5 Great Foods You Should Eat for a Healthier Lifestyle
You’re probably aware that for being the wealthiest country in the world, we have unbelievably bad diet habits. It’s very ironic that some of the less wealthy or less developed places on earth have much healthier diets than we do here in the United States. There’s a plethora of reasons why are diets are so bad, but we’ll save that for another article.
Today we want to focus on food that can help us live a healthier lifestyle. Many people believe that its too difficult or complicated to live healthy. If your one of these people, you may be be surprised to hear that it is actually a lot easier to change your diet than you think. In fact, just by avoiding some of those high fat, fast food, and/or processed meals and replacing it with the five foods mentioned below, you can increase the healthiness of your diet and lifestyle!
1. Leafy Greens
Experts believe that the reason most people avoid eating green foliage is because they do not know how to prepare them properly. While others just don’t even consider eating them. Leafy greens can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches, mixed into smoothies or lightly sauteed and added into all sorts of prepared meals.
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, swiss chard, bok choy and mustard greens are high in antioxidants and loaded with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients. Nowadays, leafy vegetables come packaged and washed which makes them easier to prepare and cook with. See Benefits of Plant Based Diet for more info on the greens!
2. Olive Oil
The second food that can help you to live a healthier life is olive oil, which ironically goes well with the leafy green vegetables mentioned above. Further evidence to support olive oil’s contribution to a healthy life is all those energetic Mediterranean people who love all things active and outdoorsy and claim olive oil is the reason behind their healthy lifestyle.
If you have ever wondered what extra virgin means on an olive oil bottle, it suggests that the oil is less processed. As well as not clinging to your arteries and narrowing them, like other saturated fats, it contains the very potent polyphenols (antioxidants), similar to those found in teas.
Polyphenols prevent cells, like the ones that are known to cause colon and breast cancer, from warping or causing trouble. A study in Greece actually proved that the chances and occurrences of breast cancer were reduced by an amazing 12% in people who ate a vegetable-rich diet and consumed olive oil regularly.
If you really want to improve your health and impress your friends than you definitely need to include flaxseeds in your diet. These tiny seeds are full of fiber which prevents constipation and decreases your cholesterol levels. They also contain a polyphenol compound known as lignans that are believed to provide protection from cancers. If that isn’t enough, these little gems and their oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which, as you are probably aware, are great for promoting a healthy heart.
It is now clear that the Quaker guy and every parent or grandparent who has insisted that a bowl of oatmeal is good for you, were absolutely right. Oats help to drive cholesterol out of your body. It is recommended that you stick to the oatmeal that takes longer to cook than the instant version which tend to be more processed, have added sugars, etc… Oats, either rolled or steel cut (we prefer the consistency of the steel cut), are known to decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
5. Various Teas
If you are likely to drink bottles of soda or juice throughout the day, do me one favor and switch to black or green tea instead. Not only can tea be a tasty treat, various teas are loaded with all sorts of antioxidants and free radical fighting friends. Pale green tea is full of powerful polyphenols, which fight against free radicals that cause all sorts of harm on your body. Green tea is also thought to help enhance your metabolism, helping you burn a few more calories throughout the day. This makes it an excellent choice of beverage if your trying to lose weight (e.g. replace that diet cola with an iced green tea – unsweetened of course).
Many people claim that the trendy new white tea, which is derived from the white-flowered evergreen plant known as Camellia sinensis, contains the most potent disease-preventing and destroying flavonoids. Irregardless, if you are drinking white, green or even black tea instead of soda or energy drinks, you will already be doing your body and health a favor.
The above list is by no means exhaustive and there are many more foods out there that can improve your health. It’s not rocket science. If it’s made in a factory or contains contains a list of ingredients as long as your leg – the chances are that it is not going to be very good for your health! Whereas, if it is green, yellow, red or some other vibrant and natural color and grows underground or on a tree or plant, it’s probably the type of food you should be eating more of!