Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Since my boyfriend is making me dinner tonight – I am technically "single," since I am not married or even close to being engaged – I've decided that I am going to blog about health topics that I find relevant and interesting.

So I was reading online about Foods That You Should Eat Every Day, and I became very fascinated. I am going to try to add these into my diet, but it's going to be difficult.

For more reading, check out the links at the end of each section.



The Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Oats
They contain soluble fiber, which helps lower your risk of heart disease. Oats also contain manganese and selenium (both have tons of anti-oxidant properties), vitamin b1 (which helps your body convert blood sugar into energy), protein, phosphorus (which aids in strengthening your bones and teeth), and a few other nutrients.

Oats are plentiful in granola bars and oatmeal. Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of either. If you pulled my hair, I might eat it. Oatmeal is too sticky for me, and granola bars are hard. I'm going to pass. Maybe when I'm old, like 40 or 50, and I am worried about my cardiovascular health, I'll add this into my diet. But to each his own.

Oats have antioxidant properties, which are a plus for preventing off cancer and other diseases. If you like the taste of oats, why not have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or toss some oats into your yogurt or on top of your salad?

For more reading, check out WHFoods: Oats

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
They are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, so hey are good for lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, and even arthritis. In certain studies, they are linked to improving brain function. When you are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, this can lead to dry skin, diabetes, mood swings, depression, poor memory, and heart problems.

You can find omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon and many other fish (including sardines, halibut, snapper, tuna, and scallops), spinach, kale, collar greens, summer squash, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

This is something that I can definitely add into my diet. I already made Salmon Marsala the other night, so I've already eaten some Omega-3 Fatty Acids this week. Go me!

The nice thing about omega-3 fatty acids is that you can also get them in supplement form -- Fish Oil!

More info, check out Omega-3 Fatty Acids Nutritional Benefits.

Spinach 
A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, spinach also contains folate, which lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Getting enough folate in your diet also lowers your baby's risk for neutral tube defects if you are pregnant. Spinach also contains lutein,  an antioxidant that's essential for preventing eye disease.

I absolutely love spinach and I could definitely eat it every day. Since I can't afford fresh spinach, I find that canned spinach isn't bad, as long as I cook it with my favorite seasonings (garlic and soy sauce, because I'm Asian).

This is definitely something that I can try to add every day. It's simply to eat. I can put it on top of a pizza, in a salad, omelets, sautéed with mushrooms! The possibilities are endless!
Further Reading: WHFoods: Spinach.

Blueberries
These tiny fruits are packed with more antioxidants than any other fruit available in the U.S. So they are essential in helping prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even age-related conditions (like Alzheimer's). They can also relieve common intestinal problems like constipation and diarrhea. They contain vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, and vitamin E.


People enjoy eating blueberries in salads, by themselves, in jams and jellies, muffins, and much more.

I personally love, love blueberries so this is a fruit that I am going to pay extra money for. They are pricier than other fruit, but so juicy and delicious. Plus, they are an antioxidant superstar, how can I resist?!

Nutritional Facts about Blueberries: Recipes for Health.

Tomatoes
Packed with the antioxidant, lycopene, tomatoes will protect you from a variety of cancers (such as lung, pancreatic, breast, endometrial, and prostrate). They also contain a huge amount of vitamin C (almost 60 percent of the suggested daily value), vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin B1 and B6, folate, vitamin E, and more.

What I love about tomatoes is that you can eat it in so many ways. Tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, fresh on salads and sandwiches, in ketchup . . . the list goes on and on.

I love tomatoes, so this is no biggie. It's summertime and tomatoes are in. I will make an effort to buy cherry and grape tomatoes every time I go to the grocery. I love the smaller tomatoes more, simply because they are easy to eat and store.

Tomatoes and Cancer from the American Cancer Society.

Yogurt
We've all seen the yogurt commercials on TV. We know that the yogurts with live active cultures are great for your digestive system. But did you know that yogurt also helps your immune system and can protect against certain cancers? That's because yogurt contains lots of probiotic organisms, which help your immune system in the fight against harmful bacteria.

Yogurt is so simply to eat. You can eat as a dessert or as a side dish with your meals. Since I typically have digestive problems, I always eat yogurt after lunch when I work. It works wonders and I feel great!

This is probably the only food on this list that I eat every single day.

 Check out: WHFood: Yogurt.

Black Beans

A great source of dietary fiber, folate, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B1, and other nutrients, black beans may help lower your cholesterol. They are also loaded with anthocyanins, an antioxidant that can boost your brain function.

I'm not a huge fan of black beans, but if they improve my thinking processes, why not? Maybe one day I will try some black beans.

WHFood: Black Beans.

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