20 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating

Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health with 0 Comments

By Jennifer Nelson | Mother Nature News

Eat this, eat that. There's always someone telling you the healthiest (and unhealthiest) foods for your body. The worst part is that one day coffee and eggs are bad, but the next study says they're good for you. Here, we've compiled 20 healthy foods that no new study is likely to dispute. (Well, we don't think so, anyway!) Best of all, there are lots of surprising choices.

1. Beans

beans“Whether or not you are a vegetarian or vegan, beans should be your main source of protein,” says Joanne Mumola Williams, Ph.D., a nutritionist and author of “Health Begins in the Kitchen: Delicious and Easy Vegan Recipes and Seasonal Food Plan.” Beans provide protein without the saturated fat and cholesterol that you get with meat. Plus, they're a great source of fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants. “Soaking beans and discarding their soak water reduces substances that cause flatulence.”

A tasty way to include beans in your diet: Tuscan White Bean Soup

2. Garlic

garlic2This onion cousin should be part of your daily diet. Garlic contains powerful sulfur-containing compounds that give it its reputation for promoting health. Garlic is known to promote heart health and ward off illnesses caused by inflammation. Garlic also has the ability to control infections from bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast and has properties that can lower the risk of many cancers. Crush and chop garlic and let it rest 10 minutes before cooking to get the best health benefits. “In any recipe that uses garlic, I chop or crush it first before doing anything else so that it can rest and develop its superpowers,” says Williams.

Tasty ways to include garlic in your diet: 5 recipes for garlic

3. Artichokes

ArtichokesArtichokes are very high in dietary fiber — more than 10 grams each. They're also a good source of vitamins C and K, folic acid and manganese. Plus, they contain the flavonoid silymarin, which is a powerful liver protectant. The antioxidants rutin, quercetin and gallic acid contained in the leaf of the artichoke have led researchers to believe that artichokes may help fight cancer.

Related Article: 8 Awesomely Ordinary Superfoods for Spring

Tasty ways to include artichokes in your diet: 7 delicious artichoke recipes

4. Seeds

High-protein-power-balls_main-300x200Chia, hemp and flax (pictured above) are potent additions to the diet, especially if you don't eat fish. “They are an excellent source of ALA omega-3 which is critical for heart health, brain development, reducing inflammation and joint pain, managing depression, preventing dry eyes, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, protecting your bones and more,” says Williams. Flax has the most omega-3s, hemp contains the most protein, and chia has the most fiber and calcium. Use seeds in salads, dressings, on yogurt and as a snack.

Tasty ways to include seeds in your diet: 5 recipes that celebrate seeds and one delicious dessert recipe: Raw Power Protein Balls with Cacao, Hemp, Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds (pictured above)

5. Pomegranates

Pomegranates help fight free radicals, balance cholesterol and are heart health superstars.

A tasty way to include pomegranates in your diet: Baked Rainbow Trout with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds

Related article: Top 4 Health Benefits of Pomegranates

6. Butternut and spaghetti squash

Butternut and spaghetti squash (pictured above) are often overlooked super veggies. The squashes are low in calories at about 80 per cup and high in vitamins K, B6, C and A.

A tasty way to include butternut squash in your diet: Butternut Squash Galette with Roasted Garlic and Thyme

salad with salmon-avocado-nuts-compressed7. Salmon and halibut

These seafood favorites are wonderful sources of vitamin D, especially when sunshine is limited. What's more, vitamin D has a huge impact on emotional health. Wild-caught or farm-raised, salmon boasts a boatload of other nutrients important for a healthy immune system.

Tasty ways to include salmon in your diet: 5 recipes for leftover cooked salmon

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