5 Healthy Foods to Add to Your Daily Diet
Recently, a client came in concerned that she had Mister Softee with her kids. While Mister Softee ice cream isn’t one of my five foods to eat daily (can you imagine?), I explained to her that I’m most interested in what she consumed day in and day out. That’s what matters most, not what you have once in a blue moon (and Mister Softee should be in that blue moon category).
It doesn’t take a nutritionist to point out that ice cream, or any dessert, shouldn’t be an everyday thing, but there are foods I feel should be consumed daily. Many of you, if you’re interested in wellness, have had or may even own turmeric or apple cider vinegar, or the more obscure ingredients like ashwagandha. But if you’re not having healthy items regularly, they’re unlikely to make a big difference. I suggest having a handful of healthy items to consume regularly.
Almonds and almond butter get a lot of attention, but seeds beat nuts in a bunch of different categories. Chia seeds are the fiber queen of nuts and seeds; pumpkin seeds are mineral-rich and excellent for immunity; and hemp seeds are rich in omegas. Sprinkle seeds everywhere: on your yogurt, over salads, or right into your mouth.
We are proponents of what we call “secret weapons” at Foodtrainers. Some foods are great for weight loss, others for mood. But my numero uno secret weapon, if forced to choose, would be green tea, or even better, matcha powdered green tea. These teas are great for weight loss, have strong anti-cancer properties, and are uppers (without the jitters that can come with coffee).
Even if you’re taking a probiotic supplement, you want to be sure you’re eating fermented foods as well. Fermented foods affect your cravings, mood, digestion, and immune system. There are a lot of companies, such as Farmhouse Culture and Bubbles, who make fermented veggies. Adding as little as a tablespoon of these to your diet provides billions of probiotics.
Sure, you might know avocados are “good fats,” but did you know they’re also high in potassium, great for preventing cramps during exercise and can help with fighting bloat? Or that they’re fiber rich? All of this combined with fat makes them super satisfying.
Just like almonds in the nut world, greens seem to be synonymous with healthy eating. While I have nothing against salad, the “top shelf” veggies to me are broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts (cruciferous veggies, also known as brassicas). These are hormone balancing, anti-cancer, and fat loss foods. And ideally, I’d suggest having these cooked.
And I didn’t put them in my top five but a shout out to wild salmon (expensive, but really worth it) and collagen.
You don’t need to run out and get a boatload of the foods I mentioned. What I’m saying, even if it’s not these five foods, look at the spices, teas and healthy condiments (even hot sauce) you own. Pick a few and try to have them every day, you’ll get the maximum benefit that way. And then, there’s a place for the “blue moon” foods as well.
Lauren Slayton, MS RD is the founder of Foodtrainers and the author of the book The Little Book of Thin (Perigee 2014).