Too many times we think about going on a diet and then either think the only foods we can eat are bland and boring or the diet will be too restrictive. The good news is, there are plenty of food choices that are tasty, easy to find, easy to prepare and you likely already enjoy them.
As we all know, its important to fill our plates with vegetables, good quality protein, small portions of healthy fats, and whole grains. So which foods are good choices and what makes them a good choice? Here is a list of superfoods you most likely already enjoy and you’ll want to consider adding to your meal plans.
- Broccoli – tastes great and is a good source of vitamins C and K, protein and fiber.
- Kale – has a high fiber content, vitamins C and K and other nutrients.
- Tomatoes – high concentration of potassium and vitamin C.
- Garlic – improves immune function.
- Bell Peppers – loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Asparagus – has a low calorie count but high in vitamin K.
- Potatoes – high in potassium and nearly all nutrients we need.
- Sweet Potatoes – (a true superfood) very high in antioxidants, fiber, supports brain function, healthy immune system and has cancer-fighting properties.
- Oats – are slowly digested providing hours of energy, they are also nutrient dense with fibers called beta glucans which reduce cholesterol and boost heart health.
- Brown Rice – has some fiber as well as vitamin B and magnesium.
- Quinoa – contains fiber and magnesium with the added benefit of plant-based protein.
- Lentils – are very high in fiber and one of the best sources of plant-based protein, full of polyphenols (help prevent neurodegenerative disease and cardiovascular diseases), good source of iron, folic acid, magnesium and are good for your bones.
- Kidney Beans – high in plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants and promote good colon health. They also control blood sugar and promote weight loss.
- Green Beans – excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, vitamin K and silicon (which our bodies need for healthy bones, skin and hair).
- Peanuts – high in nutrients and antioxidants, has healthy fats and new studies indicate they may help with weight loss.
Nuts and Seeds:
- Walnuts – high in Omega 3s, decreases inflammation, promotes healthy gut, reduces some cancer risks, helps lower blood pressure, and is a great source of healthy fat.
- Chia Seeds – one ounce has 11 grams of fiber and high amounts of manganese, calcium, and magnesium among other nutrients.
- Almonds – high in vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. Some studies have shown almonds can assist with weight loss and improve metabolic health.
- Bananas – the best source of potassium and high in vitamin B6 and fiber.
- Blueberries – one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants in any other food.
- Apples – lots of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Oranges – vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Strawberries – low calorie but loaded with fiber, manganese and vitamin C.
Healthy Fats and Oils:
- Avocados – Low in carbs but high in healthy fats, fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
- Extra virgin olive oil – perhaps the healthiest of all vegetable oils containing monounsaturated fats, which are heart healthy, protect against stroke, and lowers risk of type two diabetes.
- Vegetable oil – primary source of vitamin E which fights free radicals and slows the aging process (may also help prevent cancer).