Experts suggest that there are certain foods that people should eat every day. Include lean proteins and a variety of vegetables. In addition, eating foods such as olive oil, nuts, and berries can help people reduce their risk of developing certain chronic diseases.
Eating a healthy diet that includes all food groups can help a person improve their intake of essential nutrients.
Many people eat frequent meals and the same foods each week. However, incorporating the following foods into their weekly meal plans can help them stay healthy and perform at their best.
For example, a person can try an alternating two-week meal plan and diversify protein sources, vegetables, and berries. This adds variety and a range of nutrients.
This article discusses some of the healthiest foods to include in the diet every day. It explores what the research says about its health benefits and offers some tips for consuming it.
People need protein for healthy growth and development and to maintain muscle mass.
Eating protein at every meal can help balance blood sugar levels and avoid the spikes that can occur when carbohydrates are eaten on their own. This approach can help people maintain energy levels and focus.
The amount of protein a person needs depends on factors such as gender, age, and weight. Additionally, protein requirements vary according to the amount and type of activity a person does and whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that most people in the United States eat enough protein but need to choose lower fat types of meat and poultry, increase the variety of protein foods they eat, and choose meat more often.
According to the USDA, adults need 5-7 ounces (ounces) of protein per day. Here are examples of common healthy protein foods and their protein content:
- 1 slice turkey sandwich = 1 ounce
- 1 small chicken breast = 3 ounces
- 1 can of drained tuna = 3-4 ounces
- 1 salmon fillet = 4-6 ounces
- 1 egg = 1 ounce
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter = 1 ounce
- 1 cup lentil soup = 2 ounces
- 1 soy or bean burger = 2 ounces
- 1/4 cup tofu = 2 ounces
People should try to diversify their protein sources to consume a variety of amino acids and other essential nutrients.
Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfur compounds called glucosinolates. This is beneficial for health.
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The compounds may also be useful in treating and preventing metabolic syndrome, but scientists need to do more research to prove this.
Here is a list of cruciferous vegetables that people can eat every day:
- broccoli sprouts
In addition to sulfur compounds, cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of fiber and several essential vitamins and minerals.
Leafy green vegetables like watercress and watercress also contain beneficial sulfur compounds.
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Diets that focus on vegetables, such as vegetarian and Mediterranean diets, can help
Eating a variety of different colored vegetables each day helps ensure that you are taking in a wide variety of phytonutrients, which are beneficial plant compounds.
The USDA MyPlate resource recommends that adults eat 2-4 cups of vegetables per day depending on gender, age, weight, and activity levels.
The USDA also advises that people eat different colorful plant foods, including leafy green vegetables, beans, and lentils.
Eating berries can help people achieve some of their daily nutritional goals.
For example, one 2015 study suggested that eating 100 grams of raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries can provide more than 50% of a person’s daily requirement for manganese, vitamins such as vitamin C, folic acid, and phytochemicals.
Berries are excellent sources of bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. Because these compounds act as antioxidants, they may help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Some of the berries that are eaten daily include:
Fresh or frozen berries are better than the dried types, which contain only 20% of the phytonutrients.
Research indicates that eating nuts every day can be beneficial for health.
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Specifically, nuts were more beneficial than peanuts in preventing chronic disease.
However, the authors noted that nuts are foods rich in nutrients and do not have a negative impact on body weight. In fact, when they replace other, less healthy foods in the diet, they may help reduce body weight.
Some people cannot eat nuts due to an allergy. For those who can eat nuts, choosing regular, unsalted and unsalted nuts is a healthy option. All nuts contain essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Brazil nuts are one of the best dietary sources of the mineral selenium, with just one serving of them
Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Olives are rich in polyphenols. These substances act as antioxidants, protecting the body from oxidation.
Although scientists need to do more human research, the authors of this study suggested that people who consume less olive oil may benefit from increasing their intake.
Extra virgin, unfiltered olive oil contains the highest levels of beneficial polyphenols. However, high-quality olive oil is usually more expensive, so people can keep it for dripping over salads and vegetables. It may be more cost-effective to use standard olive oil for cooking.
Including lean proteins, vegetables, and nuts in the diet daily can help people stay healthy and prevent some chronic conditions.
Some plant foods, such as vegetables and berries, contain particularly beneficial compounds, including polyphenols and glucosinolates.
Incorporating these foods into a weekly meal plan, possibly on a two-week rotation basis, can help ensure that a person is getting a variety of beneficial nutrients. It also prevents frequent dieting and can be more satisfying and attractive.