Drink 8 to 12 cups of water a day, dark green vegetables. Eat dark green vegetables at least three to four times a week. Eat whole grains at least two or three times a day. Try to eat a bean-based meal at least once a week.
Broccoli provides good amounts of fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. However, overcooking broccoli can destroy many of its key nutrients. For this reason, it's best to eat it raw or lightly steamed.
Learn more about the nutritional impact of broccoli here. Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which fight free radicals. Free radicals are harmful substances that the body generates. They cause unwanted changes in the body and can contribute to chronic diseases, as well as to the aging process.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that offers a wide range of different nutrients. For example, this powerfully nutritious plant is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. People can steam cook or cook cabbage. They can also mix it into shakes or juices for a nutritional touch.
Learn more about including kale in your diet here. Blueberries provide substantial amounts of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Unlike minerals and vitamins, phytonutrients are not essential for survival. However, they can help prevent illness and maintain vital bodily functions.
Discover the nutritional power of blueberries. Some people avoid consuming avocados because of their high fat content. However, avocados provide healthy fats, as well as B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin E. Avocados are also a good source of fiber.
Avocados are very nutritious and satiating. Sweet potatoes provide dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and potassium. The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes with that of several other vegetables. Sweet potatoes ranked first for their vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein and complex carbohydrates content.
Eggs contain vitamins, including B-2 and B-12, which are important for conserving energy and generating red blood cells. Eggs are also a good source of the essential amino acid leucine, which plays a role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Eggs also provide a good amount of choline, which is important for cell membranes. Mushrooms are full of nutritional benefits and can be an excellent substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes because of their complex, savory flavor and firm texture.
In addition, mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D (a nutrient that many of us are deficient in) and one of the only widely available types of products that contain significant amounts of selenium. The latter, according to WebMD, helps prevent cell damage. Many varieties are also believed to have immunostimulatory and anti-cancer properties. Barley is a grain full of fiber, so the body digests it more slowly than more refined grains.
It is also thought to help lower blood pressure and keep blood sugar levels stable. Whole wheat pasta contains much more fiber and nutrients, such as iron and protein, than the traditional type of semolina. Be sure to look for packages labeled with whole grains rather than multigrains. Multigrain pasta may be made from grains and flours other than semolina, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily in their whole (and healthiest) form.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. If you choose not to eat animal food products that provide these essential fats (such as fish), walnuts are an excellent alternative. Walnuts also contain antioxidants, which may help protect against free radical damage, as well as protein and fiber. If it's good enough for Popeye, it's good enough for you.
Spinach is a nutrient-rich superfood and, thanks to its growing popularity, is available in almost every supermarket. Whether fresh, frozen or even canned, as our pie-smoking sailor friend prefers. Spinach is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, it is full of energy and is low in calories. It's also a great source of vitamins A, K and essential folate.
Okay, it can make your breath smell bad, but trust us, the benefits it provides are worth it. Garlic has been used to fight diseases for hundreds of years, as it inhibits the growth of bacteria. It also lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. So look beyond the smell, buy a mouthwash and buy yourself some garlic.
Lemons have been widely considered in the health industry to be the healthiest food in the world. Sour fruit is a powerful alkalizing food; it has strong anti-inflammatory qualities and may even help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. They help both the liver and the intestines, and they also have the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. So, when the world gives you lemons, say thank you, add a slice to some water and enjoy.
These have been a staple part of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. Now, thanks to their health benefits, they have arrived in the UK. Lentils are high in fiber and protein, their nutritional benefits include the ability to improve and maintain heart health, help you lose weight in a healthy way, combat blood sugar fluctuations that can cause diabetes or low energy levels, and improve digestive health. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you probably already like lentils and use them as a meat substitute in your recipes.
If you've never tried them, trust us, add them to a salad, soup or stew and enjoy their benefits. The most consumed berry in the world, raspberries are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and iron. Research has shown that increasing the consumption of these products decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion, increased energy and, in general, lower weight. So next time you're in the fruit aisle, make sure to put some raspberries in your basket.