Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. To top things off you can eat right and exercise regularly to achieve a well-balanced healthy mind and body. Consuming food from a wide variety of sources helps maintain a healthy and interesting diet and ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to help reduce the risk of disease.
The Best Food Choices
Vegetables are useful in reducing weight diet as they provide bulk and give a feeling of being “full”, and furthermore, the bulk and water content aids in the treatment of constipation. To get the best out of vegetables, they should be taken raw or just slightly cooked by steaming, boiling, broiling and stewing.
Green leafy vegetables provide a source of many nutrients, including iron, fiber, vitamins A and C and potassium which help to purify the blood, heal the intestinal tract, anemia and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Good examples of green vegetables are spinach, cabbage, broccoli where they are the best to serve after being steamed or boiled lightly.
Red and yellow vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkin, eggplant, potato, carrot, beetroot, bitter gourd rich in nutrients as well. They contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B, iron, potassium, calcium, and fiber which can improve body immunity and help boost body metabolism.
Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body. People who eat fruits as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Fruit is naturally low in calories, fat and sodium and rich in folate, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Some of the examples of high-potassium fruits are bananas, peaches, oranges, honeydew and cantaloupe.
The fiber in fruit helps to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Strawberries and citrus are rich in vitamin C which is needed for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body.
Eating whole grains is an easy way to add a layer of ” health insurance” to your life. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as magnesium, selenium, potassium, protein, antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, iron. Sticking to a healthy diet rich in whole grains can reduce the risk of blood coagulation, cholesterol levels, and heart disease by lowering blood pressure.
Fiber is important for healthy bowel function and it helps reduce constipation and diverticulitis. B vitamins help the body release energy from carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Selenium is important for a healthy immune system and magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles.
Some of the healthy whole grains include whole wheat, bulgur, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole-grain barley, and corn.
Related: Benefits In Eating Healthy
Dietary fiber has many health benefits. Consuming food which is high in fiber can reduce your risk of heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, some cancer as well as losing weight. Food that is high in fiber is usually derived from natural and unprocessed food.
Good sources of fiber can be found in nuts, barley, whole grains, oatmeal, wheat cereals and beans. For vegetables, it can be found in celery, carrot, and tomatoes. Whereas for fruits, it can be found in berries, apples, pears, and citrus fruits. It is best to start your day off with a whole grain cereal or include unprocessed wheat bran to your preferred cereal to increase your fiber intake.
Related: Alkaline Food VS Acidic Food
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. Did you know that we get about half of our calories from carbohydrates we take? Carbohydrates come in three categories namely sugars, fiber, and starches.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. We can get carbohydrates from the vast majority of food in our daily life. Most of them come in form of plant-based food and also starch. Simple sugar is also the simplest form of carbohydrates, also known as glucose. However, most glucose used in the processed food industry is artificial, and not a good source of carbohydrates.
So where do we get a natural source of carbohydrates? We can find them in grains, milk, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits.
Carbohydrate quality is important; some types of carbohydrate-rich food are better than others. Good carbohydrates are essential to promote good health by delivering fiber, vitamins, minerals and a host of important phytonutrients.
Related: Food Pyramid
Calcium is important for overall health. It is an essential mineral needed for building strong teeth and bones, blood clotting, cell signaling and the release of hormones. Almost every cell in our body uses calcium in some way.
Our body requires calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Dairy products are a good source of calcium, which they are also easily digested and absorbed into the body such as milk, unsweetened yogurt, and cheese. Vegetables such as kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, green beans, cabbage, summer squash, brussels sprouts, asparagus as well as cremini mushrooms are rich sources of calcium. Moreover, beans such as black beans, white beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eye peas or even baked beans are excellent choices for gaining calcium. Protein provides us the energy for our body to work and overconsumption of protein can be detrimental to our kidneys.
Fish, chicken or plant-based protein such as beans, nuts, and soy are the ones that contain high-quality protein.
Related: Food Cholesterol
People today avoid fat to lose fat, which is crazy! You need fat to survive. Fat is one of the main macronutrients that our body needs to carry out vital functions. So, depriving it of essential fats can cause many health problems! And not all fats are bad, there are good ones as well. Eating fat can be heart-healthy if you pick the right kind.
Adequate fats are important for good health. These healthy fats are needed by our body to provide energy, support metabolism, and immunity. Not just that, healthy fats help to protect your heart and satisfy your cravings between meals.
Here are some of the examples of high-fat food that are actually incredibly healthy and nutritious: avocados, almonds, fatty fish, hazelnuts, cheese, dark chocolate, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
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