8 Foods You Should Eat Everyday

November 12, 2012

8 Foods You Should Eat Everyday

If you are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle there are many foods that you can eat, and many that you should avoid. But what does ‘healthy lifestyle’ mean? Well to different people, it probably means something different. Everyone has a diverse take on what it means. Some think of it as remaining at a healthy weight others think of it as protecting themselves from future illness and disease some even think of it as warding of the aging process.

The truth is that to maintain a healthy lifestyle we should consider most factors. However, to get the best out of your body you must maintain some control over the foods you consume. Every food has something going for it, however some can only be taken in moderation or very rarely.

The factors that are generally considered as measures of health and healthy lifestyle are muscle growth and development, cardiovascular factors, bone strength and development and brain stimulation and growth. Other factors are routinely talked about include cancer fighting properties, eyesight and immunity strengthening, some people even consider sexual enhancement as part of the formula.

So as we consider the best foods to put into our bodies, here is our selection of the best 8 foods to eat.

Yoghurt, it was discovered thousands of years ago and the fact that it is still around bares testament to its health benefits. The actual place and time of discovery is unknown however it is known to increase the body’s immune system and gives protection from cancer as well as helping bones to grow well.

Yoghurt is produced when probiotic cultures grow out of the fermentation process and this is why they are described as ‘live and active cultures’. A reasonable amount of yoghurt to take a day is about one cupful and this ensures that you get all of the benefits of the calcium and protein present.

Yoghurt is really flexible and can be eaten in almost any way. Try a carton of yoghurt and add other ingredients such as blueberries, walnuts and honey if you have a sweet tooth. Have a plain yoghurt as the base for your favorite salad cream or make it up as a drink, liquidize your favorite vegetables or fruit and add some yoghurt and ice for your smoothie. Use low fat yoghurt if calories are an issue.

Oats are the unsung heroes of the healthy food empire. They can be used in almost every food or eaten themselves, they can be sweet or savory. And on top of all that they are very high in soluble fiber and are full of carbohydrates. Yet the sugars are released slowly partly because of the high fiber content. They also have lots of protein, about 10 grams per half a cup so their muscle building qualities are clear. Yet they also help maintain a healthy heart whilst being good for the brain too.

Oats can be eaten with rice, potatoes or salads. An oatmeal and apple based salad with some low fat yoghurt and berries and walnuts can be a great snack or a meal on its own.

Spinach has moved on from the days of Popeye opening a tin of his favorite bodybuilding meal. However it is a great builder of muscles and helps with sexual enhancement because of its ability to aid the flow of blood around the body. It’s also high in omega 3s and folate benefiting the heart and lowering your chances of having a stroke or developing osteoporosis. Spinach also contains nutrients which fight AMD (age related macular degeneration) which is a condition in the eyes which affects the sight.

If you can’t get your daily fix of spinach then kale or romaine lettuce can fill in. It can be eaten boiled or steamed added to scrambled eggs or as part of a pizza topping or liquidized as a health drink and garlic, another great food, compliments spinach in any meal.

Blueberries are becoming the ‘chosen ones’ because recent research has discovered all the great health benefits in these little dark blue beads. They are packed with antioxidants, the highest amount known in any fruit (researchers compared them against 60 other fruits). They also contain Vitamin A and C and are high in fiber, giving cardiovascular benefits. Blueberries are also said to aid memory in older people and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.

When it comes to eating these delicious fruits it really is up to you, eat them alone, with oats or in a fruit salad or flavor a plain yoghurt with them. You should aim to eat a cup of fresh berries every day, if you choose frozen or dried eat a bit less.

Tomatoes are so commonplace it is easy to overlook them but these great eats also contain lots of antioxidants. The main antioxidant is called lycopene and research has shown that lycopene can reduce the risk of developing many cancers including lung, bladder, skin, prostate and stomach. The redder the tomato the more antioxidants are present and the good news is that the body can absorb this type of antioxidant very easily and if the tomatoes are processed in any way the good nutrients remain.

Researchers say that about 22mg of lycopene every day is the right amount, you can get that from a glass of tomato juice or about eight red cherry tomatoes.

Other fruit and vegetables which can be used as a substitute could be watermelon, pink grapefruit, papaya or guava. Tomatoes in all their forms must be one of the commonest additions to any meal, whether it’s ketchup, sauce on beans, pizza topping or as a Bolognese sauce it’s everywhere doing its good work.

Carrots are filled with carotenoids, which is a known reducer of risk for cancer, in addition to rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Carotenoids are an anti inflammatory fat soluble compound and most red, yellow or orange vegetables contain them. Carrots are just so simple to prepare for eating. The can be eaten raw, just wash them, or steamed, boiled or added to any number of salads. They can even be baked or dry roasted. Try to eat about half an average size carrot every day to get the full cancer reducing, healthy heart and immunity building qualities.

Walnuts are a wonder food. They have more omega 3s packed into them pound for pound than salmon, they have more polyphenols, which are anti inflammatories, than red wine and also has lots of protein, about half as much as chicken. As with most types of nut, walnuts have a high calorific value so they should be eaten sparingly. A reasonable size snack would only have about seven nuts, but they are great sprinkled on top of salads or ground down to make sauces or marinades for the main course.

For those with a sweet tooth a great dessert is one small cup of nuts, half a cup of dried blueberries and a quarter of a cup of dark chocolate chunks and you can add low fat natural yoghurt to top things off. What better way to finish a meal.

Black Beans are the best beans because they contain the most anthocyanins of all bean types. Anthocyanins are compounds with antioxidant qualities known to aid the brain. Although all other beans also contain the protein and fiber matching the black bean none produce the brain benefiting qualities of the black bean. Take half a cup everyday and you give yourself 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber, whilst avoiding saturated fat and only taking a small amount of calories.

Black beans make a great extra addition to your favorite salsa or salad. Just throw in a handful of cooked beans and you have added to the good things already being prepared. Casseroles, stews and soups all benefit from black beans too.

Follow these eating tips and there is no reason why you should not remain fit and healthy and at the same time building up your immunity to those conditions that we see and hear about everyday.

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