You’ve probably seen ads or social media posts claiming that to be healthy you need to take a “superfood supplement” or eat expensive and organic food. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are plenty of staple foods that you probably already have at home that provide you with many health benefits. Whether it’s your favorite pasta or fruit, if you eat a varied diet, chances are you’re already getting all the nutrients you need.
We’re here to debunk the myth that the only way to achieve optimal health is to take expensive and often inaccessible supplements. Here are some common everyday foods that provide many benefits.
You probably didn’t expect to see this one on the list. Bread is a staple in most households and can contain essential nutrients like folate, iron and fiber. While white bread can spike your blood sugar and doesn’t offer much nutritional value outside of carbs (unless it’s fortified white bread, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals like thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3) to replace nutrients lost during processing), its whole grain counterpart contains extra fiber and nutrients and can help manage the blood pressure while reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating whole grains instead of refined grains is also linked to lower cholesterol and insulin levels.
Oats are one of my favorite foods on this list. They are versatile, relatively easy to use and inexpensive. When you look at their nutritional offering, oats pack a punch. According to the US Department of Agriculture, oats are loaded with complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals like B1, B3, B5, B6, folate, and iron. Oats are also a whole grain, and a meta-analysis found that the highest intakes of whole grains were significantly associated with a 21% reduced risk of heart disease compared to those with the highest intake. weak. Another meta-analysis, including studies that followed people with type 2 diabetes, found that eating oats significantly reduced blood sugar spikes after a meal. Opt for steel cut or rolled oats to reap the most benefits, as instant oatmeal is more processed and has a slightly higher glycemic index.
This creamy and vibrant orange root vegetable (although some may vary in color such as beige or purple) is also versatile – it can be fried, roasted, boiled, sautéed, mashed, baked or deep fried. air. Sweet potatoes contain tons of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene (a natural orange pigment found in plants that the body converts into vitamin A). One large sweet potato contains 400% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin A helps you maintain optimal vision and supports healthy healthy immune system.
You’re probably glad to see another fan favorite on this list. Pasta is made from wheat, which is a grain – one of the basic food groups in a balanced diet. Some types of pasta are stripped of their nutrients during the refining process. However, most are fortified with folate, iron, and vitamin B. If you’re looking for an unrefined option, try whole-grain pasta — which has been proven to keep you full longer — or pasta made with vegetables. Chickpea pasta has become popular recently and is high in fiber and protein, making it a great choice for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, iron, selenium, phosphorus and vitamins B2, B5 and B12. They also keep you full longer, which can be good for maintaining a balanced eating schedule. Eggs have gotten a bad rap due to their high cholesterol content. A large egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol, or just over half the recommended daily intake (300 mg) if you’re not at risk for heart disease. If you’re at risk for heart disease, one large egg is almost the recommended daily intake limit (200 mg). Despite the amount of cholesterol found in eggs, some studies have shown that it doesn’t seem to raise your body’s cholesterol levels the way trans fats and saturated fats do.
Yogurt is another one of those foods that is accessible, affordable, and convenient. It is an excellent source of calcium, protein and probiotics. Yogurt often starts out as milk, which is then pasteurized and fermented with live bacteria. Yogurt may promote various health benefits, such as aiding digestion, managing irritable bowel disease, and preventing osteoporosis. When shopping for yogurt, it’s best to opt for plain or Greek yogurt with simple ingredients and no added sugars to get the most benefits, according to Harvard Medical School.
I’m a big fan of garlic. I add it to most of the savory dishes I prepare at home. Apart from making your food tastier, garlic has many health benefits. It has been linked to a reduction in inflammation and cholesterol levels. As reported by Providence Health and Services, garlic has also been linked to better heart health by protecting against cell damage and lowering blood pressure. If you have digestive issues, garlic can also help aid digestion. However, it is important to listen to your body because eating too much garlic can also cause bloating. Consuming garlic can also help lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of catching a cold or the flu.
Tea fan? Great! Because you’re probably getting a good amount of antioxidants from it, which can help protect you against free radicals (pesky atoms that can damage cells). Green tea is a nutrient-dense beverage that is low in calories and rich in polyphenols, which may protect against oxidative damage and reduce inflammation. Green tea has also been linked to many health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol levels and supporting heart health. As if that weren’t enough, the National Cancer Institute reports that drinking green tea is also associated with reduced risk of certain types of cancer.
Berries are one of the most nutrient dense foods to have in your home. They are rich in vitamins C and K, prebiotics, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. The berries also contain disease-fighting nutrients and may help reduce the risk of age-related diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Eating berries is also linked to better heart health, reduced inflammation, and may boost your immunity.
Bananas should be on your radar if you are looking for a highly nutritious fruit with many health benefits. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins B6 and C, and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Healthlines reports that bananas also make a great pre-workout snack because they fill you up with energy and keep you feeling full longer.
Nuts offer many nutritional benefits. They contain tons of healthy fats, which can help regulate cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation linked to heart disease. Walnuts also contain essential minerals like magnesium, copper, iron, selenium, and zinc, all of which play crucial roles in cell growth and development. Eating a handful of nuts daily can help increase energy and improve digestion. Because nuts are so calorie-dense, a serving is quite small – only an ounce, or about a handful. Nuts are your best friend if you’re looking for a nutritious snack.
Onions are not only versatile and delicious, they also offer many health benefits. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help improve your overall health, such as improving heart health, boosting immune function, regulating blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and preventing of certain cancers. Onions also contain prebiotic fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and may even help you sleep better.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.