The Importance of Eating Healthy Foods
We need food as a daily requirement for the normal functioning of our systems. Foods that contain all or some of the nutrients required to function are considered healthy foods. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, calcium, and other minerals are considered essential nutrients.
Criteria for Food Selection
The foods we choose to eat must offer rich benefits for our health. The nutritional value of a food is evaluated based off of its nutrient density. Nutrient density is measured through the comparison of the amount of nutrients and the number of calories in a food. If we eat healthy foods, we will reap the benefits of these nutrients in our everyday lives.
Whole foods are considered healthy because they act as rich sources of natural nutrients. They are not processed. Thus, they do not contain synthetic, artificial ingredients. We must select foods that are not only nutritious but also easily and readily available. The selected foods must be affordable so that we can purchase them at a local market. Generally, healthy foods are actually tasty, and it is a pleasure to try new recipes and enjoy the flavors.
Some grains that are considered to be healthy foods are barley, brown rice, corn, buckwheat, millet rye, oats, spelt, quinoa, and whole wheat. These are all rich in minerals and other nutrients. For example, oats contain manganese, selenium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium, and zinc.
Black beans, dried peas, kidney beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soybeans, tofu, and tempeh are types of beans and legumes you can add to your healthy foods list. Kidney beans alone have the following nutrients: molybdenum, folate, tryptophan, fiber, manganese, protein, phosphorus, iron, potassium, copper, vitamin B1, vitamin K, and magnesium.
Some healthy spices and herbs include basil, black peppers, cayenne peppers, chili peppers, cumin seeds, cloves, ground cinnamon, thyme, coriander seeds, parsley, rosemary, dill, ginger, turmeric, sage, mustard seeds, and peppermint.
Furthermore, some healthy foods in the nuts, seeds, and oils category include cashews, almonds, olive oil (extra virgin), flax seeds, peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Specifically, the nutrients manganese, tryptophan, vitamin B3, folate, copper, and protein are present in peanuts.
Healthy vegetables include avocados, beets, bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, collard greens, kale, garlic, fennel, leeks green peas, mushrooms, olives, mustard greens, onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and potatoes, among others. Some healthy fruits include apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, figs, oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, papaya, lemons, pears, plums, prunes, raisins, strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon.
Low-fat cheese, eggs, cow milk (2%), goat milk, and yogurt are considered healthy foods in the dairy category. Sea foods such as salmon, cod, halibut, sardines, scallops, shrimp, and tuna are some of the best foods. In the poultry and lean meats category, chicken, lean organic beef, lamb, turkey, and venison are all considered to be healthy for the body.
Apart from the healthy foods listed above, green tea, soy sauce, and water are also good for your health. To lead a long life, always choose foods that are loaded with nutrients.