These selections have major nutritional payoffs. Here’s all the good they’re doing your body—and exactly what you should make with them. You can thank us later!
HEALTHY FOOD HEALTHY LIFE THIS IS ONE OF THE SAYING OF TOP NUTRUTIONIST
- Mushrooms are full of nutritional benefits and can make a great stand-in for meat in vegetarian dishes because it feels complex and savory and a strong texture. In addition, mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D plants (nutrition of many of us who lack) and the only type of wide available products containing a large number of selenium. The latter, according to WebMD, helps prevent cell damage. Many varieties are also considered to have the properties of immune and anti-cancer enhancers.
Greek yogurt is here to stay. You can serve it with fruit and honey for breakfast, use it to replace other fats in baked goods, or make a sauce for your protein of choice. However you enjoy it, keep eating it: The stuff’s full of probiotic bacteria that promote good digestive health—plus, it has more protein than other yogurt varieties.
Whole Grain Pasta
Whole grain pastas contain far more fiber and nutrients (like iron and protein) than the traditional semolina type. Make sure you look for packages labeled “whole grain” rather than “multigrain.” Multigrain pastas might be made of grains and flours other than semolina, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily in their whole (and healthiest) form.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. If you choose not to eat animal food products that provide these essential fats (like fish), walnuts are an excellent alternative. Walnuts also contain antioxidants, which can help protect against free radical damage, as well as protein and fiber.
Nut butters are an excellent source of healthy, unsaturated fats. They’re relatively easy to make at home in a food processor—that way you can guarantee you get the freshest, tastiest product without any unwanted preservatives or additives.
Quinoa is technically a seed, but it cooks and tastes like a grain. It’s ideal for salads—warm or cold—and can be used in soups, as a pilaf-like side dish, or formed into patties to make homemade veggie burgers. And because it’s a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids), it’s an excellent ingredient to use in vegetarian dishes.
Olive oil is an amazing source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, may lower overall cholesterol in the body and lower the risk of heart disease. It’s easy to cook with, or you could drizzle it on salads and soups. It can even be a deliciously complex addition to classic desserts.
Eggs have long had a bad rap as a high-cholesterol food, but that description doesn’t give consumers the full story. According to a March 2013 article in HuffPost, researchers now know that dietary cholesterol and blood level cholesterol have very different effects on the body, and a recent scientific study even showed that eating whole eggs actually seemed to increase the level of good (HDL) cholesterol in the body. Additionally, eggs (and egg yolks specifically) are one of the best food sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is thought to reduce inflammation in the body and improve neurological development and function.
Sweet potatoes are packed full of beta-carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A and use to protect against diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as chronic conditions caused by inflammation in the body, like rheumatoid arthritis. The beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes can also help to manage and stabilize blood sugar levels.
According to the Mayo Clinic, red beans like kidney beans—commonly included in chili recipes—are a great way to get your daily doses of iron, phosphorous, and potassium. And as an added bonus, they’re low in fat and high in other good things, like fiber and protein. That means they’ll keep you fuller longer.