Thinking about the top healthiest foods was not something that was usually on my radar. When I had children that all changed. You find yourself not only responsible for your own health but those of your whole family as well. No longer can you order takeout guilt free. This was a big driver in choosing to eat more healthily but as we get older we can start to feel the effects of some of those bad food choices over life.
Though there is always going to be debate over what foods are health and which ones are not the reality is that there are many that have stood the test of time. What follows is our list in no particular order:
- Fatty Fish – Salmon
- White Meat
When we first started our research I could not help but be surprised that although I had not been making a concerted effort to eat these foods I had stumbled upon them just by having a "healthy eating mindset". That mindset was to keep away from red meats and eat fruits and vegetables. I am also partial to garlic in my cooking so that course helps.
So what makes these foods a part of a healthy diet?
Garlic – Sometimes considered an urban myth like not swimming until an hour after eating garlic is supposed to keep germs and viruses away. It is not a myth. Bad breath besides it should be a part of your every day diet. As I mentioned before I tend to use it a lot in my cooking and ironically did before I knew it was good for me.
Broccoli – This vegetable is considered one of the healthiest foods because it is chock full of vitamins. This vegetable has iron, vitamin A, B, and C.
Tomatoes – Are they a fruit are they a vegetable? Either way this part of a typical salad is full of Vitamin C.
Nuts – This ingredient should be used in moderation but nuts like Almonds are high in protein and beneficial fatty acids. You can sprinkle these into your low sugar and fat yogurt and get double dose of protein.
Seeds – Seeds are very similar to nuts in the nutritional benefits. Sprinkling them in salads as well as yogurt is a good way of incorporating them into your diet.
Fatty Fish – Salmon makes the list and I could not be happier since we love this fish that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. High in protein it is also said to keep your hair and nails in good condition.
White Meat – This can also be classified as low fat meats like turkey breast and chicken breast. They allow you the benefits of protein without the high fat of many red meats. Keep in mind though that you need to look at sodium content on some of these. Deli meats and processed lunch meats, even white meats can be high in sodium. There was a recent study showing that there is a more probable link to heart disease from processed meats because of the high sodium versus the blank statements that you may hear about red meats.
Eggs – I confess I am bad on this one. Although this sometimes does not make the healthiest foods lists because it is considered high in bad cholesterol the nutritious yolk high in iron and B12 and of course protein.
Berries – Berries like strawberries and blueberries should be a part of your diet. They are full of vitamins and antioxidants. I actually proved it to myself with an informal experiment. My daughter eats both every morning while my son wants no part of them. He definitely gets more colds than my daughter.
Citrus – Oranges, Tangerines, Clementines, Grapefruits are full of Vitamin C. For pregnant women or those considering getting pregnant need to include Folic Acid in their diet. Citrus is a great source of both folic acid and fiber. Be careful of overdoing it on the juice though since it can be high in sugar.
Making these foods part of your diet can make a big difference in your health. They are not hard to include in your every day meals. Make the fruits part of your breakfast, the tomatoes part of your salads, the broccoli and garlic part of your dinner meals and the fish and white meats part of your dinners as well. If you plan out your week of meals you would be surprised how easy it is to fit in the top 10 healthiest foods.