Did you know that the healthiest foods in the world are actually highly affordable, simple foods that can be found in any supermarket? Here is a list of the foods your body actually needs on a regular basis to achieve optimal health.
Although garlic is known in fiction to repel vampires, it can actually keep cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer at bay, including colorectal, prostate and stomach cancer. Garlic is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. So not only does it smell and taste delicious, it’s a superfood that is really easy to eat every day.
Not all oil is created equally. Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can consume. It lowers bad cholesterol, raises good cholesterol, is high in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It prevents cancer, protects arteries and reduces signs of aging.
Blueberries are renown for their antioxidant properties. They contain more antioxidants than 40 other common fruits and vegetables. They can prevent heart disease, memory loss, blindness, urinary tract infections, and even cancer.
Oranges are renown for their high concentration of vitamin C. They are also high in fiber, folate and antioxidants. Eating oranges can help your skin produce collagen, protect your skin from premature aging, protect cells from damage, fight off infections, and help keep your immune system healthy.
Broccoli is high in vitamins A, C and K, fiber, sulfur, and iron. It can boost our genetic production of enzymes that detoxify carcinogenic compounds, slashing our risk of breast, lung, stomach and colon cancers.
Spinach is one of the most powerful vegetables you can eat. It’s a leafy green that is rich in many key nutrients including fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, folate, potassium and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. The folate in spinach can help produce new healthy cells and protect against DNA damage, which is especially important for pregnant women.
Yogurt is the most commonly eaten food for probiotics. It is full of bone-building calcium and gut-building good bacteria. It can help keep you regular, ease symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, heal ulcers, kill yeast infections and treat urinary tract infections.
Oats contain four grams of soluble fiber per cup, which can help lower bad cholesterol and keep you regular. They can also help reduce your risk of having a heart attack by 10 percent. Oats also have slow-release carbohydrates that keep you full and can help you burn more fat.
Sweet potatoes have the nutritional density of potatoes but without all that excess starch. They are high in both alpha- and beta-carotene, which help form vitamin A. They are also high in vitamins B6 and C, potassium, lutein, manganese, and zeaxanthin. They also contain phytochemicals that work as antioxidants. Sweet potatoes can boost your immune system and protect your eyes and bones.
Turkey is one of the leanest meats you can buy. It’s high in B vitamins, selenium, choline, phosphorus and zinc. Consuming organic, pasture-raised turkey can help lower the risk of consuming chemicals from contaminated feed. Also, organic turkeys are higher in nutrients.
This powerful little seed is often used to replace eggs in vegan diets. One tablespoon of flaxseeds contains 1.9 grams of fiber. They contain lignans, which help reduce your risk of breast cancer and balance your hormones; they are anti-inflammatory; they can heal acne, prevent asthma, and are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that can improve your heart health and your mood. They are also high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol.
Cinnamon is a popular healing spice in ayurvedic traditions. It can help you balance blood sugar, prevent diabetes, reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol, ease arthritic pain, prevent blood clots, destroy E. coli, and is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Tea is one of the most potent sources of antioxidants. Green tea, in particular, has the most antioxidants — it can help protect you from cancer, strokes and heart disease. It can also help lower bad cholesterol, prevent blood clots, and improve blood vessel function.
Beans are great for your stomach and your heart. Black beans are especially potent because they are full of anthocyanins — these flavonoids can help improve brain function. Also, a half-cup serving of black beans contains a whopping eight grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. Black beans, unlike many healthy proteins, are free of saturated fat and are low in calories.
Eggs contain high-quality protein that can keep you full with relatively few calories. Egg yolks contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help maintain eye health and prevent age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50.
Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which gives them their rich red color. Tomatoes can help reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and various forms of cancer, including lung, skin, bladder, prostate and stomach cancers.
Carrots are high in carotenoids, which can help reduce your risk of cancer and inflammatory conditions like arthritis and asthma. Carrots are also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, which is good for maintaining eye health.
Bananas are full of vitamins and minerals, as well as simple carbohydrates and fiber that provide instant fuel to start your day. They are high in potassium, which can reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Pistachios are high in omega-3 fatty acids and muscle-building proteins. They are high in calories but full of heart-healthy benefits. They are high in fiber, B vitamins, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamin and iron.
Consuming organic, pasture-raised chicken can lower your risk of contamination from genetically modified feed, hormones and antibiotics. Also, organic chicken contains more nutrients than conventionally raised chickens. Chicken is a lean meat that is high in protein without the high cholesterol. It is high in vitamin B6, choline, selenium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.
Fish in general is good for obtaining heart-healthy fats. Salmon is especially high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. It can help protect your brain and skin from premature aging and prevent memory loss. It is also good for protecting your heart, eyes and joints.
Quinoa is a small seed-like grain that takes about as long to cook as rice. Unlike rice, it contains a lot of fiber and protein. This combination can keep you feeling full for longer.
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink that contains probiotics and 29 percent of your daily calcium needs. When selecting kefir, the healthiest ones contain less sugar and no artificial ingredients. Opt for natural flavors from fruit or just plain kefir.
Everyone knows they should be eating more leafy greens, but kale is a powerhouse of its own. It has cancer-fighting antioxidants, heart-healthy fiber, lots of vitamin C, and is the top source of vitamin A. Yep, this green’s got some muscle.
Don’t let the size of these little legumes fool you. They are packed with nine grams of protein and eight grams of fiber, double the amount found in oats! They are also high in iron and folate. In addition to their nutritional value, these beans are super affordable and can easily be incorporated into your diet.
Sardines are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart and your mood. They are also high in vitamin D. They even have fewer toxins than other fish, as they are relatively small and very low on the food chain.
Pomegranates are packed full of antioxidants and can help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, tissue damage and premature aging. They pack four grams of fiber per 100 grams, and their seeds only have 72 calories per half-cup serving.
Apples are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps remove bad cholesterol. Apples are also good for your skin and protecting the cells in your body from damage. They contain antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. Apples are high in vitamin C as well, which can help boost your immune system.
Pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, which can help prevent heart disease. They are also high in vitamins A, B6, C and E and are rich in fiber, folate, iron, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.
Beets are high in folate and antioxidants. They are good for metabolizing amino acids, fighting cancer and lowering your risk of heart disease. Beets are anti-inflammatory and contain manganese, potassium, copper, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6.
Tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lean proteins. They are also high in vitamin B and selenium. Fresh tuna is better than canned, as canned tuna often contains other fish and has fewer nutrients. Tuna is high in methylmercury, so small children and pregnant women should consume limited quantities.
Coconut oil has received a lot of praise recently. This is because it is a nutritious oil that is safe to cook with at high temperatures. It can improve cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of heart disease, and contains lauric acid which can help kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Chia seeds are another seed often used by vegans to replace eggs in baked goods and as a healthy pudding alternative. Chia seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and can protect against arthritis, inflammation and heart disease.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats that can help lower bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. They are also rich in plant-based calcium and protein. Almonds are good for your hair and skin as they contain biotin, vitamin E and B vitamins.
You probably noticed a trend with all of these foods. It seems that the most healthy foods you should be regularly eating are whole, simple foods. The most nutrient-dense, safe and healthy foods are whole and unprocessed. Incorporating these into your daily routine can help you prevent chronic diseases and greatly improve your quality of life. Which of these foods do you eat most regularly? Which of these are you lacking in your diet? Leave us a comment below.
—The Alternative Daily