I’m tired of seeing these headlines for “7 Foods You Should Never Eat” and “5 Foods Dietitians Would Never Eat”…let’s focus on the positive people. Here are five foods that I really do eat every day and encourage you to eat too!
- Nuts. Research has shown that only about 40% of Americans eat nuts every day. However, the evidence shows that those who eat nuts most often live longer than those who don’t. Eat nuts, live forever! Ok, not really, but it can lead to better health and longevity. Nuts are a source of protein and good fats, as well as vitamin E,
magnesium and other micronutrients. All nuts are good for you and peanuts* have the most protein.
- Fruit, especially temperate fruits. Temperate fruits are the opposite of tropical fruit, things like apples, pears, cherries, and blueberries fall into that category. These fruits are lower in natural sugar than tropical fruits (though they are still higher in natural sugar than veggies). Apples have a great history of helping reduce cholesterol and may be tied to lower BMI. Blueberries can help improve memory. Cherries may help reduce blood pressure.
- Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale are just some of the members of this family. They are all great sources of sulforaphane, a compound that helps fight cancer. Plus they have some other awesome nutrients depending on the exact type you choose, such as calcium in broccoli. Enjoy them roasted as a side, dipped as a snack or appetizer, shredded into salad, or whirled into a smoothie.
- Plain Yogurt. Fermented dairy products are a fantastic source of probiotics, good bacteria that have been tied to all kinds of benefits. They may help in the absorption of vitamin D, strengthen the immune system, and help treat GI disorders like IBS. Look for brands that have more than 4 strains of good bacteria.
- Dark Chocolate. Avoid feeling deprived by enjoying really good quality dark chocolate. Just an ounce is enough, when savored, to satisfy even a serious chocolate craving. Plus, dark chocolate is a source of antioxidants and stearic and oleic acids, which may help (not hurt) heart health.
There are some other foods I could have easily added, but this is a good starter list! If you focus hard on the things you should eat more often, it will begin to crowd out the things you should not eat as often. Before you know it, you will have a list of your own healthy must-eat foods!
*I am a consultant for National Peanut Board, but they didn’t pay me to write this. Plus, I was recommending peanuts and peanut butter long before I joined the Board!