There are countless diets out there telling you what to eat, when you should eat it, how much you should eat, and how to keep track of whatever it is you’re putting into your body.
When you really get down to the nitty gritty of eating for health, though, there are some nutritionally dense gems that you should think about integrating into your meals and snacks, no matter what other regimen you decide to stick to.
Here are 30 foods in three major categories that you might want to add to your grocery list, with some added info about what they can do for your health.
- Quinoa is rich in protein and contains more fiber than most grains. It’s also loaded with iron, magnesium, and vitamin B2, which together make this nutritional pick a real supergrain.
- Barley is one grain that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber that can help reduce cholesterol.
- Substitute white rice with brown rice to help protect yourself from Type 2 diabetes.
- Wheat germ helps you fight germs with vitamins and minerals like thiamine, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate.
- Start your day with oatmeal to reduce cholesterol and stay full throughout the day.
- Bulgar is a less commonly used grain, but it’s packed with fiber and vitamin B and can help promote healthy blood sugar levels.
- Whole-wheat bread is an easy way to get your daily fiber, and it’s also a healthy source of carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients.
Fruits and Veggies
- An apple a day may really keep the doctor away: the pectin the fruit contains can help lower bad cholesterol.
- Blueberries contain essential phytonutrients, and can aid in short-term memory retention.
- Avocadoes don’t just provide vitamins and essential fatty acids – they can also help you digest and use antioxidants, beta-carotenes, carotenoids, and lycopene.
- Worried about your eyes? Broccoli contains minerals like selenium and potassium that can protect your vision.
- Brussels Sprouts can reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease.
- Coconuts help build a strong immune system with their antioxidant properties; they are a good source of healthy fats and great for bone and teeth development.
- Cherries and other dark fruits and veggies contain antioxidants that can help with pain management and recovery times from exercise.
- Edamame makes for an easy, tasty snack that is loaded with fiber and lots of your daily vitamins and minerals.
- While it may be more of a seasoning, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help you fend off nausea and stomach troubles.
- Kale has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity lately due to its calcium and iron content.
- The vitamin C in oranges can help you absorb iron better, and they have significant antioxidant properties.
- A cup of spinach contains 20 percent of the daily fiber you need, and this healthy green is rich in flavonoids with anti-cancer properties.
- Sweet potatoes or yams have much greater nutritional value than white or yellow potatoes. Loaded with Vitamins C, E, and B6, these healthy tubers are good for heart health and are a great source of fiber.