You recently made a pact to yourself to lead a healthy lifestyle, which, of course, includes making healthy food choices. What are the foods that you should include in your diet?
Here are some recommended healthy diet staples that are usually overlooked.
Beans and lentils. Health experts believe that beans and lentils are usually overlooked on trips to the grocery store, but they pack in a whole lot of nutrients, including protein, fiber, complex carbs, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
Elisa Zied, MS, RD, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips, shared: “Eating a diet rich in legumes can help promote weight loss and has been shown to lower LDL [low-density "bad" cholesterol] and raise HDL [high-density "good" cholesterol].”
Watermelon. There are people who have the perception that if it tastes good, then it shouldn’t be on your healthy food list, which is probably why the watermelon is not thought of as a health food. Since it is sweet, there are those who steer clear of it, because they are trying to keep their sugar intake down.
Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD and author of Expect the Best, thinks otherwise: “It is fun to eat, sweet, juicy, low in calories, and chock full of vitamins C, A, potassium, and lycopene. Because it is so high in water, it helps meet fluid needs.”
Red Cabbage. From watermelon, we move on to yet another food that is of a crimson hue: red cabbage. Christine Gerbstadt MD, RD, a physician and registered dietitian from Sarasota, Florida, shares why red cabbage should be made a staple in any healthy diet: “A great source of fiber, vitamins A, D, and K; folate; and lots of trace minerals with only 22 calories in one cup chopped… Rich in antioxidants, this veggie can boost cancer-fighting enzymes. You can eat it raw, cooked, sweet, savory, stand-alone in a dish like coleslaw, or add it to almost anything from soups, salads, casseroles, sandwiches, burgers, and more.”