Thursday, November 13, 2014

This 'n That Thursdays: Eight Essential Foods List

Are you a fan of the Food Pyramid?
(from Food Pyramid)

In last week's post I mentioned how much I love lists.  Some of my absolute favorite lists are those that tell us what foods to eat.  While the items specified are never exactly the same, a lot of foods do make frequent appearances.  One list I found recently recommends "8 Foods You Should Eat Every Day".  I don't know how practical that "every day" edict would be, but I have no problem including these edibles in my diet on a regular basis, as I like them all.

From Women's Health

1) Spinach

Benefits: Spinach is full of omega-3 fatty acids, folates, and lutein to fight heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and macular degeneration.

Substitutes: Kale, bok choy, Romaine lettuce

From The Best Remedy

2) Yogurt

Benefits: Yogurt with active and live cultures contains probiotics, which improve digestion, boost the immune system, and help fight cancer.

Substitutes: Kefir, soy yogurt

From Earnest Holistic Health

3) Tomatoes

Benefits: Red tomatoes contain the most lycopene, and this nutrient is more bio-available in cooked tomatoes (fresh or canned).  Lycopene protects against cancers and coronary artery disease.

Substitutes: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava

From The Virally

4) Carrots

Benefits: Red, orange, and yellow produce contains high levels of carotenoids, which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Substitutes: Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango

From She Knows

5) Blueberries

Benefits: Full of antioxidants (anthocyanins), which protect against cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes.  Also rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, that help improve cardiovascular health.

Substitutes: Acai berries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, strawberries

From Natures-Health-Foods.com

6) Black Beans

Benefits: In addition to the usual positive health benefits of legumes, black beans also contain anthocyanins (like blueberries) for even more nutritional punch.

Substitutes: Peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans

From Health Me Up

7) Walnuts

Benefits: Walnuts contain more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than salmon and more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, plus they are a good source of protein.

Substitutes: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts

From Camp All-Star

8) Oats

Benefits: Oats contain high levels of soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease, as well as a fair amount of plant protein.

Substitutes: Quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice

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A nice bonus with this list is the inclusion of alternatives if you don't care for the specific item mentioned.  All of these foods do seem to have significant nutritional benefits, and I will continue to happily add them (and/or their substitutes) to my diet as often as possible.  How about you?
             

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