By Melodie Veldhuizen
We often eat what we enjoy. For your total health a healthy balance is essential, rather than focusing on one or more specific foods. Yet it is important to know which foods are healthy, so that you can include them in your daily diet.
- Nuts, legumes and grains
Almonds are rich in nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin E, iron, fibre and riboflavin. Research has also confirmed that almonds are good for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Brazil nuts are rich in protein and carbohydrates and are an excellent source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Lentils are an outstanding natural source of magnesium and protein and promote a healthy heart. Oatmeal is made from rolled or minced oats. The soluble fibre content helps to keep cholesterol levels low. It is rich in complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fibre which slows down digestion and stabilises the blood glucose levels. It is furthermore rich in B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and potassium. Wheat germ is rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin E, folic acid, thiamine, zinc, magnesium, phosphate and essential fatty acids. It also is an excellent source of fibre.
- Vegetables, fruit and berries
Broccoli is rich in fibre, calcium, potassium, folic acid and phyto nutrients. The latter are compounds that lower the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and some types of cancer. It contains vitamin C and the antioxidant beta carotene. One 100 gram portion broccoli can provide you with more than your daily intake of vitamin C. It’s healthier to eat broccoli raw or lightly steamed, to retain its nutritional value. Apples are an outstanding source of antioxidants that combat free radicals. The latter are harmful substances manufactured in the body and causing undesired changes such as ageing and certain illnesses. Research has also proven that apples help to lower cholesterol levels.
Kale is a leafy vegetable of which the nutritional value is underrated. It is rich in vitamin C and contains a significant amount of vitamin K. Like cabbage, spinach and asparagus, it can be steamed or cooked, or it can be liquidised or enjoyed as an ingredient of a smoothie. Blue berries are rich in fibre, antioxidants and phyto nutrients. The latter aren’t absolutely essential, but help to prevent illnesses and allow the body to function properly. The regular intake of blue berries helps to combat obesity and prevents cognitive degeneration in the elderly. They furthermore lower the risk of high blood pressure by 10%. Avocadoes are rich in healthy fats, B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin E, and are rich in fibre as well. Regular intake also lowers cholesterol levels.
Green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach can lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes considerably. Spinach is rich in antioxidants, but should preferably be eaten raw, steamed or boiled for a very short while. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, B6, C, E and K as well as selenium, niacin, zinc, phosphorus, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, betaine and iron. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fibre, vitamin A, C and B6, as well as calcium. During a study in which the nutritional value of sweet potatoes was compared with that of other vegetables, sweet potatoes were at the top of the ranking regarding the contents of vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, protein and complex carbohydrates.
- Fish, meat and eggs
A list of the healthiest types of proteins follows. Oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your heart and nervous system. They are furthermore beneficial for persons who suffer from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and are also rich in vitamins A and D. Chickens, especially farm chickens, are a healthy and cheap source of protein. The white meat has no harmful long-term effect on one’s general health as red meat does. The skin should preferably be removed. Eggs are a protein that can easily be included in a healthy diet. They are versatile and need not be consumed as breakfast only. They contain saturated and unsaturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, calcium an vitamins A, B6, C and D, magnesium, cobalamin and iron.
Please note: These are only guidelines for healthy foods that you can include in your diet.
Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/245259.php