Getting and staying healthy has never been more popular than it is now. Thanks to the availability of information and the growing access to food. More people are careful about what they eat and how they eat it.
Your diet is the foundation of your health. Without the right kind of nutrition, your body won’t be able to function at its best. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a vast array of diseases, many of which can be fatal. A healthy, balanced diet is always the first defense against sickness and disease, so it’s no wonder that there’s a growing societal push for better, more nutritious food.
The best way to start eating healthy is by arming yourself with information about what your food can do for you. In line with that: our previous article, 15 Food to Stay Healthy Longer, is about different foods and their health benefits. Today, we’re going to expand on that list by talking about foods that pack a surprising punch in terms of nutritional value.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables have been one of the cornerstones of a healthy diet. They have antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients that make it possible for your body to function well. They’re easy to grow because vegetables were throughout history and the world.
According to the Agricultural Research Service, dark green leafy vegetables have a ton of vitamins and minerals. They have B vitamins that promote a healthy heart and can also protect against cancer. Other anti-cancer properties of these vegetables are in their high antioxidant content. They also have a high level of iron, magnesium, potassium, and many other essential minerals.
These vegetables are also attractive because of their low-calorie content. Dark green leafy vegetables are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. You can sauté them, roast them, or simply toss them into a fresh salad. You can make them the centerpiece of a dish or sprinkle them as a light topping. They will add an indispensable health boost to your diet.
Many people hesitate to start adding more greens into their diets, but they shouldn’t. If you are at a loss on cooking with greens, try recipes from this list from Taste of Home for ideas. Dark leafy greens fit into salads, soups, pasta dishes, and more— all you need is a little creativity.
Tea has been part of civilization for millennia. Tea is one of the drinks known to have medicinal effects. It also offers other benefits, depending on the variety of tea leaves. One of the most popular teas is green tea, which has a long and storied history.
Just One Cookbook writes that green tea is the most consumed beverage in Japan. It also got a long history in China, Korea, and other Asian countries. Japanese green tea comes in several types. The tea leaf itself comes from the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea tree. The little leaf has several health benefits. The tea tree extract has been used in sanitizers, insect repellents, skincare, and much more.
Green tea is more than a soothing drink that you can take after a meal. It is a powerful home remedy and preventive measure that protects against sickness and disease. Experts at WebMD list out its many benefits. The list includes the ability to fight certain types of cancer cells. It also lowers your risk for heart disease and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Green tea keeps your blood pressure levels stable.
Not only that! The act of drinking tea itself can be soothing and linked to better mental health and overall well-being. If those aren’t good enough reasons to start adding tea leaves to your cart, we don’t know what is.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a familiar staple in many households, and it’s not hard to figure out why that is. ACV is one of the oldest preservation techniques in the world. Vinegar had been around for thousands of years. Because it’s such a simple process, you can even make your apple cider vinegar at home.
ACV treats skin ailments like sunburn and acne. It is also a natural home cleaning agent, a weight loss aid, and a splash of flavor in meals. But that’s not all that apple cider vinegar can do: it’s also a powerful health food.
The Cleveland Clinic says that ACV can help lower your blood sugar levels and calm down acid reflux. It also helps in losing weight. It’s also great for your gut health, like all fermented foods, and can boost the level of healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
One of the downsides of ACV is the fact that it’s acidic like all vinegar. If you take apple cider vinegar in liquid form, you need to make sure that it’s well diluted. Even if it is, it can still damage your tooth enamel and esophageal lining. Brightcore suggests taking ACV as gummies, which are more portable and safer for your stomach. ACV gummies also taste better, making it easier to incorporate this health booster into your diet.
Vinegar is a common type of fermented food, but it’s not the most popular in reaping the benefits of fermentation. That honor lies squarely with foods like yogurt, which have been part of food cultures for centuries. These fermented foods are enough to make at home and can be an indispensable part of your diet. Better to try hard enough.
Why are fermented foods so important? BBC Good Food explains it pretty succinctly: fermented foods have high concentrations of probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that aid digestion and improve your health. When you eat yogurt or drink kefir, you’re stocking up on good bacteria and enzymes that your body needs.
Additionally, fermented foods are far easier to digest: sugars and starches undergo the fermentation process. It is easier for your body to take in the nutrients found in these foods. The process boosts your energy and immune system and improves your overall health.
A healthy gut means a healthy mind and body. That is more than enough reason to start adding more fermentation into your diet. The Kitchn recommends trying out simple recipes to get all the benefits of fermented foods. Try making kimchi, your own kombucha, or sauerkraut. The processes are simple and easy. The food keeps well, so you don’t have to worry about finishing them right away.
Another type of food that you should be adding to your daily diet is the egg. Eggs are all over the world, so they’re probably already a part of your meal plans. But it’s always good to review what eggs can do for you, and that’s what we’re going to get into today.
The nutritional value of eggs has been a bit of a controversial topic through the years. Experts and nutritionists battle back and forth over whether or not we need eggs. Or if they are as healthy as they seem. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that one egg a day is the best (and healthy) middle ground.
What can this one egg get you? The USDA reports that a single large egg can provide you with 72 calories, 6g of protein, 5g total fat, and 69mg potassium, among many other vitamins and minerals. It’s got zero carbs making it a light and delicious snack for people watching their weight or blood sugar. Eggs also have vitamins A, D, B6, and B12. All are essential nutrients.
Eggs can help boost your brain health because they have choline. Choline is crucial for memory, muscle control, and mood. Choline helps prevent heart disease, dementia, and fatty liver disease. Eggs are protein-rich and can help you feel full for longer, making them great weight-loss food. They also contain carotenoids, which are crucial for eye and vision health.
Overall, eggs have an incredible number of benefits that you shouldn’t miss. Additionally, they’re simple to prepare and eat. You don’t have to do anything fancy: you can hard boil them, fry them, and even bake them. If you plan on eating more than once a day: eating egg whites may avoid high cholesterol levels. Eggs have more pros than cons, so don’t be afraid to get cracking.