There are so many foods out in our world that could qualify as the healthiest there is. We will go through and see if we can determine which would be the healthiest five foods that need to be included in your daily food intake.
We know that we need protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fruits and vegetables. How do we rank the top five most important foods? Do we list in comparison of nutrients, vitamins, or by what ways that food benefits the body? We know each food, every single one does something for us. It may only be one aspect that it helps, however, help is help.
I can outright tell you that the number one food is WATER. According to the FDA, Section 201(f), it is one of the major aspects of all other foods and it is also quite essential when preparing other foods. At the same time, it cannot be considered a food as far as containing nutrients, Vitamins and minerals.
There is only one benefit to be gained from water and that is hydration. The body needs water to function. Water aids all the cells, organs and tissues in performing the duties they have. Water also helps to regulate the temperature of our bodies.
Our bodies are 60% water. That means this water that we sweat out, lose when we breathe or by digestion has got to be replaced daily. The only item according to the FDA that must be replaced or put into our bodies daily.
The amount of water each of us may need daily varies. Some of the dependents are how much we exercise, any illnesses and also by our geographic location. There are many jobs that water has within our bodies. These include:
- Protecting joints and Spinal Cord and Tissues
- Helps to remove body waste
- Prevents dehydration
- Helps our brain to function at its best
- Aids in the digestion of other foods
- Aids in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy
- Drinking water can help you eat healthier
On the side of vegetarians, we have to give it to them. The second highest rated food that we should be eating would be Kale! Kale and other leafy greens provide us with much of what we need daily.
Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron and Vitamins C and K. If you are wondering what Kale and other leafy greens can do for you here is a short list. When eating Kale and other leafy greens, the chances of developing Diabetes is reduced.
The antioxidants help rid the body of free radicals. The free radicals are unstable molecules that can lead to cell damage. Potassium and Fiber found in Kale and leafy greens helps protect your heart health. The ADA states that eating just a cup of Kale or leafy greens can help reduce high blood pressure and help to lower cholesterol.
The chlorophyll in Kale and leafy greens work together with antioxidants and fiber to help reduce the chances of cancer. The body absorbs heterocyclic amines. Chlorophyll binds to these unhealthy amines and stops the body from absorbing them. However, the body can not absorb much chlorophyll.
The fiber in Kale and other leafy greens has shown it may be linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Calcium and phosphorus found in these leafy greens has been shown to aid in bone health. The fiber and Water found in these greens also helps in digestion and eliminating constipation.
Beta Carotene assists in hair and skin growth. Your eye health is assisted by the lutein and zeaxanthin, these two nutrients aid in the prevention of age related macular degeneration.
Sitting solidly at the third position is Whole Grains. There is always some confusion as to what is included in whole grains. Technically what is included in this category include:
- Whole Wheat
The fiber contained in whole grains is beneficial in the digestion of foods. Other forms include foods that contain wheat germ and bran. Whole grains are also linked to lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and also diabetes. Eating whole grains you will gain nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and loads of healthy plant compounds.
Beans and Legumes
With so many varieties of beans and legumes available, there is no reason we are not all eating this healthy food in our daily diets. Some of these include:
- Black beans
These are just some of the types that are available. Beans and legumes are great sources of fiber, plant proteins, B vitamins, folate, calcium, potassium and zinc. Legumes are somewhat equivalent to the nutritions you find in meats. However, legumes have a lower iron level, as well as no saturated fats. The fiber in beans and legumes will aid in preventing constipation.
Beans and Legumes can be used as a substitute for meats. They are packed with a full list of nutrients and are very low in calories. Eating beans and legumes will help you feel full longer.
Some of the benefits of eating legumes and beans include assisting in lowering blood pressure, lowers blood sugars, and helps to lower the risks of heart disease and diabetes. The antioxidants found within Beans and Legumes can help to fight cell damage and fight diseases. The fiber helps to benefit the digestive system and may help to lower the risk of some digestive cancers.
We hear so much about Omega-3 fatty acids that these must be the number five on our list. Fish is a high protein, low fat food. Found within fish is Riboflavin, otherwise called Vitamin B2, also Vitamin D and of course, Omega 3 fatty acids.
Fish also contains phosphorus and calcium. Fish is also a great source of minerals. Some of these minerals include:
In combination, eating healthy fish can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure, and also help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Two of the fatty acids that are found in fish include DHA and EPA. Our body cannot produce these all important fatty acids, so we must consume foods in our diets to get these fatty acids. These are the two that help to keep our brain and heart healthy. A few of the benefits:
- Maintain a healthy heart by lowering the blood pressure and reducing the risk of strokes, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart attacks.
- Aids in infant development of vision and nervous system during the pregnancy
- Healthy brain function
- May help reduce the effects of depression, ADHD, Alzheimers, Dementia and diabetes
- May also reduce inflammation and the risk of arthritis.
Some of the best choices to eat when it comes to fish include salmon, trout, sardines, canned light tuna, herring, oysters and canned mackerel. The recommendation is to eat at least one serving of fish twice a week. There are many options as to ways to incorporate fish into your diets. Fish is low in calories, high in taste and high in healthy benefits.
What This Means
There are many more healthy foods that could be mentioned. That is another article, for a later time. This list of the top 5 healthiest foods was based upon the nutrition, Vitamins, minerals, and the health benefits that each can provide. A licensed, Registered Dietician can give you a suggested menu for a week or a month. You just need to ask. It is important to follow all the recommendations given to you by Medical professionals of all sorts.
As you have seen, we listed foods that are beneficial for all aspects of the human body and the mind. When you create a menu consisting of these five healthiest foods, your body will function better, you will have a lower risk or be less prone to many diseases, inflammation, mental issues and still provide yourself with all the flavor, all the needs that should be met by a good diet.
The suggestions of including these five foods in your meal plan weekly may help you feel better, function better, sleep better and have more mental clarity and focus. The one item that should be included in the Top 5, comes in at number 6 and that would be fruits. Fruits have a natural sugar, and at times this could affect the blood sugar. Diabetics should not be having too much of the natural sugars either.
However, Diabetics can utilize each of the top five on our list and find numerous benefits for their health also. Whichever foods you choose to consume, the number one thing that you should have daily is water to keep your system hydrated and flush out the nastiness that tends to build up.