You’re getting a quality protein without the cholesterol and fat that can come with animal sources. You’re also getting smart carbs that don’t register very highly on the Glycemic Index, so your body can process them without converting them to fat later. On top of that it doesn’t contain much fat, so you can eat this when following a weight loss plan, and it also keeps you under the limit for calories if you’re watching those.
Nutritional Breakdown per Cup
Fat – 1.9g – A low fat count and low calorie count make this a winner for dieters.
Folate – !0% of your daily requirement, good for maintaining a healthy heart.
Protein 4.4g – A relatively high protein level for a grain.
The quintessential healthy food, broccoli has often been referenced as a good side item to add to any meal to health things up. Just as long as you don’t smother it in butter or cheese it’s able to retain it’s healthy effects. Steam it up to lock in the flavor, make it easier to eat, and retain as many nutrients as possible. There are only a few buying options when it comes to broccoli, you can get it fresh from the produce aisle or find it in the frozen vegetables section. Either way, opting for organic is a great idea on this one.
The fiber in broccoli will help keep things in order, digestively speaking, and it is a good non-dairy source of calcium. The Vitamin C that one serving contains is all that you need for the day, and this will help your body stave off illnesses. The Vitamin K it has doesn’t get much press but is important if you want to keep your bones healthy. It’s great for your eyes and your heart, and can even help to keep cancer away.
Nutritional Breakdown per 100g – Raw
Vitamin C – 150% of your daily recommendation, so you’re more than covered.
Vitamin B6 – 10% of what you need to keep your metabolism strong.
Fiber – 2.6g – May not seem like a lot, but it’s a tenth of your daily needs.
Almonds provide a go anywhere snacking option that will help you to feel full between meals, and give you the energy you need to start the day. Just make sure that when you choose your almonds you’re not getting the kind that have a lot of salt or oil added like those that are dry roasted. Go for raw almonds, and don’t overeat them because since they’re crunchy and snacky it’s easy to keep munching on them.
Almonds are often mentioned by fitness instructors as a way to help feed your muscles, but they also have plenty of other benefits that makes them worthy of making it onto your daily menu. They help prevent heart attacks, and can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol produced in the body. They are a source of healthy fat, and can help your brain function better. If you weren’t on board already they also help to strengthen bones and teeth.
Nutritional Breakdown per 100g – Raw Almonds
Iron – 20% of your daily recommendation, for those with an iron deficiency.
Protein – 21g – making them good for enhancing lean muscle.
Vitamin B2 – 59% of what is needed daily, helping to give you that energetic feeling.
Beets are unique because they contain things that are good for you that are only found in beets. What you’re looking for here is the beetroot, and not necessarily the pickled beets you’ll find in jars and on Greek salads. If you’re intimidated by the thought of preparing and cooking beetroot, there are plenty of recipes online that can show you how it’s done. It’s worth the time and effort to start incorporating more beets into your diet.
The boron in beets will help put the pep back in your step, sexually speaking. You’ll also feel a general sense of having more energy. They are great for nourishing the brain as well, and can assist in lowering your blood pressure. Because of the broad amount of vitamins and minerals they contain, you can add them to smoothies to instantly up your nutrient count without adding to the calories or fat.
Nutritional Breakdown per Cup
Folate – 27% of what you need to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Magnesium – 6% of your daily requirement to keep your energy levels up.
Vitamin C – 8% of your daily needs, use other foods on this list to get you there.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes made it to the big time when they were featured on Oprah as a superfood that was flying under the radar. What’s nice about them is that they easy to cook, with lots of wiggle room for error. They also fill you up, are brimming with vitamins, and contain fiber which is essential for the proper functioning of your digestive system. They are a nice addition to any meal, and can provide instant balance since they fall somewhere between a starch and a vegetable.
There are a wide range of benefits for sweet potatoes, but some of the highlights are that they can help to prevent a heart attack, keep your skin looking young, help you to feel relaxed, keep your immune system working well, gives you more energy, and contains antioxidants that can help reduce the amount of breakdown in your body due to free radicals. This is why they consistently make lists of superfoods and healthiest vegetables.
Nutritional Breakdown per 100g
Vitamin A – 384% – almost four times more than the daily recommendation!
Vitamin C – 33% of what you need daily of this powerful antioxidant.
Protein – 2g – a nice source of plant-based protein.
It’s well known that tomatoes are good for the body, and the more research that is done on them the more they seem to rank high on the health-o-meter. There isn’t one specific reason to eat them, because they help with so many different things. They’re also a very versatile food, you can add them fresh to a salad, cook them up into a sauce, or drop them in the blender if you’re making a fruit or vegetable smoothie. Just be careful that you don’t consider eating ketchup or pizza a way to eat more tomatoes.
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