My 5 Favorite (Health) Foods

Eating healthy is something we all know we should do, but it is not always easy.

We know that eating what is good for us will likely make us feel better and look better but reaching for something less than healthy often wins out.  Next time reach for one (or all) of these and move one bite closer to healthy.

These are my top 5 go-to healthy foods that I eat every day. Yes, I really do eat each of these every single day.

1. Apples. The old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is not just cute. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. Apples are high in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) and Phytonutrients. Apples can potentially improve neurological health, prevent dementia, reduce your risk of stroke, reduce the risk of diabetes and help ward off breast cancer.

2. Legumes. The list of legumes is longer than you may think. But first what is a legume? Legumes are most famous for their protein content. They tend to be great sources of protein for non-meat eaters. They’re also great sources of minerals and fiber. Because of their fiber content, they don’t spike insulin levels and inhibit fat loss as grains and other simple carbohydrates do. I found a list of no less than 91 different foods that are considered legumes. Of these some of my favorites are lentils, peanuts, green beans, chickpeas and soybeans.

3. Cruciferous vegetables and/or leafy greens. Cruciferous vegetables are one of the dominant food crops worldwide. They are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients and phytochemicals. Each day I eat broccoli, cauliflower and kale but there are so many to choose from find the ones you like best.

4.  Quinoa. This is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It has an impressive high nutritive value.  It has antioxidant phytonutrients and two flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol) which are potent bioactive substances. These have been shown to have all sorts of beneficial effects on health such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects (at least in animal studies). Quinoa is high in fiber and high in protein with all of the essential amino acids that we need. This means quinoa is a complete protein. It is also low on the glycemic index and high in minerals that most people don’t get enough of, especially magnesium. And Quinoa is also gluten free. You can eat quinoa like cereal, on top of salad, as a side dish or main, find a way; morning noon or night quinoa is always right.

5. Berries. I can’t go a day without eating berries, I love them. Not only are berries delicious and my dessert every night but berries can help you feel full, lose weight and prevent disease. How do these tasty little treats do this? They are naturally high in levels of phytochemicals, naturally occurring nutrients that help protect cells from damage. Berries have also been linked with postponing cognitive decline. It is thought that anthocyanidins, which is a type of flavonoid found almost exclusively in berries, are known to cross the blood-brain barrier and locate in learning and memory centers in the brain. Berries contain chemical compounds called polyphenolics, which could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease by cleaning up the damaging build-up of toxins over time.  Berries are also a good source of fiber. One study showed that people who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25% less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than those who did not, according to research published in the journal of Neurology. Berries are good for heart health, the fiber in berries makes us feel full longer helping to reduce or control weight. Berries may even help lower blood pressure. Research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis suggests that flavonoids and other compounds found in berries may help reduce colon cancer risk as well as other forms of cancer. What luck for us that that something so delicious could be such a health powerhouse.