Stock up on these 10 highly nutritious foods and you’ll always have something healthy on hand
Keeping healthy foods on hand is one of the best strategies for maintaining a healthy diet. You’ll always have something to eat—even on those days when you have to whip something together at the last minute. These 10 foods are nutrition powerhouses that are both ideal to include in your diet and easy to keep in your kitchen. Keep them in regular rotation, and you’ll find that eating healthy never tasted so good!
The soluble fiber in oats helps your heart. It also may help you avoid sharp rises in blood glucose levels following meals. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half your daily grains come from whole grains like oats.
These small blue orbs have high levels of fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin C, as well as antioxidants. Research is looking at how these nutrients may help improve circulation, help your body fight infections, prevent colon cancer, and lower the risk of memory loss.
These tiny seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans, a type of phytochemical. These nutrients are being studied for their potential roles in cancer prevention, heart health, and blood glucose control.
Red and orange bell peppers are some of the best sources of beta carotene and vitamin C. Peppers also contain vitamin B6 and folic acid. These nutrients help reduce high levels of homocysteine, which is linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Rich in vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium, fiber, lutein, and vitamin E, spinach is a highly nutritious food. Its nutrients may help protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, macular degeneration (vision loss), and mental decline due to aging.
Soy protein, such as tofu, may help heart health when it is eaten in place of foods higher in saturated fat. Research is also looking at how soy may improve insulin sensitivity, ease menopausal symptoms, and maintain bone health.
A well-known source of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is prized for its nutrient value. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to benefit heart health. The Dietary Guidelines recommends eating about 8 ounces of seafood such as salmon once a week.
Fiber champions, legumes—including lentils, black beans, and kidney beans—may help lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Legumes also contain folic acid, iron, potassium, and saponins, a type of phytochemical that may play a role in cancer prevention.
Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to provide cardiovascular protection. Including nuts regularly in your diet may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reduce insulin resistance, and lower inflammation.
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, which is needed to maintain healthy bones. Many types of yogurt also contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help gut health. Flavored yogurts can be high in added sugar, so opt for plain yogurt that you can sweeten on your own with honey or fruit.
© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.