Being healthy should be everyone's priority in life. When you're healthy, you're free of chronic illnesses like cancer and heart diseases, and you'll have the energy to accomplish more every day. Your health also impacts your finances — the healthier you are, the easier it'll be for you to keep your medical bills down.
Aside from working out regularly, eating the right foods is an essential ingredient to staying healthy. Food is an important source of vitamins, minerals, plant proteins, and dietary fiber, which can help improve or maintain your health.
If you want to keep yourself in perfect shape, add the following foods to your diet:
Originally from South America, pineapples have become a favorite among many households worldwide – and with the health benefits this fruit offers, it's easy to see why. Pineapples are packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and other compounds, such as enzymes that protect the body from diseases and chronic inflammation.
Here are three health benefits you can get from eating pineapples:
- Aids in digestion: Pineapples contain digestive enzymes that ease the digestion of meat, making it easier for your body to break down tough meat proteins. Pineapples also contain fiber that improves your digestive health.
- Reduces risk of cancer:Studies show that the bromelain content of pineapples can reduce cancer risk as it minimizes oxidative stress and reduces inflammation. Bromelain also helps stimulate the immune system to produce more molecules that aid white blood cells in suppressing cancer growth.
- Relieves symptoms of arthritis: Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief for individuals with inflammatory arthritis.
Pineapples are often cheap, but you can score better deals using a Morrisons, Costco, or Aldi leaflet. Make sure to check back weekly for more offers on nutrition-packed foods from popular stores that you can find nearby.
Also, don’t forget to check your local grocery stores if they have the same promo to buy pineapples at a lower price!
2. Black Beans
Black beans are classified as legumes and are prized for their fiber and protein content. Black beans contain several vitamins and minerals that are necessary for human health. If you want to stay healthy and active for years, you should definitely add black beans to your diet.
Black beans offer the following health benefits:
- Aids in weight loss: Regularly eating black beans decreases your risk of obesity as it contains dietary fiber. Dietary fiber keeps you full for long periods and reduces your appetite, helping you lose weight faster.
- Maintains healthy bones: Black beans have iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that contribute to building and maintaining a healthier and stronger bone structure. These nutrients also work together to maintain the elasticity of bones and joints.
- Lowers blood pressure: Black beans are low in sodium and high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium — a combination that helps decrease blood pressure naturally.
You can enjoy black beans in different ways. You can use a microwave to make black bean burritos, mix them with our favorite soups, or make black bean dips.
Eggs are highly versatile, but do you know that they’re also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals? Experts recommend eating one egg daily as it contains muscle-building amino acids and choline that help enhance your memory.
Aside from those mentioned, eggs also offer these health benefits:
- Improves eye health: Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that counteract the body's degenerative processes that impact the eyes. Studies also show that these antioxidants reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Helps you lose weight: Eggs are filling and tend to make you eat fewer calories, resulting in healthier and faster weight loss because eggs are packed with protein, the most satiating macronutrient found in foods.
- Raises good cholesterol: Eating eggs is one of the best ways to increase good cholesterol in the body. Having higher levels of good cholesterol lowers the risk of stroke, heart diseases, and other heart problems.
Although generally healthy, it's you should limit your egg intake. Eating too many eggs can cause digestive problems and other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are known for their sweetness and starchiness. They come in different colors — including purple, white, and orange — and are full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They're also easy to add to your diet as they're highly versatile.
Add sweet potatoes to your diet to enjoy the following health benefits:
- Promotes gut health: Sweet potatoes have soluble and insoluble fiber that provides several health benefits to your gut. These types of fiber soften your stool and keep the cells in your intestinal lining healthy.
- Fights cancer: Sweet potatoes have antioxidants that slow the growth of certain types of cancer, such as breast, bladder, colon, and stomach.
- Supports healthy vision: Because it contains beta-carotene, regularly consuming sweet potatoes can keep your vision healthy. Beta-carotene helps prevent xerophthalmia, a special type of blindness that causes abnormal dryness of the eye’s cornea.
You can enjoy sweet potatoes in different ways. You can bake, roast, or boil them. You can also use sweet potatoes to make gnocchi, casseroles, pancakes, or stews.
When we’re talking about nutrition-rich food, there definitely has to be a place for blueberries.
Blueberries mostly consist of water and have low amounts of sugar in their composition that as a result helps during diets or daily eating routines.
Because of their size, they can easily be eaten as snacks. It is recommended to eat one cup of blueberries daily, and not overdo it if you are in a diet regime.
Eating 150 grams of blueberries daily seems to be more than enough to take advantage of the vitamins that they contain and in addition improve your cardiovascular health.
The health benefits of blueberries have also proven to protect your body from aging and cancer-related diseases which makes them a fruit to consider eating throughout the whole year not only in the summer season.
Staying healthy will require you to eat vegetables, which is why this list include broccoli. This vegetable might have a bad reputation, especially among kids, but adding this to your diet can significantly improve your health long-term.
Broccoli offers the following health benefits:
- Reduces inflammation: Broccoli is one of the best sources of bioactive compounds that help reduce inflammation in the tissues.
- Reduces constipation: Broccoli is rich in antioxidants and fiber that support healthy bowel function and better digestive health. Antioxidants and fiber also help maintain a healthy gut function.
- Slows mental decline: The bioactive compounds and nutrients in broccoli help slow mental decline and support a healthy brain. One study showed that adults eating dark green vegetables every day, like broccoli, have a lesser risk of mental decline caused by aging.
If you don't like the bitter taste of broccoli, add it to your smoothie, along with your favorite fruit. The natural sweetness of the fruits will mask the bitterness of broccoli.
Improve Your Diet
Keeping yourself in perfect shape is easier when you know what foods to consume regularly. The next time you shop for your groceries, make sure to add the items mentioned here to your cart. Adding these nutrition-packed foods can become your key to achieving your healthiest state!