In my last article I talked about my ten favorite healthy foods and received lots of positive feedback. The truth is there are many healthy foods to eat. So, I decided to discuss another ten foods to include in your healthy diet. Again, they are in no special order. They are all healthy foods that I recommend you eat on a regular basis, unless you are allergic.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. Other crucifers include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and Swiss chard. They are all good for you. Broccoli is a great source of protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, beta-carotene, and vitamin A. It contains isothiocynanates that fight cancer and carotenoids that reduce macular degeneration. Also, it is one of the vegetables least contaminated by pesticides, so you don’t have to buy it organic.
Garlic is a wonderful herb to add to foods. Not only does it keep away vampires, but it has been shown to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, protect against cancer, and can be useful in weight control. According to Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, over 1,200 studies have shown garlic to be fat-lowering, anti-clotting, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and an antioxidant.
If you are going to eat a starchy vegetable sweet potatoes are the ones to have. They are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. One sweet potato contains one-half of the daily requirements of vitamin C. They also contain quercetin, a strong anti-inflammatory. As a starchy vegetable they will raise blood sugar levels, so diabetics or pre-diabetics, are advised to limit their consumption.
Eggs, yes eggs, and yes the whole egg. They are a great source of protein containing all nine essential amino acids. “Essential” in nutrition talk means your body does not make it so you must eat it. They have vitamins and minerals that help the eyes, brain, and heart. They have also been found to be protective against breast cancer. Don’t worry about the cholesterol – but that is for another article!
Whey protein comes from milk. It is a dairy product, so some people may be sensitive to it. I have it almost every morning as part of my nutritious breakfast. However, you must be very careful with your selection of this product. You want a good quality whey protein. Look for whey protein isolate as opposed to whey protein concentrate. Also, you’d like the whey to come from cows that were not given growth or other hormones and fed on natural grass pastures. Many “health” powders contain artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners – so beware.
Looking for healthy drinks? Of course water is number one, but I also like unsweetened cranberry juice and tea. One of the country’s leading nutritionists, Ann Louise Gittleman utilizes unsweetened cranberry juice at the core of her Fat Flush diet. The key here is unsweetened. It contains many vitamins and is helpful in relieving urinary tract infections. How does it do this? It prevents bacteria from adhering to bladder cells. Tea is another healthy drink. Both green tea and black tea are known for fighting cancer, while black tea improves blood vessel function and can lower cholesterol.
Olive oil is a healthy fat. It is best used in salad dressings along with vinegar. Please buy extra virgin olive oil, it is the healthiest form. “Extra virgin” means it is from the first pressing and has limited processing. Olive oil is high in healthy fats, particularly oleic acid, which is good for the heart.
Brown rice is a whole grain and a healthy alternative to white rice. I also like the pasta made from it – a healthy alternative to refined and processed white pasta. As a whole grain it is a great source of fiber, the B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.
For a red meat alternative try free-range buffalo. It is an excellent source of protein and has less fat than beef. And, being free-range there are no hormones, antibiotics, or chemicals added. Being grass fed, it is source of omega-3 fatty acids, ideal for those of you who aren’t fond of fish.
So, there you have it, ten more foods that are part of a healthy diet. If you’d like more ideas about healthy foods I strongly recommend Jonny Bowden’s book that I referred to above. He also has a great newsletter. You can subscribe at www.jonnybowden.com.
Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (262) 389-9907, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.brwellness.com.