The age-old adage, “My body is my temple,” really does speak truth. Taking care of your body is essential for optimal health and well-being. Doing so with a varied diet of whole vegetables, fruits, grains, and plant-based protein will bring you more energy, make you happier, and will give you a radiant “glow.”
The following foods are superfoods in themselves, with each providing some form of nutritional benefit, including antioxidants, fiber, and protein. You don’t have to essentially eat all five foods every day, but incorporating one, some, or all of these healthy foods into your regular diet will do you good.
It’s also important to note that everyone’s eating patterns vary, and depends heavily on your age, if you’re male or female, and how much you exercise. Take these five healthy foods into account when you opt to upgrade your (I’m sure, already very healthy) diet.
Oats, whether you like old fashioned rolled oats or prefer quick oats, most types are good for you. The only exception to this one is instant oatmeal. Beware of instant! The convenient little packets of instant oatmeal are usually laden with sugar and high in sodium. Learn more about instant oatmeal and your health here. Oats, in general, are a healthy whole grain to eat anytime, and is a great way to start your day.
What’s more, oats are gluten-free and all its fiber will curb hunger pangs until lunchtime. It can lower LDL, “bad” cholesterol, and has been shown to prevent heart disease. Short on time in the mornings? Try making this 5-minute Pomegranate Oatmeal Burst. Or want the little kiddos to eat healthier? Make this Purple Monster Vegan Oatmeal to get them hooked. And, if you have a slow cooker, this Vegan Coconut Banana Pecan Coffee Cake Oatmeal is worth the wait till morning!
Berries of all kinds are great every day, antioxidant-boosting foods. From blueberries to strawberries, these little guys are bursting with age-fighting antioxidants, helping your skin look beautifully young. Add a handful of berries on top of a bowl of morning oatmeal. That way, you can get the benefits of both super foods before you even leave your house!
Another great option is to bring some berries on-the-go. They make a great, low-calorie snack option. If you’re feeling adventurous, make this vegan Blueberry, Strawberry, Banana Ice Cream Cake. For something simpler, try blending up this Super-Thick Strawberry Shake.
3. Leafy Greens
Spinach and kale are among the greens you should be consuming every day. Leafy greens are filled with cancer-fighting phytochemicals, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are shown to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels, among other nutritional benefits.
It’s true what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Or at least it can help. An apple has soluble fiber, keeping you fuller longer, while containing less than 100 calories at that. An apple also counts as 1 serving of fruit. If you’re not keen on eating apples by themselves, try them in a delicious dessert like in this Vegan Apple-Of-My-Eye Pie. And check out these 10 Warm and Fuzzy Apple-Based Recipes!
5. Garlic & Onions
Garlic may be able to keep vampires away, but it shouldn’t deter you from its pungent smell. Neither should onions. Both garlic and onions are used as bases in a variety of recipes and each are packed with lots of nutritional benefits. Garlic is packed with antioxidants, so incorporating garlic into your dishes can help fight off sickness. Garlic has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Onions work similarly to garlic in warding off illness. They have properties that can boost Vitamin C intake and up your immune system. The juice of onions have also been shown to reduce hair loss!
Try caramelized onions on top of this vegan Olive Tart. Or how about trying this Creamy Zinger Garlic Spread? For something simple, try adding minced garlic, onions, or both to this Spicy Mushroom Stir-Fry with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Chives.
These are just a few of the many healthy foods out there you could enjoy eating every day! What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments!