Best Foods to Kick Start Your Journey to a Healthier You

Apr 24, 2013
Tagged with: Best Foods to Kick Start Your Journey to a Healthier You

Any day is the perfect day to start on a personal journey of increased healthiness. It does not have to be done at the beginning of a new year or on a birthday. It certainly does not have to be started when one gets bad news at a doctor’s visit. Instead, healthy living is something that is built on every day of the year. One of the best ways to do this is with healthy eating. While numerous foods have health benefits, these five categories of food will help an individual to get their healthy eating off to a great start!

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Almost everyone has heard the benefits of dark green leafy vegetables spoken of since grade school. These vegetables are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals and are especially beneficial for vegans since they contain many nutrients that are traditionally found in milk and meat. In particular, these vegetables have high amounts of vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals calcium and iron. The American Institute for Cancer Research states that these products help to fight cancer (http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/foodsthatfightcancer_leafy_vegetables.html). Most of these foods listed below can be eaten raw or cooked. The best method of cooking them is to steam them; this helps them retain as many nutrients as possible.

  • Spinach
  • Lettuces, such as iceberg, green leaf and romaine
  • Greens, such as collard greens, mustard greens and turnip greens
  • Kale
  • Broccoli

Fish: Fish are becoming increasingly popular as a food because they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that can create a healthier heart. In fact, because of this, the American Heart Association recommends eating healthy fish twice a week (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp). Those who do not like fish could consider taking omega 3 or fish oil supplements. Some fish are healthier than others are; those listed below are generally considered to be some of the best choices.

  • Salmon
  • Albacore tuna
  • Flounder
  • Sole
  • Rainbow trout

Whole Grains : Whole grains are appearing in many places these days, from breads to cereals and toaster pastries. Of course, whole grains contain many vitamins and minerals that are vital to a healthy body, including vitamin B and iron. However, they are most popular because they are rich in fiber. Fiber can be very filling, thereby keeping a person full longer and helping to stave off weight gain. In addition, according to the Whole Grains Council, whole grains decrease the chance of acquiring heart disease, cancer and diabetes (http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101).

  • Barley
  • Bulgar
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat
  • Rye
  • Wild Rice

Citrus Fruits : Citrus fruits are most popularly known for their rich vitamin C content. In fact, they became widely revered for their health benefits centuries ago when sailors discovered that eating citrus fruits decreased the risk of scurvy on their long voyages. However, today, citrus fruits are known to boost the immune system; they are also prized for their heart healthy qualities. They can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries. Finally, they are full of antioxidants, which decrease an individual’s risk of cancer. The following are a list of the most well-known citrus fruits.

  • Grapefruits
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Tangerines

Nuts: Nuts are another food well known for healthy fats. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids. However, nuts should only be eaten in moderation; a moderate amount is generally considered to be approximately an ounce per day. They are great sources of protein as well as fiber; therefore, they are wonderful when eaten as a snack between meals. They can be eaten by themselves or can be placed in many baked goods or on salads. The four examples found below are some of the best.

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts

These five food groups are some of the best options for someone wanting to make some healthy food choices. All of these foods are full of vital vitamins and minerals and many have protein and fiber to keep one full longer. In addition, many of these foods have been proven to improve cardiovascular health and decrease the risk of a variety of diseases.   Author, Katelyn Roberts, works with Trishia Laucklier who is a mental and physical nutritionist who is helping men and women alike gain confidence and pride with NativeRemedies.com’s natural anxiety remedy PureCalm.

Author: Katelyn Roberts