If you want to boost your overall health, you don’t need to search for a single miracle super-food!
In fact, there are many powerful foods that you should try to eat as often as possible. They will nourish your body correctly and provide you with ample energy.
The following are nine foods you should attempt to eat each week (at a minimum). Some of them are foods I enjoy almost every single day. source: medium.
Nine times out of ten, I start my morning off with a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I often switch up the toppings to keep the meal exciting, but the base of oats always remains the same.
Just make sure to buy your oats in the large tub rather than the little packets, because the packets often have additives like sugar and salt. Plus, the tub is much cheaper.
Bananas are an incredibly healthy fruit that you can enjoy in many different ways. They are also extremely budget friendly.
Bananas contain a high level of vitamin B6, which allows them to:
“reduce swelling, protect against developing Type 2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help with production of white blood cells.”
My favorite ways to incorporate bananas into my diet are to pair one with nut butter for a quick and easy snack, or to slice one up and mix it into my oatmeal for natural sweetness and additional flavor.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are packed with micronutrients that will help your body thrive.
Plus, broccoli is an especially powerful vegetable, because it contains vitamins A, C and K (which helps with bone health), as well as folate. It also:
“delivers a healthy dose of sulforaphane, a type of isothiocyanate that is thought to thwart cancer by helping to stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes.”
Since broccoli promotes bone health and potentially prevents cancer, that should be reason enough to add it to some of your meals.
Berries are incredibly powerful due to their high versatility and micronutrient content. They are easy to snack on or add to any meal.
According to Harvard Health:
“Berries are high in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C…blueberries also offer up a good dose of vitamin A and fiber…feel free to substitute another dark-colored fruit — like pomegranates or cherries — if blueberries aren’t in season.”
I love to eat berries by the handful, throw them in a smoothie, or add them to my oatmeal. If you want to sneak in another superfood along with your berries, make this healthy blueberry chia seed jam.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are incredible for your health. Even though they won’t instantly give you arms like Popeye, they will promote a long and happy life.
In fact, studies show that
“Eating more greens, like spinach, can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, keep your brain young and help fight off cancer.”
The next time you decide to make a smoothie, veggie scramble, or burrito, don’t forget to load up the spinach, because it can give your health a serious boost.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of my personal favorite vegetables, and they also happen to be incredibly healthy.
If you’ve only ever microwaved them, you are missing out big time in terms of flavor. When you bake them in the oven at a high heat, you will achieve optimal flavor and texture. You can even turn them into these healthy, oil-free sweet potato fries.
Plus, one medium sweet potato contains almost four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A, so it’s an easy way to meet the requirement for that nutrient.
Nuts serve the important purpose of promoting heart health. In fact, they contain healthy polyunsaturated fats and magnesium, which are two key nutrients for heart health.
Various nuts have other advantages as well. For example, walnuts support brain function, and brazil nuts support a healthy prostate.
I love to sprinkle some raw nuts on top of my oatmeal, or add a generous scoop of almond or peanut butter. I’ll even chop up a banana and dip it in some nut butter. The combination is pure perfection, and it checks off two of the healthy foods from this list.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts fall into the category of cruciferous vegetables. However, they are powerful enough to be awarded their own spotlight.
When I was a kid, there was no vegetable I hated more than Brussels sprouts. Now, I finally understand why my parents told me to eat them anyway.
According to Harvard Health:
“These crunchy little green balls, which look like mini-cabbages, are nutrient-dense and low in calories — only 28 in half a cup. They offer up a well-rounded group of vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate…Brussels sprouts feature bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants, which are chemicals that help prevent cell damage inside your body”
Therefore, Brussels sprouts are important to add to your diet to keep your cells healthy. If you don’t enjoy the taste of them, I urge you to roast them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until soft with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. These four ingredients may seem insignificant, but they pack in a ton of added flavor.
Studies have revealed some key health benefits linked to the regular consumption of coffee or tea. I’m an avid coffee drinker myself, but I know that some people can’t stand it. Luckily, tea can provide you with some very similar advantages.
I drink at least one cup of coffee every day, and most days I have two to three cups. Every single morning, I look forward to my fresh cup of coffee, which energizes me and allows me to get through hours of productive work. The brain and productivity benefits make tea/coffee a phenomenal beverage to add to your diet.
When you fill your diet with a wide variety of healthy foods, you nourish your body with a plethora of vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive.
I used to think that eating a few pieces of broccoli here or there was enough to fill my daily vegetable needs. I quickly realized I was wrong. Once I started to replace some of the processed food in my diet with fresh produce, my energy, productivity, and overall happiness received a huge boost.
Don’t rely on a single superfood to drastically improve your health. Instead, add a variety of minimally processed, plant-based foods to your diet. That way, you’ll establish a balanced lifestyle, which will ultimately help you live your longest, happiest life.