Eating healthy is essential to ensure that you are healthy and fit. While most of us set an intention to eat healthy, in the hustle and bustle, we all end up munching on our so-called favorite foods. All the foods from the nature are super foods and they are right named so as they are rich treasure troves of various nutrients. Here are the 10 best foods you should aim to include in your daily diet.
Top 10 Foods to Include In Your Daily Diet
1. Flax seeds
Flax seeds are rich sources of the omega-3 fatty acids, Alpha Linoleic Acid. They are also an easy way for the vegetarian to get a good dose of fiber. One tablespoon grounded flax seed yields 2.3 grams fiber. Along with fiber these also contain various minerals and vitamins like vitamin B1 and manganese. Linseeds, as they are also known, are the treasure troves of various other micronutirents and antioxidants that help in shielding your heart, preventing cancer, and lowering the risk of obesity and diabetes. Just sprinkle it atop your yogurt or salad.
How to Eat: 1 tablespoon of Flax seeds is enough to meet daily requirement of the body. It is advisable to take it in powdered form than as a whole. Sprinkle 1 tbl in total of the powder in your regular food during the day. The seeds have crunchy top due to which the nutritional benefits might not be gained out of it until chewed properly. To overcome this one could soak it overnight if at all one needs to take it as a whole.
- Cholesterol – Good for heart as they are free from cholesterol
- Digestion – Helps in digestion, rich in fiber, relieves constipation
- Weight Loss – Delays hunger and aids in weight loss
- Antioxidants – Lignans present in the seeds are antioxidants which help in regulating hormonal levels in women
- Hair Loss – Hormone DHT in men is one of the major causes for men hair fall. Lignan present in Flax seeds prevent formation of enzyme that transforms testosterone to DHT
- Prostate – Lower DHT also helps in keeping healthy prostate
According to a study conducted by the University of Manitoba, oats contain beta-glucan in rich amounts that help in lowering the levels of blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Thus eventually helps in shielding your heart. Oats is a good source of fiber also that makes it beneficial for your digestive system and helps you lose the excess weight. Studies suggest that people who eat oatmeal three to five times a week have about 5% lesser chances of developing heart attack.
How to eat: Never buy Oats with added flavorings primarily the one that comes with sugar. This hides the nutrients and adds extra calories to your diet. Dteel-cut oats are best to have for breakfast. Soak it in water overnight, cook it in the morning and have a healthy whole grain chewy breakfast. One could also have raw with warm milk that retains all the nutrients. Avoid adding too much sugar. Oatmeal bread is good in taste and could be a good option for people who do not like the taste of it in milk. One could take Oats with egg white which adds required proteins in the diet too while aiding in the weight loss.
- Cholesterol – Beta-glucan present in oatmeal helps lower cholesterol levels. A bowl of oatmeal every day helps lowering the levels by 8-23%
- Cardiovascular Disease – Due to high in fiber and rich in antioxidants, oatmeal helps removing cholesterol from digestive system thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Heart Attack – According to a research by Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital, eating whole grain products lowers the risk of heart attack by 29%
- Immune System – Due to the presence of Beta-glucan in Oats, having it regularly enhances the immune system primarily its response to bacterial infections
- Diabetes – In place of rice or normal bread, having oatmeal as breakfast has beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes patients. It also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Breast Cancer – For pre-menopausal women taking this cereal could significantly lower the list of breast cancer
Pistachios contain the lowest levels of fats among all the nuts. They are chock a block with omega-3 fatty acids and protein. While the former helps in keeping your heart healthy, protein aids in weight loss. One serving of pistachio – about 49 nuts – yield 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams fat, and 6 grams protein. It helps in lowering the levels of cholesterol and is beneficial for sexual health of men.
How to eat – The best way to eat pistachio is in raw state just after breaking its shell. It comes in semi-opened states as well as in closed shell. The closed shell though is bit tough to crack comes cheap and sometimes organic too.
- Heart Disease – Regular pistachio intake helps in lowering of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. l-arginine presence in the nut helps in making the lining of arteries flexible thus preventing blood clots that could lead to heart attack
- Weight loss – Due to high in fiber, eating pistachio could mean more filling with less calories thus and ideal snacks whenever you feel like eating anything between the meals
- Immune system – It is an ideal immune booster due to high in Vitamin B6, an element which is responsible for smooth functioning of immune system. Due to significant level of antioxidants the nut also helps in fighting microbial diseases
Time again, yogurt makes it to the top of healthiest foods list. One serving of yogurt is sufficient to meet the recommended daily dose of calcium. It also contains probiotics, the good bacteria that is essential to preserve the healthy environment of your gut and keeping your gastrointestinal tract healthy. Yogurt also keeps you fuller for prolonged hours, thus aiding you in weight loss. Since it has probiotic bacteria in it, it also helps in easing digestive issues. Studies even suggest that regular intake of yogurt could save you from cancer.
Beans are a good source of soluble fiber that soaks up the bad cholesterol and dispose it off before they form arterial wall deposits. Beans are also rich sources of some of the most powerful antioxidants that help in eliminating the free radicals that otherwise could induce oxidative damages. Eat them with your pasta or porridge or toss them into your salads for a dose of protein.
6. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are rich in fiber, low in calories, and packed with countless powerful nutrients. They also contain various antioxidants that help in lowering the oxidative damages and stimulate the enzymes that could combat the carcinogens. According to a study, people who at least five servings of cruciferous veggies had less than 50% chances of developing cancer.
Being rich in fiber, they also help in managing your cholesterol levels, lower the levels of blood pressure, improve your metabolism, keep your digestive tract healthy, ease constipation, and aid in weight loss.
Eggs are well known for their rich, quality protein. They keep your packed up for a longer time, thus ensuring that you are not yielding into undesirable cravings throughout the day. Eggs contain choline, a compound that is beneficial for brain health. Eggs contain vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, D, and K, folate, essential fatty acids, phosphorous, selenium, calcium, and zinc, making it a super food in all senses.
- Nutritious – Eggs are ranked among some of the most nutritious foods in the world. An egg gives out 77 calories out of which 5 grams are healthy fats and 6gms of protein
- Raises good cholesterol – Egg helps in raising High Density Lipoprotein or HDL which in turn lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease. 2 egg/day for 6 week could help in increasing the HDL levels by 10%
- Antioxidants – Lutein and Zeaxanthin present in egg yolks helps in reducing the chances of getting cataracts and helps in building strong retina
These yellow skinned foods are one of the best post workout snacks. Densely packed with potassium, bananas help in lowering the levels of blood pressure and preventing stroke. Bananas are also beneficial for the sexual health of men. The rich presence of fiber makes it a good solution for constipation and diarrhea alike. It aids in weight loss, maintains the rhythm of your heart beat, helps in managing stress and depression, protects your eyes from macular degeneration, averts the risk of kidney cancer, offers protection from free radical damages, and so on.
How to eat: The best way to eat a banana is in its raw state. Eat it bite by bite by peeling it after each slice. One could also take it after making a smoothie by blending it with milk or yogurt.
- Blood Sugar – Pectin and resistant starch present in bananas helps in moderating blood sugar levels and delays emptying of stomach. However diabetics should monitor their sugar levels which consuming too much ripe bananas
- Digestion – A ripe banana contains 3gms of fiber. These dietary fibers help in improved digestion
- Weight loss – The fruit cannot be linked directly with weight loss. However the filling property and low calorie content could delay the hunger and give a sense of fullness which could help in weight loss
- Heart – One ripe banana has nearly 9% of RDI. The high potassium content in it makes it ideal food for lowering high blood pressure. Healthy people that take high potassium diet have a 27% less chances of heart disease
- Antioxidants – Like other fruits, bananas too are rich in antioxidants and contain catechins and dopamine. These antioxidants help in delaying heart diseases
9. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like spinach and fenugreek leaves are rich in fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain a good dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids as well as vitamins like A, C, and K. A good source of protein and fiber for the vegans and vegetarians, dark leafy greens are treasure troves of antioxidants. They keep you full and prevent the sugar levels from fluctuation, thus enabling them to be beneficial for those who are on a weight loss regimen and diabetes.
They contain kaempferol, a favanoid that helps in lowering the risk of cancer. Inclusion of the antioxidant rich dark leafy greens in your diet could lower the risk of age related cognitive decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. They also contain good doses of iron that is beneficial for your brain and prevents anemia. The vitamin K in these veggie leaves prevents age related diseases and keeps you younger. It lowers the levels of cholesterol and shields your heart. Being rich in fiber, it helps in easing constipation and keeping your digestive system stronger.
Last, but not the least these tangy and sweet citrus fruits are excellent foods to be enjoyed daily. Just one orange a day is sufficient to meet your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Oranges are rich in folate and fiber, making them beneficial for your weight loss and digestive system. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants that ensure that you are free from the damages induced by free radicals. Thus oranges could shield you from the risk of cancer. They also help in detoxification, thereby strengthening your liver and digestive system.
Oranges are also known to be beneficial for the skin as they help in cleansing the system from within, thereby delaying the onset of aging signs.
The list of foods to include in your diet daily is, in fact, vast. But taking baby steps is always the best to building an empire strong. So start today and make the difference!