Let’s face it some foods are just healthier than others and when it comes time to make that choice in the grocery aisle it can be hard to know what to pick. These eight foods are so packed with nutrients and health benefits that no shopping cart should hit the check outline without them. Read on to find out what needs to be added to your grocery list the next time you go shopping.
Unlike many American varieties that are full of added fat and sugar, Greek yogurt has been part of a healthy Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. Rich and creamy this super healthy dairy product is loaded with probiotics that support immune and digestive health and reserach has indicated that it may lower blood pressure and ward off certain types of cancer. Sticking with plain low-fat varieties has also been linked to increased weight loss when part of a reduced calorie diet.
Known to prevent heart disease, ease arthritis and stabilize mood, Omega-3 fatty acids have become the poster child for good health and salmon is one of the best sources available. Salmon is also rich in vitamin D which is essential for proper calcium absorption and is believed to aid in weight loss and prevent certain cancers.
The single best snack to keep on hand at all times is a bag of almonds. Though high in calories, so moderation is important, just a handful of almonds a day can regulate blood sugar and control appetite. Almonds are full of fiber, protein, monounsaturated fats and vitamin E which help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Not only is eating blueberries a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth their antioxidants have been shown to increase cognitive function and improve vision. These little blue power houses are also the toughest cancer fighter of any fruit and have been proven to reduce inflammation.
For such a little seed flax really packs a nutritional punch. Rich in magnesium, potassium and zinc, flax also has a high concentration of essential fatty acids that regulate almost all metabolic functions in the body and support cardiovascular, immune, and nervous system health.
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Due to the amount of processed foods available in America most of us are not getting the fiber we need on a daily basis. Starting your morning with a bowl of oatmeal is a great way to increase your fiber intake and oatmeal has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and prevent the risk of type II diabetes.
Another great source for monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil is believed to reduced the risk of certain cancers, increase “good” cholesterol and a decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol. Antioxidants are also believed to ward off cancer and slow down the effects of aging.
This secret super food, along with other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts and kale, fights against heart disease and cancer. Broccoli contains sulforaphane which stimulates the body to attack and destroy carcinogens. People who eat even 4 servings a week are up to 50% less likely to get certain types of cancers and according to one study 25% less likely to die of any disease compared to those who do not eat broccoli.
Eating healthier takes a little planning and commitment but ultimately the health benefits outweigh the effort and the good news is that most of these super foods taste as good as they are good for you. Adding even just a few servings of each food to your weekly diet can have a dramatic effect on both your physical and mental well being so don’t be afraid to eat up.