Eating well doesn’t just mean cutting down on McDonald’s and KFC. It also means eating food that’s genuinely good for you. Unfortunately, this has been made difficult by food manufacturers who are trying to promote everything as being healthy. These days it’s not uncommon to see “Low Fat!” or “No High-Fructose Corn Syrup!” labels on junk foods.
So to cut through the confusion, here are ten foods that you can eat confidently, knowing they’re truly worth their weight in nutritional value.
Instead of putting lettuce on your cheeseburger, opt for spinach instead. Spinach is arguably the healthiest food available today. It’s high in niacin, zinc, dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, and iron. To keep spinach’s nutritional value, eat it raw.
2. Red Beets
Often referred to as “red spinach” by nutritionists, red beets are the most common type of beet and are loaded with nutritional value. Eat red beets for vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, folic acid, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Red beets have been linked to liver health, low blood pressure, and pregnancy health.
Cinnamon is associated with sweets, so many people don’t associate it with health benefits. This is a tremendous mistake. Cinnamon is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. It’s also believed to help cure a wide range of maladies, including common colds, digestion problems, toothaches, and diarrhea. Cinnamon is also thought to reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Adding a lemon to your tea or water (or eating it raw if you can stomach it) is a tremendous health boost. Lemons are packed with vitamins. Lemons are a particularly good source of immune-boosting vitamin C. Additionally, lemons are thought to inhibit the spread of cancer.
Fish (and salmon in particular) have incredible health benefits. The best part about salmon is its high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, a crucial nutrient that most Americans don’t consume enough of. Omega-3s reduce your risk of heart disease, keep your blood pressure low, are good for arterial health, and keep your brain healthy.
Like spinach, garlic is something of a miracle food. With no fat, no cholesterol, and only four calories per clove, garlic is also rich in nutrients. Garlic produces antioxidants which are crucial for heart health. Garlic is very effective at reducing blood pressure. Garlic also reduces cholesterol and battles against digestive conditions like diarrhea and dysentery. Finally, garlic is a very potent aphrodisiac. Just make sure you use mouthwash!
7. Garbanzo Beans
All beans have great health benefits, but garbanzo beans stand apart from the pack. Low in cholesterol and sodium, garbanzo beans are very high in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, folate, and manganese. They’re a perfect addition to a salad and can also be mixed with rice.
Watermelon is sweet, so many people assume that it doesn’t have huge health benefits. But watermelon is actually a heavyweight in the nutrition department. It’s very high in potassium and vitamin A. The downside? Be aware: Watermelon derives a fair number of calories from sugar, which isn’t always optimal if you’re trying to watch your weight.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are delicious and not nearly consumed enough by the average American. They’re loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. They contain very little sodium, saturated fat, or cholesterol.
Those with poor eyesight should make a point of eating sweet potatoes. A single one contains 769% of your daily intake of vitamin A.
Your mother probably told you to eat your broccoli when you were a kid – and she was right. Broccoli contains protein, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese.
Think of each time you eat as an opportunity to improve your health. You’ll live longer, feel better, and achieve a more optimal life overall.
And going forward, the less contact you have to have with government-directed medicine, the better!