By Nicholas Klacsanzky
People trying to eat healthy food has become a global trend. They not only want to live longer but also desire to look and feel better. This is understandable, as consuming unhealthy food makes one experience life differently; some say eating junk food can make you feel like you have a junk life. In respect to this, we should investigate the healthiest foods to eat and what a balanced diet looks like.
Knowing what items are the healthiest to eat will help you consider them in your daily meals. According to Fitness Magazine, lemons, broccoli, dark chocolate, potatoes, salmon, walnuts, avocados, garlic, spinach, and beans are the top 10 healthiest foods in the world (“The 10 Healthiest Foods on the Planet”).
Let us examine why. “Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones. Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory” (Fitness Magazine). In the case of broccoli, it keeps you away from cancer and gives you loads of vitamin K and C. For dark chocolate, “Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals. Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels” (Fitness Magazine). Potatoes may not seem super healthy but they are a great source of cell-building folate, and sweet potatoes, in particular, can stave off cancer and provide with you a lot of vitamin A. The Native Americans stayed healthy with salmon, as it is “A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer. A 3-ounce serving contains almost 50 percent of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss” (Fitness Magazine). Making its way next on the list is the walnut, which has the omega-3 fatty acids you need (the best out of all the nuts). Avocados are known to be healthy, but most people cannot say why. Well, they are “Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent. One has more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease” (Fitness Magazine). Garlic is another miracle item that not only kills vampires, but also fights many diseases like E. coli, reduces inflammation, and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Spinach might be Popeye’s favorite thing to chow down on, but “Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants important for eye health. Recent research found that among cancer-fighting fruits and veggies, spinach is one of the most effective” (Fitness Magazine). The last on the list, beans, are more than just meals to invoke stomach gas and to make cowboys feel better. Beans can lower the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.
Now that we know the healthiest foods possible to eat, what comprises a proper diet? Well, most nutritionists point to the fact that we should have variety in our meals. This variety can be looked at through the food groups: vegetables and legumes/beans, fruit, lean meats and poultry, grain, milk, and its products. As you might have noticed, cakes and donuts did not fit in these categories (well, I guess you say a cake is a type of grain, but not really). Food outside the five main groups are considered discretionary choices, and should only be consumed on occasion. Also, if you cannot fit all the food groups in your meals, you can eat them as snacks. Fruit and yogurt, for example, make for fine healthy snacks. The key is to have a balance of all the food groups throughout your day and to indulge outside of them no more than a few times a week (Better Health Channel).
As we have discovered, there are simple ways to maintain fine bodily shape through various, everyday foods that are healthy. Lemons, broccoli, dark chocolate, potatoes, salmon, walnuts, avocados, garlic, spinach, and beans are easy to find around but they are the healthiest food in existence. Besides knowing this, having a balanced diet according to the five main food groups will ensure you remain healthy. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent in your healthy eating.
“The 10 Healthiest Foods on the Planet.” Fitness Magazine, Fitness Magazine, 8 Sept. 2008, www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/the-10-healthiest-foods-on-the-planet/?page=1.
Department of Health & Human Services. “Food Variety and a Healthy Diet.” Better Health Channel, Department of Health & Human Services, 26 Jan. 2015, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-variety-and-a-healthy-diet.