According to experts, there are certain foods that people should eat every day. These include lean protein and a variety of vegetables. Also, eating foods like olive oil, nuts, and berries can help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. A healthy diet that includes all food groups can help improve your intake of essential nutrients.
Many people follow repetitive diets and eat the same foods every week. However, incorporating the following foods into weekly meal plans can help them stay healthy and perform at their best. For example, a person might try a two-week meal rotation program and vary their protein sources, vegetables, and berries. This adds variety and a range of nutrients.
This article takes a look at some of the healthiest foods to include in your daily diet. Explore what the research says about their health benefits and offer some tips for consuming them.
1. Lean Proteins
We need protein for healthy growth and development and to maintain muscle mass. Eating protein with every meal can help balance blood sugar levels and prevent spikes that can occur from eating carbohydrates alone. This approach can help maintain energy levels and focus.
The amount of protein a person needs depends on factors such as gender, age, and weight. Also, protein needs vary depending on the amount and type of activity a person engages in and whether they are pregnant or nursing.
Adults need 150-200 g of protein per day. Here are examples of common healthy protein foods and their protein content:
1 slice of turkey = 30g
1 small chicken breast = 90g
1 can of drained tuna = 90g
1 salmon fillet = 170g
1 egg = 30g
1 cup of lentil soup = 60g
1 soy or bean burger = 30 g
a quarter cup of tofu = 60g
Try to vary your protein sources to get a wide variety of amino acids and other essential nutrients.
2. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfur compounds called glucosinolates. These are beneficial for health. According to a 2020 review, glucosinolates regulate cellular pathways and genes and may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds may also be beneficial in treating and preventing metabolic syndrome, but scientists need to do more research to prove this.
Here is a list of cruciferous vegetables that one can strive to eat every day:
– Brussels sprouts
In addition to sulfur compounds, cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals. Green leafy vegetables like arugula and watercress also contain beneficial sulfur compounds.
3. Vegetables of different colors
Health experts recognize the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthiest ways to eat. Diets that emphasize vegetables, such as plant-based diets and the Mediterranean diet, may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Eating different colored vegetables every day allows you to absorb a wide range of phytonutrients, which are beneficial plant compounds.
For adults, try to eat 2 to 4 cups of vegetables a day, depending on your gender, age, weight, and activity level. Eat plant foods of different colors, including green leafy vegetables, beans, and lentils.
Eating berries can help you meet some of your daily nutritional goals. For example, a 2015 study suggested that eating a 100-gram serving of raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries could provide more than 50% of a person’s daily requirement for manganese, vitamins such as vitamin C and folic acid, and phytochemicals.
Berries are excellent sources of bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. Since these compounds act as antioxidants, they can help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Here are some berries to eat every day:
– the Cranberries
Fresh or frozen berries are preferred over dried berries, which contain only 20% more phytonutrients.
Research indicates that eating nuts every day can benefit your health. For example, a 2019 prospective study of more than 16,217 adults with diabetes found that people who ate 5 or more servings of walnuts each week had a lower risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and death than those who ate 5 or more servings of nuts. nuts each week that they ate less than one serving of nuts per month. Specifically, tree nuts were more beneficial than peanuts in preventing chronic disease. Some people cannot eat nuts due to an allergy. For those who can eat them, choosing plain, unflavored, salt-free dried fruit is a healthy choice. All nuts contain essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc.
6. Olive oil
Olive oil is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. Olives are rich in polyphenols. These act as antioxidants, protecting the body against oxidative damage. A 2018 study suggested that phenolic compounds in olive oil have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties in test-tube studies. Although scientists need to conduct more research in humans, the authors of this study suggested that people who consume less olive oil may benefit from increasing their consumption.
Extra virgin olive oil and unfiltered olive oil contain the highest levels of beneficial polyphenols. However, since quality olive oil is usually more expensive, people may reserve it for drizzling salads and vegetables. Using standard olive oil for cooking can be more cost effective.
Incorporating these foods into a weekly meal plan, perhaps rotating every two weeks, can help ensure that a person receives a wide variety of beneficial nutrients. It also avoids repetitive dieting and can be more satisfying and attractive.