A good healthy food list is a must for people seeking to improve their eating habits and start on a diet of good nutrition. Most of us are either overwhelmed by the volume of data available on what healthy foods are or lack the time to get organized before we go shopping. That is why coming up with a healthy food list is a must.
What we really need is a good and simple healthy food list to get us going in the right direction. It is true that many of the foods we already buy contain various nutrients needed by our bodies; however, so we do not deviate from our goal and to facilitate our shopping, we should concentrate on the following criteria when making our healthy food list:
-Whenever possible purchase organically grown foods, they promote your health and the health of our planet. (Click Here for organic food coupons!)
– Choose foods that provide a rich source of many of the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. Include the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, olive oil, herbs and spices that you enjoy and are familiar to you and your family. An occasional exotic food may be a new experience, but if you or your family will not eat it, why include it in your list? When it comes to vegetables, try picking from the rainbow of colors available to maximize variety. Buy non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or green beans.
– Select those foods that are chock full of rich natural nutrients, are not highly processed and do not contain artificial ingredients and toxic substances. Remember, read labels carefully. If you can‘t pronounce it, it probably is not good for your health.
– Choose whole grain foods instead of processed grain products. Try brown rice and whole-wheat spaghetti or spinach pasta. Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils. Choose whole grain breads this means breads that say 12 grain not just whole wheat.
– Include chicken and turkey in your list and fish at least 2-3 times per week and don‘t forget to remove the skin from chicken and turkey before cooking. If you are going to include meat in your list, try to choose lean meats like pork loin and sirloin.
– Choose healthy spices and herbs to spice up your food diet. Many of us are not aware of the healing powers and nutritional value of spices. Both herbs and spices are excellent antioxidants.
– Consider taking healthy cooking classes to expand your options and to give you a range of ideas for your families menu.
Your healthy food list should contain spices and herbs. Here are a variety of spices and herbs that you can consider including in your healthy food list:
- Cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce are known to increase metabolism and fat-burning ability.
- Ginger, which speeds your metabolic rate and is effective in cases of nausea and vomiting.
- Mustard, a stimulant that is known to be helpful in cases of respiratory complaints.
- Cinnamon which can be used in cases of diarrhea and stomach upset and will also boost your metabolism.
- Allspice, a stimulant that helps to relieve indigestion and gas.
- Peppermint is used to treat gastric and digestive disorders and helps with insomnia.
- Horseradish, related to the mustard family, acts as a digestive stimulant.
- Garlic, known to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Helpful with digestion and prevents flatulence.
- Turmeric, an antioxidant that helps control free radicals and therefore protects against cancer.
- Cumin, aids the digestion and helps flush toxins out of the body
- Fennel, also good for digestion.
- Oregano, a wonderful spice that has been used to relieve respiratory problems and relieves digestive upset and yeast infections.
- Chili Powder, a blend of spices including chili peppers, plus cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and garlic powder. The health benefits of chili powder are derived mostly from the capsaicin in the red pepper which is used in skin creams to reduce pain, including that of osteoarthritis. It also has antioxidant and blood- thinning qualities.
- Curry powder, a blend of spices including turmeric, cardamom, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. The blend of spices helps the body detoxify, helps with nausea, stimulate circulation, helps digestion and allergies.
- Paprika made by grinding dried mild to slightly hot red peppers, acts as an antioxidant and may help reduce blood-platelet stickiness.
– Limit your dairy intake or eliminate it all together. Processed dairy foods are linked to allergies as well as many other symptoms. If you are concerned about your calcuim intake reference the list below (healthydiaries.com):
- Sesame Seeds -A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg calcium.
- Spinach -A cup of boiled spinach has 245 mg.
- Collard Greens- A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg.
- Blackstrap Molasses- One tablespoon has about 137 mg.
- Kelp- One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg.
- Tahini- Two tablespoons of raw tahini (sesame seed butter) have 126 mg.
- Broccoli- Two cups of boiled broccoli have 124 mg.
- Swiss Chard- One cup of boiled chard has 102 mg.
- Kale- One cup of boiled kale has 94 mg.
- Brazil Nuts- Two ounces of Brazil nuts (12 nuts) have 90 mg.
- Celery- Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg.
- Almonds- One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg.
- Papaya- One medium papaya has 73 mg.
- Flax Seeds- Two tablespoons of flax seeds have 52 mg.
- Oranges-One medium orange has 52 mg.
– Choose liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats that can be high in saturated and trans fats. Olive oil is always a good choice.
– Choose water, natural fruit and vegetable juices instead of sodas and empty calorie drinks. Avoid drinks with artificial sweeteners.
– Avoid buying snack foods and desserts like chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream.
– Buy the healthy foods that are available in your area and that are affordable. Your budget is important and there is no need to add stress to your life by buying foods you can‘t really afford. There are plenty of nutritious foods available to fit every budget.
– Consider trying vegetarian recipes. Sometimes you just don’t know how good vegetables can taste until you come across that perfect recipe.
– Buy foods that you and your family will enjoy, that taste good and that you can use in many recipes. There are dozens of ways to cook the same foods to make them attractive and different. Do you know how many recipes there are just for chicken alone?
My personal healthy food list is relatively short. I have a tendency to eat a lot of the same foods which is not always the best thing to do, but it is important to add as much variety as possible. Some of my limitations are due to food allergies which are necessary to observe.
I try to buy most of my fruits and vegetables organic or locally grown. The closer they are grown to your home the less anti-fungal agents they use on the product and then of course the less toxins you consume. I have a tendency to eat a lot of chicken so I always buy organic free range chicken. Actually all of the meats I buy are organic. I also do the same with the eggs and butter.
Michelle’s Healthy Food List:
-a salad mix of baby spinach and spring salad mix/field greens
-red, yellow and orange peppers
-purple and green cabbage
-granny smith apples
-occasionally plums, nectarines and peaches
-limes and lemons for cooking
Whole grains, beans, nuts/seeds/dried fruits and pasta:
-ezekial whole grain bread
-high fiber organic cereals
-Wild Caught Salmon
-occasionally lean organic grass fed organic red meat
-organic fruit juice specifically a blend of blueberry and cranberry juice
I just started a garden in my back yard so by next season I should have as much home-grown and inexpensive organic vegetables as I want. I also purchased 2 organic blueberry bushes and a banana tree. I think that the best way to ensure you have fresh organic vegetables is to plant your own organic garden since you can not always guarantee that what you are buying in the store is truly organic. And for those on a tight budget such as me, having an organic garden is a great way to budget in those healthy foods.
I certainly do not want to imply that I don’t occasionally partake in the unhealthy foods. I admit it! Sometimes you just gotta have the ice cream!!
With that in mind, I like to recommend the best healthy food list I have come across in my research. It is the one developed by The George Mateljan Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides their website for you free of charge and includes nutritional profiles, history and healthy benefits.World’s Healthiest Foods
On the other hand, Belly Bytes lists the twenty nine healthiest foods on the planet in their website including among others Avocados, Mangos, Tomatoes and Figs in the fruit section; Onions, Garlic and Spinach (of course!) in the vegetable section; and Wheat Germ, Peanuts and Quinoa (I would be surprised if you know what Quinoa is…) in the grains/beans/nuts section. This is a great place to go to add to your healthy food list.
100 Healthiest Foods This is another great site to begin designing your own healthy food list.
My point is that there are lists and lists of healthy foods out there that will rank the food according to their nutritional value and these are good lists indeed, but they are not necessarily complete. You need to decide what foods to include in your list following the criteria mentioned above.
But the good news is that there are plenty of nutritious foods to choose from to make your healthy food list and you can decide which one best suits your taste and fits your pocketbook.
Need more information about healthy foods? Check out the video below, 100 Life Saving Health Food Tips: