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Your Daily Guide to Eating Healthy Foods

Updated on June 19, 2013

At the back of our heads, we all know how important healthy eating is. The problem is, with the world we live in today, it’s easy to depend on fast foods and microwaveable meals to cater to the busy lives we lead every day.

Let’s face it, not everyone has the time to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals 3 times daily. But while regularly ordering pizza for dinner sounds convenient, sooner or later your unhealthy eating habits will catch up to you.

If you’re constantly experiencing tiredness, sluggishness and stress, it means that your body isn’t getting enough nutrients to provide you with the energy you need every day. If this keeps up, you will start experiencing more serious health problems in the long run.

Think about it – what are a few minutes of your time each day to prepare a balanced meal for yourself and your family if it ensures your health and even the possibility of longevity?

Start practicing healthy eating today. All the hard work you are doing at your job will be for nothing if you’re sickly. Your hard-earned money will eventually go to waste paying for medicines and hospital bills if you continue to eat nothing but junk food.

Eating healthy is so much bigger than doing what is right - it is for your health, happiness and well-being.

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The Right Foods to Eat for a Healthier Body

Our body works hard 24/7 to maintain its health. But if we constantly bombard it with junk foods and an unhealthy lifestyle, it becomes weaker – exposing us to countless threats of infections, diseases and other health problems.

The simplest yet most effective solution to this is a healthy diet. Eating the right foods will provide our body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to stay in optimum shape. Healthy eating is easier said than done, so the choice is yours to make whether you want to stay healthy and feel great at the same time or otherwise.

Mother Nature didn’t come short of providing us with a variety of super foods to keep our body nourished. If you want a healthier, more energized body, here are some foods you need to start incorporating into your daily diet:

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the healthiest super foods around. Aside from being a very versatile fruit (yes, fruit!), tomatoes provide plenty of health benefits for the body. They are packed full of the antioxidants Vitamins A and C which protect our cells from free radical damage.

Tomatoes also have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to help ward off chronic and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. This wonder fruit provides 40% of the RDA of Vitamin C, 20% of Vitamin A, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium.

Spinach

Spinach is another nutrition powerhouse. It is rich in Vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese and fiber. It is also one of the best sources of plant protein.

Spinach is believed to effectively prevent heart diseases, cancer and diabetes. It is also good for the eyes as it helps ward off cataracts and age-related blindness as well as good for the skin because it helps prevent skin cancer.

Broccoli

If you want a healthier body, broccoli is another super food you should include in your diet. It contains high amounts of fiber which aids in digestion and helps lower cholesterol. It prevents Vitamin D deficiency in the body which helps the body absorb more calcium for stronger bones.

Broccoli has power antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is known to contribute to eye, skin and hair health.

Recommended Book!

"Detox Diet Foods Demystified" by Donna Hardin does a great job outlining the best healthy foods for detoxing your entire body and maintaining your health.

Click here to check it out

Did You Know?

A serving of 4 oz of wild salmon makes up for an entire’s day requirement of Vitamin D?

The second most vitamin D rich food are Sardines, which provide 43.7% of your daily need, followed closely by milk goat, which provides 31.1%

Salmon

Salmon is one of most nutritious fish you can eat. It provides more than half of the RDA of Vitamins B-6 and B-12, magnesium, niacin and selenium.

Most importantly, salmon is a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation all throughout the body and prevents age-related cognitive decline.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide countless of health benefits including facilitating blood pressure, reducing a variety of chronic, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, maintaining healthy arteries and more.

Whole grains are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Whole grains are also a favorite among health buffs and dieters because it is known to aid in weight management.

Add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats in your daily diet to keep your organs functioning properly. Choosing the right foods will not only keep you healthy, but make your feel great in general as well.

A Fresh, Healthy and Spicy Bean Salad Recipe

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Most Harmful Foods to Avoid and Eliminate From Your Daily Diet

Our health generally depends on two things: the foods we eat and the lifestyle we lead. Since we were little children, our parents would push us to eat fruits and vegetables and to avoid too many sweets.

That sound advice still stands true to this day, especially now that we are so fond of fast foods and other types of unhealthy grub.

The truth is that even if you tried, you can’t be 100% healthy. But the good news is, you can help your body maintain its health by choosing to eat nutritious foods. You might not realize it, but it’s possible that 60% of the foods you eat daily may be harmful to your body.

Here are some of the most harmful foods that you should eliminate from your diet:

Processed Meats

We all love breakfast meats such as hotdogs, sausages, ham, bacon and the like. But according to new research, regular consumption of these meats increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67%.

Most processed meat products are made with sodium nitrites, a cancer-causing ingredient that speeds up the formation of nitrosamines in the body. Nitrosamines are highly carcinogenic, cancer-causing chemicals that promote the formation and growth of cancer cells in the body.

When you’re shopping for meat, opt for products made from grass-fed sources and read the labels to make sure that what you’re buying is nitrate-free.

Refined Sugars

Plenty of food items such as cakes, cookies, sodas, cereals, juices and many others contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a fructose-rich sweetener discovered to “feed” cancer cells and allows them to quickly metabolize.

Apart from being the primary source of extra calories, foods with refined sugars also rapidly spike insulin levels. According to the American Heart Association, too much sugar increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

As much as possible, stay away from artificial sweeteners, refined white sugar and lower your intake of sweets. Fruits and plain yogurt are healthy sources of good sugar when you’re craving for sweets.

Refined Flours

Most processed foods contain refined white flour, which has excess carbohydrate content.

A study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention Journal showed evidence of the link between regular consumption of refined carbohydrates and cancer.

White flour is considered to be a high-glycemic index food which promotes the growth of cancer cells and tumors in the body. White bread, pancakes, crackers, cookies and pastries are all made with white flour so be sure to opt for the wheat variety.

Conventional Produce

It is indeed recommended to eat fruits and vegetables daily, but unless you are consuming organically-grown vegetables all the time, you health is still at risk. Conventionally-grown produce use pesticides to make the products appear fresh.

According to the Environmental Working Group, about 98% of conventionally-grown produce contain pesticides that contain cancer. If you can’t afford to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, be sure to properly wash your produce before cooking and serving.

Healthy eating is not as easy as it sounds. It’s even harder for people to eliminate the delicious yet harmful foods (as mentioned above) from their diet. You don’t have to eliminate these foods all at once. Start small and before you know it, you’ll no longer be craving for these foods.

What's your opinion on healthy eating?

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    • jasonycc profile image

      jasonycc 

      7 years ago from South East Asia

      I do agree to stick with natural foods as much as we can. I always avoid saturated fat, sugar and sodium like a flea. Preparing your own meal is a great way to avoid the bad stuffs.

      darkblue, this is a wonderful hub. A clear and concise guide to healthy eating. Cheers.

    • darkblue profile imageAUTHOR

      darkblue 

      7 years ago from Romania

      hey Tim, glad you liked it. You make a good point. Genetically modified foods are more and more present on the market these days. We need to pay attention. Wheat can be one of those foods.

      However, I read the "Wheat Belly" book, and while it makes some sense, I don't agree with eliminating wheat completely. I, for one, know I can't do it. The main reason being that I don't want to :)

      I find it hard to believe that whole grains are bad for me and my health. But that's just me.

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      7 years ago from Me to You

      Excellent article, darkblue. You've covered everything in a clear and succinct fashion. One thing that's worth mentioning, is the scientific and medical dispute over genetically-modified foods. This was a bad idea in the first place, but independent tests have largely confirmed that some GM foods are actually a health detriment, such as GM wheat (which is now ubiquitous). Readers may want to check out the book "Wheat Belly", and the underlying studies.

      Otherwise, keep eating as much natural foods as you can, and stay away from the processed food...if you can.

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