Nutrition Packed Foods to Eat All Day, Every Day

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Although there is no true definition of what a ‘superfood’ really is, it’s often used to describe foods that are nutritionally dense, low in calories, and are natural and unprocessed while being packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Superfoods are thought by many to protect us from many of the chronic and killer diseases that plague Western society today: everything from cardiovascular disease to diabetes to cancer.

Since it’s believed that adding superfoods to your diet can give you a longer, illness free life, it only makes sense to eat them as often as possible. The list below is a terrific example of some easy to eat superfoods that you can incorporate into your diet very easily.

 

1. Nuts

With more heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, and more anti-inflammatory power than red wine, combined with half of the protein of chicken- nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, sound like a miracle food, but they merely grow on trees. All nuts are super beneficial in their own ways, so eating one ounce of nuts as a between meal snack makes perfect sense. You can also try some in your salads, chopped and added to your pancakes, or mix walnuts with some olive oil for a terrific marinade for grilled meats.

Spinach leaves in a wooden plate

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2. Spinach

It’s green, it’s leafy, it’s Super Spinach! Popeye was right this green is some powerful nutrition. Spinach has plenty of folates, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for reducing the risk of stroke, heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Folates also help increase the blood flow to your genital area, which can help your sex life.

There’s a good reason to eat spinach each day right there! Spinach is super easy to incorporate into your meals. Use it salads, put it on scrambled eggs or pizza, and mix it with marinara sauce. If spinach seems a bit stringy, try baby spinach, the leaves are much more tender.

Butternut Squash

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3. Pumpkin

They are so much more than just a Jack ‘O Lantern! (Or pie filling). Pumpkins are a type of squash. They are loaded with super healthy beta-carotene, which, according to the US National Library of Medicine, along with the National Institutes of Health, is used by the body to prevent heart disease and cancer.

It’s also a natural fighter against other diseases and issues such as heartburn, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, psoriasis, hypertension, and depression. If fresh pumpkins are hard to find after the holidays, you can use other types of squash.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Carrots

There is a reason why Bugs Bunny was always munching on a carrot; he probably knew that most orange, yellow, and red vegetables are loaded with carotenoids.

Carotenoids are fat soluble compounds that are associated with a low risk of arthritis, asthma, and a very wide range of cancers. There are plenty of other vegetables with similar colors such as yellow bell peppers and butternut squash, it’s true, but none is as easy to eat or prepare as a carrot.

Try to eat about ½ cup of carrots each day for reap the optimum benefits.

Cherry tomatoes on the vine,garlic and basil

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5. Tomatoes

When it comes to tomatoes, there are two things you should know.

First, really red tomatoes are best because they are loaded with an antioxidant called lycopene.

Second, cooked tomatoes are just as good as fresh ones, because your body can more easily absorb lycopene. Aim for one large tomato, eight cherry tomatoes, or one glass of tomato juice each day. Or, you can always eat more spaghetti!

Frijoles, mexican black beans, on wooden background,

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6. Black Beans

OK, not as easy to pick up and eat as some of the other food items here, but black beans are super good for you! Nothing else can improve the power in your noggin like black beans.

Beans, especially black beans, are loaded with an antioxidant compound called anthocyanins, which have been shown in study after study to improve the function of the brain. So get that thinking cap ready and try to eat about ½ cup per day. Burritos, anyone?

lemons

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7. Lemons

Lemons are so much more powerful than we give them credit for. You can detox your body a bit each day simply by drinking a glass of warm lemon water each day. Even cold lemonade is great for the body!

Lemons are full of vitamin C, which support your immune system and help kill free radicals that cause damage to your cells and your DNA. Free radicals are some nasty bugs that play a key role in the development of things like heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Lemons will improve your digestion and support your liver function.

This is definitely one of the foods you simply must eat each and every day.

Sweet Potatoes

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8. Sweet Potatoes

Yummy, delicious, and a much better choice than white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes go over and above our need for vitamin A, which supports your skin health, eye health, and immune system, according to the Department of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University.

Sweet potatoes are also a great source of fiber, which keeps your colon clean and helps prevent colon cancer. Read more about foods for colon cleansing and colon cancer prevention.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

9. Garlic

OK, so it’s not the most kiss friendly food in the world, but it is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body.

Garlic  contains a powerful compound called alllicin, which has been used for thousands of years to do everything from prevent cancer, treat infection, lower blood cholesterol levels and stop cardiovascular disease.

Try to eat about 2 slightly crushed cloves of garlic each day or, if you can’t stand garlic, take some supplements.

Blueberries with leaves on a wooden table. Studio isolated.

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10. Blueberries

Is there a more delicious way to get your antioxidants than from blueberries? Everyone loves them, so they are easy to put in your diet each day.  Are blueberries out of season? That’s OK!

You can keep a frozen bag of blueberries in your freezer and serve them anytime as their antioxidant power only gets stronger when they are frozen! These powerful little blue jewels guard us from memory loss, age related blindness, urinary tract infections, heart disease, and cancer. Try to eat about ½ cup of blueberries every single day.

Just don’t cook blueberries, as this destroys their antioxidant power.

 

SEE ALSO: Top 20 Dangerous Foods You Absolutely Must Avoid

 

Sources:

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ohioline.osu.edu

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov