Five Foods to Eat Every Day
I read a great article recently on five types of certain foods that should be consumed on a daily basis. In their own right these five can be considered "Superfoods".
* Legumes- Beans are the staple of diets consumed by the "longest living" populations on the earth today. Legume intake has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Beans contain a number of important macro and micro nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, folate, potassium and a lot of fiber. In 2007, nine independent research teams from around the world conducted tests for the American Institute for Cancer Research. They concluded we should be eating some type of beans with every meal(add black beans to a salad, spread hummus on a slice whole wheat toast or use refried beans in a plant-based quesadilla or burrito).
*Fruit- Americans fall way short of the recommended daily intake of fruits. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study was conducted by nearly 500 researchers from 300 different institutions in 50 countries and took years to finish. That study concluded that in the United States, the leading cause of death and disability was the Standard American Diet(SAD)and the worst part was not eating enough fruit. Not vegetables or whole grains, but fruit! Berries seem to be the most beneficial of the fruit world, offering serious protection against cancer, boosting immune cell activity and protecting the liver and brain. A study of nearly 100,000 men and women, conducted by the American Cancer Society, found that those who ate the most berries were significantly less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. To get more fruit into your daily routine- make a frozen mixed berry sorbet using a high speed blender, no need for sugar. Eat an entire meal of just fruit including mangoes, bananas, berries, watermelon etc. Preferably in the morning for that extra boost of energy and kick starting your metabolism. Or just throw some into a green smoothie.
*Greens- Eating greens, especially of the cruciferous variety(broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale etc.) is one of the most powerful steps you can take to prolong your life. Dark green leafy vegetables may be the healthiest foods on the planet. They offer the most nutrition per calorie then any other food. Only 1 in 25 Americans have a dozen servings per month, when we should be eating at least a dozen servings a week! To get more greens into your diet- add kale or spinach to a smoothie, make a large dark green salad , use Romaine lettuce to make a wrap or sandwich instead of bread.
*Whole Grains- The same study that concluded eating legumes at every meal determined that whole grains were just as effective as beans and should be eaten at every meal. A 2015 analysis of the Harvard's famous Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study( more than 3 million person-years of data) found that people who eat the most whole grains often live longer. Many types of whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, whole wheat pastas and even wild rice. Try using rice noodles for spaghetti, or quinoa as a base for veggie stir fry or make a sandwich using "sprouted" whole grain bread.
*Nuts- In the Global Burden of Disease Study, they determined the third-leading dietary risk factor for death and disability in the world every year was from lack of nut and seed consumption.
Just one handful(1/4 cup) of nuts, five times a week is sufficient. Walnuts, almonds and pistachios lead the way in nutritional value. Check out this video about Brazil Nuts.
For a easy, delicious meal try eating a large spinach, kale and mixed green salad topped with black beans, blueberries, walnuts or almonds, throw in some fresh broccoli and other veggies. serve it on a bed of quinoa or brown rice. Top it off with a Cashew based dressing.
If you are just starting on your health journey, try incorporating these principles 2-3 times per week, change up the ingredients, just keep the basic five foods and you'll be on your way to living a long healthy productive life. Soon it will be a daily practice.
Have a great week.
Have a great week.