Have you ever thought about how many food options we have in the U.S.? We have thousands of fast food restaurants, hundreds of cereals, and more flavors of ice cream than most people can imagine.
Unfortunately, most of these foods don’t fuel our bodies. In fact, they do the exact opposite! Many of the foods we eat in the U.S. are causing us to gain weight, feel chronically tired, and develop health problems.
Try eating more of these 5 foods if you’re ready to fuel your body with healthy foods that can help you live a longer, healthier life:
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which means they have the power to fight diseases like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. They contain essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Fruits give you lasting energy; way more than a cup of coffee! When you’re picking fruits, head for the berries first. Berries are so healthy for our bodies and contain high levels of antioxidants. Aim for 2 cups of fruits each day.
Vegetables will keep you full longer and can make a great snack. Think about eating sliced cucumbers, carrots, or peppers instead of potato chips. Look for ways you can sneak some vegetables into sauces or soups. Aim for 2-3 cups of vegetables each day.
When shopping, plan to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. This will help you save money on healthy foods and will force you to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Not sure what’s in season? Check out Georgia Organic’s printable season calendar.
Despite what some fad diets would have you believe, it’s important to eat whole grains. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of the grains we eat be whole grains. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber, which can control blood sugars and cholesterol levels and help our digestive systems.
Examples of whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grain breads and pasta, and barley. When you’re shopping for whole grains, make sure to read the nutrition labels. A whole grain food will have the word “whole” in the first few ingredients.
You can easily add in whole grains to your diet by making a few healthy swaps. Instead of white rice, try brown rice. Add some quinoa to a summer salad or some barley to a winter stew. Or try a whole grain cereal or plain oatmeal with fruit for breakfast.
A lot of people have been taught that fats are bad. But eating the correct healthy fats can benefit your body in so many ways. Healthy fats help reduce cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, and reduce heart disease.
Examples of healthy fats include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, nuts and seeds, nut butter, and fish. I’m sure you can imagine how easy it can be to add some of these foods to your diet. You can add a few slices of avocado to your salad or sandwich or sprinkle some chia seeds on your morning oatmeal or cereal. You can also swap out vegetable oil for olive or peanut oil. Or maybe try a spoon of almond butter for a healthy, sweet treat.
Read more about healthy fats >> These are the Healthy Fats You Should be Eating
Proteins keep us full and satisfied and build strong skin, nails, and muscles. There are so many protein options available. Healthy protein options include eggs, ground turkey, lean chicken, fish, lean cuts of red meats, beans, non-flavored Greek yogurts, edamame, or tofu.
Add more lean protein to your diet by swapping ground beef for ground turkey, packing some boiled eggs in your lunch, or making a Greek yogurt and fresh berry parfait for a weekend breakfast.
One question our AppleCare providers get a lot is if a protein powder is a good way to add more lean protein to your diet. Protein powders may be a good source of protein, but you need to read the labels. Many protein powders have monosodium glutamate (msg) and other ingredients that can do us harm over time.
When you eat foods that fuel your body, your body will thank you with a longer, healthier life. As you’re planning your weekly meals or grocery shopping, keep these five foods in mind.
Do you have specific diet needs or want to talk to a doctor about the right foods for your lifestyle? Visit any of our convenient AppleCare Urgent Care Clinics that are open days, nights, and weekends.