Useful foods: the top 10 protagonists of the daily menu

There is a lot of talk and writing about good nutrition these days. It would seem that the topic is not new, but there are still many misconceptions about it. Some foods that are traditionally included in a healthy menu, in fact, are not as useful as the producers try to assure us. This article contains a list of 10 healthy foods that doctors recommend you to include in your daily diet.

Useful Foods: Myths and Reality

We live in an era of food abundance, but we should not definitely consider it a blessing. The consequences of an overabundance and availability of products (not always healthy) are already evident to everyone. The number of people in the world with obesity and other diet-related diseases is skyrocketing. Therefore, the concept of a healthy lifestyle today is more relevant than ever.

Representatives of the food industry, of course, were not left out of the fashion trends. They actively responded to consumer demand with offers. Products labeled “dietary,” “low-calorie,” “enriched” multiply on store shelves day after day. But sometimes it is no more than a marketing ploy aimed at those who are not too knowledgeable about healthy lifestyles. Many products, about the benefits of which manufacturers say, in fact bear little value. Nonetheless, the advertisement works: consumers believe that by eating these foods, they are adhering to the rules of healthy eating.

How not to fall for the tricks of marketers?

First of all, you should carefully study the composition: the presence of palm oil, hydrogenated fats, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other additives automatically removes the product from the list of healthy. But not everyone can look at the fine print with which this information is printed. In addition, the information on the package does not give a complete picture of the composition. The manufacturer lists the ingredients, but does not specify the quantity. So it’s impossible to tell exactly how much sugar is in yogurt or cottage cheese, for example. We have prepared a list of products whose benefits are greatly exaggerated.

Muesli. It would seem that they have nothing but good things: cereal, nuts and dried fruits. But even in such ready-made breakfasts often contains sugar: it may be called maltose or dextrose – the essence does not change. Muesli will not harm your health, if you know the measure. But they should not be overly fond of because of the high caloric content.

Fitness bars. Manufacturers are actively promoting them on the market under the guise of a healthy snack, vitaminized and low-calorie source of energy. But if you study the composition of bars, it becomes clear that this is not the most useful products for the human body. As a rule, they contain sugar or other sweetener and palm oil, which actually negate all the benefits of whole grains and dried fruits.

Yogurts with fillers. “A tasty healthy product,” the ads convince us. And it would be true, if it were not for the amount of sugar that is added to industrially produced yogurts. It is quite understandable: without the sweetness the treat would not be so tasty. Except that the benefits of yogurts are too exaggerated.

Non-fat dairy products. Trying to limit their consumption of fats, fans of diets sometimes do not know the measure. Dairy product manufacturers, taking advantage of our desire to lose weight, have created “light” versions of cottage cheese, yogurt and kefir. Their caloric content is indeed lower, but the feeling of fullness quickly disappears after such a meal. As a result, we eat more.

Juices and nectars in boxes. It is much healthier to eat a whole apple or orange. Reconstituted juice is about the same nutritional value as sweetened water. There are almost no vitamins in it, but there are much more calories than in fresh fruit.

Soy products. They are presented as a source of easily digestible protein and as an alternative to meat. That’s why soy bean-based products are invariably included in vegetarian diets. But doctors are still divided on the benefits and harms of soy. Some believe it can cause kidney stone disease, metabolic problems and certain kinds of tumors if consumed inappropriately.

Of course, all of the above does not mean that the above foods should be completely eliminated from the diet. In small amounts, they are safe. Therefore, as in any matter, it is very important to know a measure in nutrition. Even healthy foods can cause harm if they are abused.

The healthiest foods: the mastbuy list

Fortunately for those who prefer to stick to a proper diet, there are foods whose benefits are not to be doubted. We have chosen 10 absolute record-breakers for the content of valuable substances for health. Here is the list for your consideration.

Green Vegetables

All kinds of cabbage, spinach, lettuce, asparagus and other green vegetables contain the pigment chlorophyll, which has a number of beneficial properties. It helps increase hemoglobin levels, helps flush out toxins, reduces inflammation, and supports a healthy nervous system. Chlorophyll also has anti-carcinogenic properties and can slow down aging.

Green vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. They are high in fiber, which helps improve digestion and antioxidants that help keep you young. And those who want to get rid of extra pounds, will be pleased with the very low caloric value of green vegetables.

Cabbage, cucumbers, spinach, asparagus and greens are often called foods with “negative calorie”. Don’t take this literally. The body cannot expend more calories on processing food than it contains, so “negative calorie” is just another myth. Nevertheless, the energy value of green vegetables is close to zero, so they contribute to weight loss. Of course, this does not mean that you can eat green vegetables for cakes and still gain weight.

According to scientists, for maximum benefit you should eat at least 800 grams of fresh vegetables a day. Greens can be eaten in almost unlimited quantities.

Avocado

The flesh of the avocado is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol. The exotic fruit is rich in vitamins (A, C, E, K, B group, folic and pantothenic acids) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium). Avocados have more potassium than bananas. The amino acid L-carnitine, which is found in large quantities in the pulp of this fruit, participates in the process of burning fat.

The avocado is considered one of the healthiest foods because of its rich composition. Its regular consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer, helps strengthen the immune system, and slows down aging. The valuable fatty acids and vitamins that are present in avocados have a beneficial effect on their appearance: collagen synthesis is improved and the skin becomes more elastic.

Apples

Available all year round, apples are a storehouse of health benefits. Apples are rich in vitamins C, A, B group, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iodine. They are rich in dietary fiber – fiber and pectin, so they help digestion, cleanse the body of toxins, protect against atherosclerosis. Due to the high content of vitamin C, apples strengthen blood vessels and enhance immunity.

The lack of fat and low calories make apples relevant in weight loss diets. But abuse of this fruit can cause digestive upset. Eating three to four apples a day is enough to get the benefits.

Blueberries and other berries

The main richness of berries are antioxidants, which prevent aging and protect against cancer. Thanks to their low calorie and high fiber content, they promote weight loss, cleanse the body, and improve digestion. Berries speed up metabolic processes, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and protect the cardiovascular system.

Almost all kinds of berries are rich in vitamins, micro and macro elements. The most useful are recognized blueberries, blueberries, black and red currants, cranberries, blackberries and raspberries. Each of these kinds of berries has a special valuable properties. For example: blueberries are good for vision, and cranberries are indispensable for problems of the urinary tract. In season, it is recommended to consume one or two glasses of berries a day.

Brown rice

Unpolished (brown) rice figures prominently in the list of healthy foods. Unlike processed grains, it retains all the valuable properties of the grain.

Brown rice is rich in fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and selenium. When it is consumed regularly, it eliminates toxins, improves the gastrointestinal tract, liver, cardiovascular system and brain function. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, brown rice is one of the most useful products for the prevention of cancer. Due to the high content of complex carbohydrates it gives a long feeling of satiety, so on its basis it is safe to make a dietary diet. It is recommended to include brown rice in the menu two to three times a week.

Legumes

Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, mung bean and other legumes are high in vegetable protein and fiber. In addition, they contain vitamins (A, B group, folic acid), minerals (potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese) and antioxidants. Legumes are nutritious and leave a feeling of fullness for a long time after consumption. But it’s quite a heavy food, and it’s not worth overdoing it. It is enough to cook legume dishes a couple of times a week.

Nuts

Nuts have no equal in the content of useful fats. They also contain protein, vitamins A, E, B group, valuable minerals, including selenium. The use of nuts helps to strengthen immunity, purify the body, lower the level of “harmful” cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular diseases. It should be remembered that nuts, though useful, but very caloric – about 600 kcal per 100 grams. That is why it is recommended to eat not more than 50 grams of nuts per day.

Red fish

Red salmon fish is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6. Their role in the prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension, for prolongation of youth and beauty is known. Fish protein is easily digestible and is considered dietary. Like other healthy foods, red fish has many vitamins and minerals.

Cheese

Cheese is an easily digestible healthy product, a source of protein, B vitamins and calcium. It contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is responsible for the production of the “hormone of happiness” – serotonin. Consumption of cheese helps maintain a healthy intestinal microflora and immunity. But it is quite a high-calorie product, and it is better to limit its consumption to 30-50 grams per day.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are valued as a source of essential amino acids. They are also rich in vitamins (especially B group) and trace elements. When eating mushroom dishes improves skin and hair, increases immunity, and normalizes metabolic processes. The caloric value of mushrooms is not high, but since it is difficult to digest, you should not eat them more than twice a week. And of course, no matter how tempting the gifts of the forest may look, we should not forget about the danger of poisoning. So if you’re not experienced enough to distinguish edible from inedible mushrooms, in order to avoid the risk, it’s better to buy “artificially” grown.

How to combine products for greater benefit?

The useful properties of foods are preserved and multiplied, if they are prepared and combined correctly. First of all, remember the rule: the less processing, the more valuable substances are preserved in food. Of course, not everything can be eaten raw, but it is better to choose gentle ways of cooking. Avoid fried foods, giving preference to baked, boiled and steamed.

Many of these foods work well together. These combinations can form the basis for delicious meals and a healthy menu altogether. Here are a few examples.

Red fish + green vegetables. Baked salmon steak with a side of broccoli is a nutritious and low-calorie dinner.

Avocado + spinach. A classic combination in which one product enhances the properties of the other. Based on these ingredients, you can make a delicious vitamin salad.

Apples + nuts. This healthy combination of products is ideal for a low-calorie dessert. Apples baked in the oven with a filling of nuts and honey will please even those who are not a follower of a healthy lifestyle.

Brown rice + mushrooms. This combination will be the basis of a nutritious second course. You can add vegetables to this combination.

Proper nutrition is one of the prerequisites for health and well-being.