5 Healthy Foods For a Healthy Body
Dieting with whole food provides essential vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. By cutting back on added sugar and salt intake, your risk of disease and weight gain decreases considerably.
Focus on eating foods from all five food groups – fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables; lean meats; whole grains; milk; yoghurt and cheese are some examples.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that support good health. By including them in one’s diet regularly, adding fruit and vegetables will help prevent nutritional deficiencies and lower disease risks.
Fruits and vegetables tend to be low in calories and fat content, providing essential dietary fibre that aids weight management. Eating more of them has also been associated with decreased risks for heart disease, cancer and other serious medical issues.
Dietary guidelines currently recommend eating five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, or approximately 400g. When selecting these fruits and veggies, try selecting various colours so you get all of their vitamins and minerals.
2. Lean Meat
Reviving bodybuilding interest has brought red meat back into the public consciousness, yet many are uncertain which cuts of meat are healthy for their diets. Many experts recommend choosing leaner protein options over red meat when considering your meat choices.
Lean meat can be defined as cuts of beef that contain less than 10 g of total fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol – Dietz & Watson offers an assortment of delicious deli meats that meet these standards.
Chicken, turkey, fish and pork all qualify as lean proteins, with skinless and boneless poultry varieties being ideal. When selecting cuts of pork such as tenderloins, loins and center cut cuts. Each of these varieties provides high amounts of protein with minimal fat or saturated fat content.
3. Whole Grains
Grains are excellent sources of fiber, B vitamins and minerals such as iron and magnesium. When consumed whole they also serve as an excellent source of protein.
Epidemiological studies indicate that diets rich in whole grains, while limiting refined grains, are linked with decreased risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Studies such as the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study both demonstrate this fact: people who consume two to three servings of whole grains per day had lower risks for heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses.
When selecting grains, always start by looking for “whole grain” on the ingredient list and reading nutrition facts to verify its content. Buckwheat is a gluten-free whole grain commonly found in tabbouleh salad; just one quarter cup cooked of this grain provides 160 calories, 9 grams of dietary fiber and 6 grams of protein!
Many people rely on dairy foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese to add protein and other nutrients to their diet, but dairy also includes foods high in fat and calories like sour cream, full-fat cheese and butter that should not be included as part of that group.
Dairy foods provide more than protein and calcium; they’re also great sources of vitamin D, iodine and B vitamins. Many consumers opt for non-fat or reduced-fat varieties over full-fat products; however it’s essential to read labels as these may vary in terms of saturated fat content, sodium levels or other important nutrients.
Nuts are packed with protein, unsaturated fats and other bioactive components including phenolic compounds, phytosterols and tocopherols – plus the amino acid L-arginine which the body uses to convert nitric oxide and improve vascular reactivity. Epidemiological studies and intervention trials have linked consumption of nuts with reduced risks of coronary heart disease and gallstones for both men and women.
Nuts contain healthy unsaturated fats such as those found in pistachios and pine nuts; hazelnuts; macadamia nuts. Furthermore, nuts provide essential sources of protein, folate (an essential B vitamin), fiber and antioxidant vitamins; they may even promote immunity by aiding immune function and blood cell production.