Eating well starts a positive chain reaction that affects not just your body, but also your mindset, motivation and overall well-being.
You see, putting healthy food into your body gives you more energy, which in turn fuels your desire to put that energy to healthy, productive use. And by expending your energy in a proactive way, your body starts to crave more of that healthy fuel that kick-started the whole process.
Meanwhile, these healthy choices make you more alert during the day, better able to sleep at night, more positive and more proactive. All in all, eating healthy is a recipe for being happier.
To start building some new, healthy habits for your body and your life, try incorporating these 10 common yet extremely healthy foods into your diet.
“Eat your veggies!” was probably an unwelcome instruction for you as a child, but hopefully you’ve grown to love your vegetables over time. After all, they’re one of the healthiest possible foods you can put into your body.
Health Benefits of Radishes
Radishes are full of water, high in fiber and jam-packed with vitamin C. This combination makes them great for your body in several ways:
- They flush out the kidneys, keeping your immune system in better shap
- They help to prevent jaundice, cardiovascular conditions, dehydration, digestion issues, respiratory disorders and many more ailments.
- They improve and soothe digestive function.
- They promote weight loss because they’re water-based and fiber-tastic.
If you want to make these health benefits a bigger part of your life, try snacking on radishes raw, or for more ideas, try out these radish-based recipes.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli, along with many other green, leafy veggies, are excellent sources of vital nutrients that promote great overall health. Specifically, broccoli offers these benefits:
- It improves the health and appearance of your skin, nails, hair and even bones.
- It helps your digestion.
- It detoxes the body and boosts the immune system.
- Its high fiber content helps protect you from chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
The healthiest way to prepare broccoli is steaming it, but if you’d like to break up the routine, then try preparing it in different ways.
Health Benefits of Jalapeño Peppers
Jalapeños — like other peppers — are low in calories and high in vitamin C, making them great additions to just about any meal. Unlike other peppers, though, jalapeños offer a unique heat, which means you can get creative with how you use them.
As you consider how to prepare your jalapeños, take a look at the health benefits they offer:
- They’re full of vitamin C, which means they support your immune system.
- They promote skin and eye health.
- They contain capsaicin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps blood flow.
- They can help to kick start your metabolism, which promotes weight loss.
Jalapeños are generally associated with being spicy, but really it’s just a matter of how you prepare them. To learn how to control the heat of your jalapeño, watch this video.
There are so many health benefits of different foods in the produce section. All fresh produce is going to be a better alternative than processed foods. But fruits are especially fun to incorporate into any diet because they’re delicious all on their own. Juicy, tangy and sweet — they’re not called “nature’s candy” for nothing!
Health Benefits of Raspberries
Raspberries are a delicious and incredibly healthy ready-to-go snack. Specifically, this fruit can do this and more:
- Fight infection and boost the immune system
- Prevent cancer and even halt the progress of existing cancers
- Protect your skin from sun damage
- Burn fat and help you to feel fuller, longer
- Promote feminine health
Like many fruits, raspberries are delicious all on their own. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can improve the experience with a raspberry smoothie recipe or two.
Health Benefits of Oranges
Everybody knows oranges are a go-to source of vitamin C. Beyond that, though, they can do so much more for your overall health:
- Protect against certain cancers and kidney diseases
- Lower cholesterol
- Alkalize your body — meaning putting your pH level closer to the healthy target range of 7.3
- Normalize blood pressure
Oranges are, of course, quite tasty on their own, but if you want to get creative, try out an orange, dried cranberry and pecan salad.
Meats and Proteins
Of course, you can never go wrong with fruits and vegetables, but there are so many other health benefits of different foods. To really get your diet well-balanced, you need a few strong sources of protein.
Health Benefits of Lean Beef
It’s tempting to order the biggest steak you can find on the menu, but really, a little red meat goes a long way. That’s why getting a smaller, leaner piece of beef is the way to go. You get to enjoy all the deliciousness from that juicy red meat while also knowing that the leaner cut is doing all this for you:
- Increasing your body’s iron, which helps oxygen reach your vital organs and muscles
- Supporting your metabolism
- Boosting your mind power — thanks, vitamin B-12!
- Helping you to break down fattier areas of the body
So, as you plan your next well-rounded meal, don’t write beef off entirely. Just choose your cut wisely.
Health Benefits of Chicken
Chicken isn’t a popular food for nothing. It’s tasty, inexpensive and easy to incorporate into just about any meal. Beyond that, chicken works for your body by doing this and more:
- Provides the protein your body needs to maintain a healthy weight and even prevent bone loss
- Acts as a natural antidepressant
- Promotes a healthy heart
- Boosts the health of your teeth, bones, kidney, liver and central nervous system
- Helps the body burn calories
You probably already have a few solid chicken recipes at your disposal, but it never hurts to spice things up with some new recipes.
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Grains, Spices, Nuts and Seeds
To round off your healthy diet, you must venture into the world of grains, spices, nuts and seeds. These are the foods that complement your main dishes and work as delicious snacks all on their own. Plus, there are a lot of health benefits of different foods in this food family.
Health Benefits of Whole Rye
You’ve probably been told for years to eat whole wheat bread, and there’s definitely good reason for that advice. But whole wheat isn’t the only grain that packs a nutritional punch. Whole rye offers its own set of health benefits:
- Lowers your risk of diabetes
- Aids in weight loss
- Helps prevent gallstones
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves digestive function
Grains are extremely versatile in the kitchen, so don’t be afraid to explore the vast world of awesome whole grain recipes.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger has been used for alternative medicinal practices since its discovery. The spice is versatile in the kitchen and in what it can do for your body and mind:
- Fights nausea
- Soothes soreness and muscle pain caused by exercise
- Helps reduce joint paint
- Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Supports brain function and even helps to prevent Alzheimer’s
If you haven’t used ginger much in the past, the root may look intimidating. But learning how to cook with ginger will be worth the effort in the long run.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Nuts and seeds are simple and tasty grab-n-go snacks. And like most members of its food family, almonds are full of nutrients and proteins. That’s why they can do all this for you:
- Reduce the effects of aging
- Contribute to the prevention of diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease
- Help you to reach healthy protein levels
- Control blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Aid in weight loss
With almonds, a small does goes a long way. So keep them on hand as a healthy snack, drink almond milk with your breakfast or try a healthy almond protein bar.
Start the Cycle Today!
Remember — eating well isn’t just about your body. It’s about your entire lifestyle. Putting the right fuel in your body means strengthening your heart, supporting your digestion, reducing your risk of diseases and ailments, boosting your brainpower, increasing your productivity, lowering your chances of depression and having an overall better quality of life.