Whether you’re trying to lose weight, add muscle, or simply increase your overall health, as soon as you start talking about food, it can seem like there are a lot of restrictions. Don’t eat this, stay away from that, avoid those… it can be a real downer! It’s no wonder so many diets are unsuccessful. It’s hard to make positive lifestyle changes stick when you’re spending so much time focusing on the things you can’t have. Maybe if we flipped the script and focused on the wonderful things you can have, things would be different.
The truth is, there are so many healthy foods that if we tried to include them all in our daily diets, it would be difficult. So, where does a person start without getting overwhelmed? Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve selected our favorite top five daily must-haves. Aim for at least one serving of each of these foods daily, and you may not have much room left for the foods on your “do not eat” list.
1. Leafy greens
It’s probably no surprise that we start our list here. Thanks to their high folate content, leafy greens pack a powerful punch. Greens also contain vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, folate, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and fiber. The bottom line? Make sure you don’t skip your daily greens.
Who knew something so colorful and small could pack such a heavy health punch? Berries are filled with antioxidants. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all packed with fiber and vitamin C, making them a dietary staple among a lot of nutritionists. Add your favorite berries to a smoothie, your morning oatmeal, or munch on them when a sugar craving strikes.
One word: probiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms primarily known for supporting gut health. In addition to providing your diet with probiotics, yogurt may also contain a lot of protein and calcium. Not all yogurts are created equally, though. To get the most benefits, be sure you’re selecting yogurt that says “live and active cultures” on the label.
4. Beans and other pulses
Looking for something with fiber, protein, and easy on the pocketbook? Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are the answer! They’re versatile, affordable, and have vitamins and minerals. Looking for inspiration? Check out our hummus or roasted chickpea recipes!
Canned or fresh, tomatoes bring an impressive amount of lycopene, an antioxidant nutrient, to the table. Whether you enjoy your tomatoes fresh or from the can, make sure you’re getting yours every day.
As always, please consult your healthcare provider before changing your diet to determine if it is suitable for your needs.
This blog is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.