Healthy Foods I Eat Each Week
Here are some healthy food I always make sure to eat each week for a healthy & active lifestyle. I will describe what I eat, with an explanation as to the health benefits of each.
1. Red wine: 1 glass a day for women and 2 glasses a day for men is recommended for all your antioxidant needs. The antioxidants come from the red grape skins and are praised for heart health. Now you finally have a logical, healthy excuse to drink! (But be warned, any more than 1 glass a day for women and 2 for men, and you will ingest lots of unnecessary calories & may end up being called a lush. And we don't want that, do we?)
2. Oatmeal with frozen berries, almonds, or sunflower seeds on top. Oatmeal is one of the best sources of whole grain fiber, which clean out your arteries and lower blood pressure. The frozen berries contain lots of antioxidants and nutrients (like the red wine). Almonds & sunflower seeds contain large amounts of mono & poly-unsaturated fats (the "good" fats that help kick out the "bad" fats!) These good fats raise your good cholesterol (LDL), and help lower bad cholesterol.
3. Fish, especially salmon or tuna. These fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids, more "good" fats that are good for your heart and even your memory! Canned fish has just as many health benefits as the fresh or frozen kind you have to bake, but are much easier to take in sack lunches and are very convenient. And fish, like other meat, is a great source of protein, which is necessary for regeneration of muscles after a workout.
4. Metamucil. I know, it gets a bad reputation for being an "old" persons' thing, but it works well as a laxative whenever you need it. But my favorite part is how 3 glasses of it a day equals almost HALF of your daily fiber needs! And, let me tell you, from personal experience, that it works, and it works fast!
I was relying on getting my needed fiber from eating grains, like oatmeal, bread, and vegetables, but I was not getting enough. I am slightly anemic (not enough oxygen in my red blood cells, which causes me to be habitually tired), so I began taking a "women's daily" iron supplement. In just a couple days, the iron was making me constipated, and I didn't know what to do, because I knew that I badly needed the iron. So, after prodding from my parents, I started taking Metamucil to counter-act the constipation, and it worked like a dream! Yay for everything flowing smoothly now!
So Metamucil is NOT just for when you're old & bound-up.
5. Whole grains. My husband and I eat whole grain bread, rice, noodles, cereal.....Anything we can find. You'd be surprised how many cereals nowadays are being made with whole grains. Cold cereal is an excellent way for kids & adults alike to get whole grains. Cheerios is made with whole grain, as is Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs! Imagine my surprise when I found out that my favorite, guilty indulgence cereal is now made with whole grain! Yippee!
You used to have to go to the "health food" section of grocery stores to find whole grain items, but not anymore. Shop smart, and you can find these items almost anywhere.
6. Vegetables. I generally follow the rule of 3 veggies per home-cooked meal. For example, when my husband & I are cooking a big dinner together (like lean beef & whole grain brown rice), we always have 3 different kinds of veggies. Our favorites with beef & rice are onions, bell peppers, and zucchini or yellow squash. This variety of vegetables offers nutrients and vitamins that are necessary for our bodies and immune systems. And veggies contain fiber!
My husband & I also try to avoid fried foods, and foods high in saturated or trans fats. Trans fats are "man-made" fats that are not natural, but synthetic. The biggest reason for producing a product with trans fats is because it keeps food fresher longer & usually adds to flavor. But more & more research is popping up, describing how trans fats are bad for your body & your health. So try to avoid them!
These are just some suggestions; I'm sure there are many more healthy foods out there that I've forgotten. But these are my favorites. You should try them! And let me know what you think!