Health Column: Top 5 most nutritious foods

Vegetables in a grocery store. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

As millions of people in the U.S. are seeking a healthier and more well-balanced lifestyle, fad diets have become phenomenon. While many of these fad diets have helped many people shed the pounds, many are left wondering what foods to eat once they have achieved their weight loss goal. Nutritionists and dieticians have generated a list of the top 10 healthy foods that individuals should be consuming daily or at the least incorporating into their weekly diet.

Salmon has become known as the powerhouse of protein and healthy fats called Omega 3s. These are a group of fats that are extremely important for the optimal function of your body. They’re linked to improved wellbeing and a lower risk of many serious diseases.

Salmon is also prized for its high amounts of essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, selenium and B vitamins. However, not all salmon is created equal. Fresh, wild salmon is preferred over farm raised because it contains a far greater Omega 3 ratio and less contaminants.

We all know that we are supposed to consume our leafy green vegetables, but kale has thousands of bioactive compounds which have been shown to fight cancer in test-tube and animal studies. It contains high levels of vitamin A, C and K1 along with enzymes that make the veggie easier to absorb in the intestine.

Garlic, found in many Italian and Mediterranean dishes has been found to have a radical effect on blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure by decreasing the amount of bad cholesterol in the body known as LDL and increasing the good cholesterol known as HDL. Raw garlic also has many antibacterial and antifungal properties.

When it comes to the nutritional status of blueberries they are in a league of their own. The fruit is full of antioxidants that have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and exert protective benefits on the brain. Another study found that obese men and women with metabolic syndrome had a lowered blood pressure and reduced markers of oxidized LDL cholesterol when they added blueberries to their diet.  

Over the years eggs, a popular breakfast favorite,  have been demonized for their high cholesterol content. However, this cholesterol has not been found to be harmful in large quantities. Studies have found that egg yolks are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that can protect your eyes and reduce your risk of eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. They also contain high-quality protein and healthy fats. Several studies even suggest that they can help you lose weight.  

Whether trying to lose weight, boost your immunity or just live a healthier lifestyle, all of these nutrient dense foods can transform your health.

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