table of contents
Why Should You Eat Healthily?
There are so many benefits of healthy eating. Food is how we fuel our bodies. Food provides us with the energy we need to perform our daily tasks, go to work, spend time with family, and take part in activities and hobbies we enjoy.
But it’s not just enough to eat food. We have to consider what foods we’re putting into our bodies. Different types of food have different nutritional values, and it’s essential to make sure you’re getting enough of your necessary nutrients every day.
Eating a well-balanced diet made up of foods for healthy eating will help you live longer, have more energy, and feel better and healthier. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to remember to eat healthy in this day and age, when we’re all busy trying to balance work, family, and friends.
To keep healthy eating habits, it’s best to practice having healthy food on hand at all times. If that sounds challenging, don’t worry—it’s not! There are plenty of delicious foods that are good for you to eat.
The following is a list of 30+ foods that you’ll want to make sure to keep in your pantry and fridge so that you can maintain your healthy eating habits.
30+ Foods for Healthy Eating
- Grapefruit – Grapefruit is one of the healthiest fruits you’ll find and should be considered one of the basic foods for healthy eating. These round orange and pink fruits are packed full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. They can even help reduce insulin levels.
Studies have shown that eating grapefruit can even aid with weight loss.
- Avocados – Avocados are full of magnesium, potassium, and fiber. These small but mighty fruits are one of the best foods for healthy eating! The amount of potassium they contain is 28% of your recommended daily intake. And as a bonus, avocados taste great too.
Unlike other fruits, avocados are low on carbs. Instead, avocados have plenty of healthy fats. While some people may instinctively shy away from that word when they’re looking for healthy foods, certain types of healthy fats are useful for promoting heart health.
- Blueberries – Don’t be fooled by the blueberry’s small size! These berries are loaded with nutrients. Specifically, you’ll find vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber in blueberries. They are also full of antioxidants, which are good for your skin, heart, and brain. Blueberries can also be helpful for your immune system.
- Cranberries – These bitter little berries have a ton of health benefits. Cranberries are loaded with manganese, vitamin K, vitamin K1, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Like blueberries, they also have antioxidants that help with your overall health.
Another pro for the cranberry, making them one of the best foods for healthy eating, is that it is known to help with urinary tract infections.
- Bananas – Bananas are probably most well-known for their levels of potassium, which make up for 12% of your recommended daily potassium intake.
Bananas also contain many nutrients that can help you feel full, which helps prevent overeating. They also have pectin, which helps regulate blood sugar and improves your digestive health overall.
Eggs are one of the best foods for healthy eating and have a ton of benefits. They are loaded with nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B2, Vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, and iodine. Eating an egg will also make up for 25% of your recommended daily amount of folates.
They are also rich in proteins, which are necessary building blocks for life. Making sure your diet has enough protein is an important part of your healthy eating habits.
Finally, eggs also contain omega-3s, which are essential fats that help make sure the membranes of our cells function properly.
- Chicken – When cooked properly, chicken is one of the healthiest meats you can consume. Chicken is a low-calorie meat option that is still high in protein and vitamin B. Vitamin B can help your metabolism work better, as well as give you healthier-looking skin and support your nervous system.
Grilling your chicken breast is the best way to cook it to retain all of those essential and helpful nutrients. The great news is that if you have leftover chicken, it makes for great filling in sandwiches, pasta dishes, and more!
- Turkey – Like chicken, turkey is a great white meat alternative to red meat. Turkey is also lean meat that’s packed full of various B vitamins to help your metabolism, skin, and nervous system.
Turkey also has slightly fewer calories than chicken does as well as less fat while still retaining around the same amount of protein. So don’t just consider this bird good for Thanksgiving and Christmas! It’s one of the best foods for healthy eating!
- Pork Tenderloin – Even though pork gets a bad rap, it’s not the unhealthy monster many people think it is. Getting the right cut and cooking it in the right way can make pork just as healthy as the other foods on this list.
Pork tenderloin is very similar to chicken in its nutritional value. You’ll be getting around the same amount of calories, fat, and protein. So while other cuts like bacon can be pretty bad for you, it’s hard to go wrong with pork tenderloin.
4. Nuts & Seeds
- Almonds – These little nuts pack quite the punch with their nutrient content! Almonds are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium. Although more research needs to be done, they may also help lower bad cholesterol. We know that almonds are potentially helpful for weight loss and might help lower blood pressure in those who are obese.
- Walnuts – Walnuts are good sources of protein, vitamin E, and fiber. They appear to have several potential health benefits, making them a great option if you are looking for foods for healthy eating. Walnuts help your body regulate its cholesterol levels by reducing bad cholesterol and upping the amount of good cholesterol.
- Pistachios – These tasty little nuts, like most other nuts, are good for their protein, fiber, and vitamin E content. They also help regulate cholesterol levels in the body. Pistachios also have the potential to help with weight management, blood pressure problems, and heart disease. Eating pistachios is one of the best ways to promote your healthy eating habits.
- Cashews – Although cashews do not have much in the way of vitamin E or fiber content, at least not when compared to other nuts. Don’t count them out of the running as one of the basic foods for healthy eating, though. Cashews have been shown to help those with metabolic syndrome and help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Pecans – Although these nuts are most frequently used as part of your dessert, they are extremely healthy. Like the other nuts on this list, they help regulate your cholesterol by lowering the amount of bad cholesterol and upping the amount of good cholesterol in your body. Besides, pecans have an antioxidant effect. It means that they can help counteract the oxidative stress that your body experiences.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is truly a powerhouse vegetable. This green veggie is a fantastic source of manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folates. The amount of nutrients broccoli contains makes Broccoli one of the basic foods for healthy eating.
Broccoli has also been shown to help protect against cancer, as well as other chronic diseases. It also acts as an antioxidant, protecting your body against oxidative stress. Broccoli is one of the greatest foods for healthy eating.
- Spinach – One of the most basic foods for healthy eating, spinach is chock full of nutrients. Just one cup of spinach will provide you with over half your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, fulfilling your recommended daily intake of vitamin K. Spinach is also rich in antioxidants, which protect your body from that pesky oxidative stress.
Spinach is one of the best foods for healthy eating. It’s also possible that it can help decrease your risk of cancer while also increasing heart health.
- Kale – Kale is another leafy green that’s a great food to include for your healthy eating habits. When you eat kale, you’ll be getting plenty of vitamins A, C, and K. If you’re eating your kale raw, which is the best way to do it, you’re also getting an array of B vitamins, calcium, copper, and potassium.
Moreover, kale could reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your blood and provide antioxidants.
- Carrots – If you consume carrots as one of your basic foods for healthy eating, you’ll never have to worry about being short on vitamin A ever again. These orange veggies are loaded with it, as well as with beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant.
Carrots could potentially be useful for preventing cancer, specifically lung and prostate cancer. These veggies are also very high in their vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium content, making them a great food to add to all your healthy eating habits.
- Garlic – Garlic is a root vegetable that has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. In more recent studies, garlic has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, making it a helpful food for those who struggle with diabetes.
This root vegetable could also help combat heart disease, as well as preventing cancers. These potential health benefits are all provided by its main active compound, allicin.
- Albacore Tuna – Many types of tuna contain mercury, which can be toxic when eaten in large amounts. Albacore tuna, however, is lower in mercury than other types of tuna, and generally has healthier omega-3s. To get these health benefits, you want to make sure that the tuna you’re purchasing is either troll or pole-caught and comes from British Columbia or the United States.
- Salmon – Salmon is another fantastic source of omega-3s. Like most seafood, however, you want to be mindful of where it’s coming from. It’s best to buy salmon that comes from the wild in Alaska. This is because that salmon is healthier, and the fishing industry in Alaska is one of the most sustainable in the world.
- Shrimp – Shrimp is relatively low-calorie, contains high levels of protein and omega-3s, and even has good levels of zinc and iron. Shrimps also delicious! You’ll easily find plenty of recipes that include shrimp. What’s even better is that it’s usually pretty easy and simple to prepare the shrimp.
- Sardines – Lots of people turn up their noses at the mere mention of sardines, but these little, inexpensive fish add great flavor and are good for you too! Sardines are even a better source of omega-3s than salmon and tuna. As a bonus, sardines are one of the rare foods naturally rich in vitamin D.
- Oats – Oats come in a variety of forms, but it’s best to get them either steel-cut or coarse to truly reap their health benefits. Oats are known for their ability to help lower cholesterol levels, as well as improve heart health. Since oats are made up of complex carbohydrates, they also help slow your digestion down and keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Wheat Germ – Wheat germ is another grain that has a very high nutrient content. Among other nutrients, you’ll find vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, fiber, thiamin, and folic acid.
- Brown Rice – This grain is one of the best grains for healthy eating. Brown rice is high in various B vitamins, fiber, and selenium. Brown rice is also low-allergen and gluten-free, making it perfect if you are sensitive to food allergies.
- Chickpeas – These beans, also called garbanzo beans, are a fantastic source of both fiber and protein. They have been shown to potentially help with weight loss, heart health, and even cancer prevention.
Chickpeas are chock full of nutrients like copper, protein, and fiber.
- Lentils – Consuming a diet with lentils could help manage blood sugar levels, diabetes, and weight management. They are also a good source of protein, folates, and fiber.
- Peas – These little green legumes are a fantastic way to get in your daily protein and fiber. Peas have also been shown to help with weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Black Beans – Black beans may help reduce the blood sugar spike that is common after meals. They’re also a great source of fiber, protein, folate, and iron.
- Yogurt – There are tons of different yogurt brands out there with plenty of different nutrient levels. Generally, though, yogurt is a great source of calcium and potassium. Try to find fat-free or low-fat varieties if you can.
- Cottage Cheese – This cheese isn’t just great because it’s a good source of protein and calcium, but it also tastes great when you mix it with fruits, making it a great snack option!
- Reduced Fat Milk – If you can find reduced-fat milk at your grocery store, you’ll be getting in plenty of protein, calcium, and even some vitamin D.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Olive oil is great for heart health. It’s also super easy to cook with and has many uses when cooking. Just make sure your olive oil is extra virgin.
- Coconut Oil – Although coconut oil contains saturated fat, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Coconut oil is a great oil to use in cooking since it’s more stable than other oils at higher heat.
- Canola Oil – This oil has a high smoke point, making it good for any cooking that’s being done on high heat. It is also one of the oils readily available with the least amount of saturated fats.
10. Fats & Oils
Benefits of Healthy Eating
When it comes to your diet, there are many. Eating the right foods helps you live longer, feel better, and look better too.
Another of the many benefits of healthy eating is that eating the right foods can help prevent serious illnesses and diseases like cancer. For those already struggling with health conditions, healthy eating can be very helpful in managing those issues.
Finally, one of the other benefits of healthy eating is that it can help you look your best. What you put into your body is often reflected by the outside of your body. Eating foods that are good for you will help maintain your hair, skin, and nail health.
There are so many benefits of healthy eating that it’s hard to name them all. What’s even harder for some people is knowing how to eat healthily.
Keeping these 30+ foods for healthy eating in mind will help you maintain a healthy diet and make you feel and look your best while also preventing disease and helping you to live longer.