatty acid content and protein. Omega 3 is seen to reduce inflammation in the body. Fatty fish come in the form of polyunsaturated fat, which is beneficial for lowering heart disease, cancer, and even arthritis. It’s also beneficial for cognitive function.
The polyunsaturated fat comes in the form of EPA and DHEA, which help combat against cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. They help enhance memory and also combat depression. Just two servings of this kind of fatty fish will equal to three and a half ounces, which you should consume at least a couple of weeks.
The next item to include in your diet is seeds. This section covers quite a bit of different seeds, such as flaxseed, pumpkin seed, chia seed, sunflower seed, etc. These are really nutritious and fibrous. The seeds are filled with protein, antioxidants, poly, and mono-saturated fats, minerals, etc.
These kinds of seeds help lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Seeds like chia or flax contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids too, which helps prevent inflammation and radical damage in the body. They help with premature aging as well.
Seeds like beans and peas can also be added to whatever item you like to eat, such as salads, soups, baking, etc. They’re easy to snack on as well. You can also take seeds wherever you go.
Now, this is a whole giant topic on its own. So fermented foods are the ones that are full of probiotics, which help to balance out the good bacteria in your gut. With proper balance, a healthy diet can reduce inflammation. It can also promote better digestion and protect against many diseases.
A healthy diet also leads to better cognitive function and a better mood. The gut is actually a second brain in the body with two-thirds of the neurotransmitters in the body, such as those feel-good hormones like serotonin and endorphins. If your gut bacteria are out of place, it can affect things like mood and wellbeing.
So, the fermented foods which you should include in your diet are things like kombucha, Kefir, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, tempura, etc. They’re very inexpensive and easy to incorporate into the diet as well.
Fermented foods also have the benefit of controlling sugar cravings when your gut bacteria are out of place. Some of the fermented foods, such as miso, are rich in antioxidants and vitamin B. Fermented foods can help restore the probiotic. The healthy content in them can also improve glycemic control in the body, which helps control diabetes,
Oats are commonly eaten in the form of rolled oats and oatmeal. You can have them in porridge, cookies, oatcakes, oat bran, etc. This is one of the best sources of soluble fiber out there and is also really beneficial for health. They’re probably one of the top choices for reducing cholesterol.
When soaked, oats also release a gel-like secretion which works to bind things like cholesterol and helps them get rid of in the body. Oats also have a high fiber content, which makes it easier on blood glucose levels, helps to keep you full, and works as a cleaner energy source for the body.
Research shows how oats can fight against things like colorectal cancer and may also help lower blood pressure. They’re also full of vitamins and minerals. They include a lot of things like thymine, manganese, magnesium, iron.
Beans and Lentils
The next food items are beans and lentils. These items kind of fall under the same umbrella of origin. If we sum them up like that, they make another inexpensive but very healthy diet option as they’re full of things like protein, fiber, vitamins; the best beans and lentils choices should be black beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, etc. Red beans are good too.
They’re all very nutrient-dense and are very high in folate. When your folate levels are low, you can experience symptoms like weakness and fatigue or maybe the loss of appetite as well. Some people suffer from heart palpitations and irritability as well. So, beans and lentils are one of the best sources of folate.
Beans are also a great source of zinc, iron, magnesium, fiber. Obviously, the fiber from them is going to help lower glucose levels, which is good for diabetes. The fiber helps with the gut health. They’re also very sustaining, so that’s going to help keep you full and feeling full.
The next food is going to be bananas. Bananas are one of the perfect portable snacks for quick energy and nutrition and also one of the most widely consumed foods on Earth. They can be eaten alone or added to things like smoothies, breakfast cereals. Bananas are rich in potassium, which is one of the main reasons a lot of people like them.
The potassium helps in maintaining fluid levels in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and out of the cells. The potassium is also important in helping muscles to contract and nerve cells to respond.
It’s also involved with helping heartbeat regularly and can reduce the effect of sodium on blood pressure. So, if you’re getting too much sodium Affinion, Potassium can help you regulate things a little better. Bananas also contain fiber. They may help prevent asthma, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes.
How to Keep Bananas Fresh
It’s actually best to keep bananas away from other fruit. The emitted gas called ethylene speeds up the ripening of bananas and other fruits as well. If you separate the bananas from the bunch, it’ll prevent them from ripening as fast.
When you think of citrus fruits, you’re probably associating them with immune-boosting properties. Here, we’re talking about things like oranges, lemons, tangerines, limes, grapefruit, which are rich in vitamin C.
Citrus fruits are what a lot of people turn to in order to combat colds and flu, but they also have other health benefits. They’re an awesome and easy snack to add to the diet. Citrus fruits are a good source of fiber as they’re filled with flavonoids, which help protect the heart.
And there’s a lot of soluble fiber as well, which will help with the lowering of cholesterol and also help regulate blood glucose.
Citrus fruits contain lower amounts of natural fruit sugars. The higher fiber content in them gives them a lower glycemic index as well, which helps keep you regular. The vitamin C content, it’s not going to prevent colds, per se, but it’s going to help make the symptoms less severe and last a shorter amount of time.
Again, citrus fruits also contain a lot of potassium and may help your body by allowing it to absorb nutrients from other foods.
Sweet potatoes are a much healthier alternative to normal potatoes. However, don’t confuse them with yams, not the same thing here. Sweet potatoes contain more natural sugar than a regular potato technically. They’re full of fiber and potassium and have fewer calories as well.
For example, a medium-sized big sweet potato with the skin and high fiber content only contains just around 100 calories. Sweet potatoes are also lower on the glycemic index, and that can help lower blood sugar. It’s good for insulin resistance and for people with diabetes.
It’s another item full of fiber, so it helps in lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure altogether. The high fiber content is also good if you have constipation. Sweet potatoes are also high in Colene, which is a nutrient that’s very important with things like sleep, memory, learning, muscle movement.
They’re also high in vitamin A, C, E, and tons of other antioxidants. The beta carotene in sweet potatoes is good for vision and elevating the natural sugar content when cooking.
Cayenne pepper is a hot chili pepper that’s actually part of the capsicum family. They originated from Central South America, named after the City Cayenne.
So, cayenne pepper has been a part of our diet, especially like Native American cuisines, for 9,000+ years. They’re added to dishes to enhance the flavor but are also filled with a ton of health benefits, primarily due to the main ingredient in them, which is capsaicin.
That’s what gives the spiciness cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is effective at treating aches and pains from muscles and joints. They’re also filled with vitamin C, B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, etc. So besides promoting pain relief, cayenne pepper is good for burning calories. It increases metabolism and is good as an appetite suppressant. You can also use it as a home remedy to help relieve congestion. Cayenne pepper is also really low in calories and goes well with anything, like egg soups, tacos, pasta, etc.
Dark chocolate is a great way to relieve some of those sugar cravings while still providing some health benefits. Dark chocolate is made from the cacao plant, and it differs from commercial chocolate, which contains sugar and cocoa butter, and milk. Those commercial chocolates are basically chocolate-flavored sugar. However, dark chocolate has a higher concentration of Cacao. The best and healthiest dark chocolate choices should have about 70 percent cacao in it, but ideally, you should go for above 90 percent.
The big draw with dark chocolate, especially with the higher cocoa solids, is its antioxidant content. Besides preventing oxidative stress in the body, dark chocolate can help with heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, etc. Dark chocolate is full of flavanols, and this helps to stimulate what they call nitric oxide in the body. That helps lower your blood pressure.
And it’s also full of polyphenols, which are important in helping lower your bad LDL cholesterol while actually raising your good HDL cholesterol. So dark chocolate is actually made of primarily healthy fat, so it’s really low in sugar and glycemic index. However, it’s still pretty dense in calories, though.
But if you’re going for just 20, 30 grams a day, it’s seen as really a good, healthy snack. And again, it can help with any sugar cravings and stuff like that.
This might be a new one for you, but black rice goes all the way back to ancient China. It was consumed by Chinese kinsman, who thought it improved the health of the kidneys, stomach, and liver. It became something used by the elite and the wealthy.
It was also known as the Forbidden Rice for a while. It’s mainly grown in the north, east, and southern parts of India these days.
Black rice is very rich in antioxidants, and it’s that deep color that’s an indicator of the antioxidant in it. So black rice is rich in the antioxidant called Anthos, Cyan, and anthocyanins, and it has the highest amounts of this of any rice or grain out there. That is very important in fighting cardiovascular disease, along with helping improve brain function, lowering inflammation, etc. It’s full of vital nutrients that can help cleanse the body of toxins as well. Alongside that, black rice aids the liver.
In doing all this at the same time, it also has plenty of fiber, which is a good choice in preventing the risk of diabetes and blood sugar issues. It’s rich in protein and tons of iron. It’s a great choice for vegetarians and vegans as well.
The last food item to include in your diet might be new to you or not. Bulgar is a popular cereal grain mainly used in Middle Eastern dishes. It’s easy to prepare and has lots of health benefits.
So, it’s made from dry, cracked wheat and most commonly from Durham wheat. It tends to be parboiled or sort of partially cooked so that you can prepare it easily. When it’s cooked, it’s going to have a similar texture to like quinoa or couscous. Bulgar is considered a whole grain.
The entire wheat kernel, such as the germ, the endosperm, the brand, etc., are all eaten with it. That makes it a minimally processed green, which means it retains the majority of its nutrition, which is why it’s high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber while being lower in calories compared to other grains. It’s also high in manganese. Magnesium iron promotes heart health since it’s again another high fiber whole grain.
Bulgar is good for controlling blood glucose. It supports healthy blood sugar control. Bulgar can also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and also aids in digestion while being able to fight constipation.
You can find Bulgar in various forms like fine medium, grain, and usually parboiled. It only takes around five to 20 minutes to cook, depending on the coarseness. It’s kind of like cooking rice, so you need it to absorb the water. And if you are cooking it, you want one-part Bulgar and two parts of water.
Hopefully, there’s a lot you can take away from this article. Noted above are some new foods, some old ones you may have sort of forgotten about, but they’re all amazing additions to the diet.