Science Says These Are 3 of the Healthiest Foods You Can Eat
Every single person’s life on Earth is unique. We all work different jobs, lead vastly different lives, and live in different parts of the world. We have our own families, hobbies, schedules, and routines.
Even so, we all have a few common necessities — food, water, shelter, etc. Although most of us lead very busy lives, we all take time out of each day to eat.
Even so, I don’t think there is enough emphasis today on the health impacts of which foods we choose to put into our bodies. Food is not just one of life’s simple pleasures. It is a source of fuel for our bodies, and it impacts how we think, feel, and even how we act.
The following quote is one I find to be incredibly powerful, and I think it sums up the impacts of food on the human body quite well:
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” — Ann Wigmore
Food truly can be optimized and improve your life, just like it did for me five years ago (and continues to do today). While I have written articles about the health benefits of various foods before, I feel it is important to continue to do so.
There are thousands of different options to choose from today. I think that by becoming more knowledgeable about what specific benefits each unique ingredient provides, we can all make more informed decisions about food, and ultimately optimize our health.
The following are three foods that science says are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. I have provided supporting evidence for each, along with specifics about what benefits you can expect to receive as a result of eating them.
1. This Cruciferous Vegetable
When I was a young girl, there was one vegetable in particular that I had a special attachment to, but not because I liked the taste of it.
I thought that broccoli florets looked like little tiny trees, and I loved to munch the tops off. While I certainly didn’t eat broccoli with the intention of boosting my health at that age, that is essentially what I was doing.
In fact, research shows that:
“Low dietary intake of fruits and vegetables doubles the risk of most types of cancer as compared to high intake and also markedly increases the risk of heart disease and cataracts. Since only 9% of Americans eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the opportunity for improving health by improving diet is great.”
While all fruits and vegetables offer many positive health benefits, broccoli in particular provides a ton of vitamin K and vitamin C, among other key micronutrients.
“multiple potent antioxidants that may support healthy cells and tissues throughout your body.”
Broccoli is a powerful vegetable that I enjoy weekly. If you don’t enjoy broccoli plain, I highly recommend steaming it and adding it to a delicious pasta dish, such as this creamy vegan hummus ‘alfredo’ pasta.
2. This Superfood Seed
Chia seeds are a powerful ingredient that can easily be added to meals and snacks you’re likely already eating, such as oatmeal, cereal, and hydrating fruit smoothies.
Chia seeds are plentiful in antioxidants, and research has shown positive correlations between antioxidants and lifespan as well as protection against cell damage.
Chia seeds also contain a good amount of protein. In fact,
“By weight, they’re about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants. They also have a good balance of essential amino acids, so your body should be able to make use of their protein content.”
It’s quite clear that chia seeds offer some incredible health benefits. You can try this simple vegan chia pudding recipe for a quick and easy superfood boost.
3. This Unique Fat Source
The final healthy food I’m sharing today is a unique fat source with a number of interesting benefits — coconut.
Now, I know that coconut is definitely not for everyone. My dad doesn’t really like the taste of it, and it’s one of those flavors that is quite strong and hard to disguise.
There has been a lot of debate surrounding coconut and other related products, such as coconut oil, due to the high saturated fat content. In fact,
“Coconut oil is made up of about 90% saturated fats and 9% unsaturated fats. However, the saturated fats in it differ from saturated fats in animal fats. Over 50% of the fats in coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids.”
The distinguishing factor here is the fatty acid makeup. The medium chain fatty acids differ from long chain fatty acids in that they are:
“absorbed intact from the small intestine, and do not undergo degradation and re-esterification processes. They are directly used in the body to produce energy.”
The takeaway here is that coconut offers a number of potential benefits as well as many vitamins and minerals, so you shouldn’t necessarily let the saturated fat content steer you away from the fruit completely.
One of the best ways to improve your health is by making positive, sustainable changes to your diet, and sticking with them long term.
I failed at adopting a healthier lifestyle when I entered high school because I changed my ways for a day, or five days, or even two weeks, but then reverted back to eating sugary, processed sweets regularly. When I finally committed to adopting a balanced, sustainable lifestyle, that’s when I began to feel the positive impacts of living and eating in a consistently healthy way.
While there is no single food that will instantly make you a healthy individual, consistently fueling your body with powerful, minimally processed ingredients will help you reach that point. Ultimately, both your body and mind will thank you.
Check out my blog, nomeatfastfeet.com, for more helpful content!
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