Top 10 Healthiest Foods

Following are ten of the most powerful, antioxidant-rich foods you can get your hands on, along with ideas on how to incorporate them into your meal plan. Eat them on a weekly basis and you are one step closer to the Mediterranean Diet!

1. Avocados

What they offer:
Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin E, lutein (a carotenoid), magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Top your sandwich with one quarter of a sliced avocado or mash and serve alongside whole grain tortilla chips.


2. Beans/Legumes

Black, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, kidney, pinto, soybeans (edamame), lentils

What they offer:
Lean protein, soluble fiber, folate, magnesium, iron and potassium

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Add to tuna or egg salad; Sprinkle on top of salads or mix in sauces or soups; Snack on shelled edamame

Tip: If using canned beans, rinse under cold water in strainer to cut the sodium.


3. Berries

Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries

What they offer:
Vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, fiber

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Mix fresh berries in your oatmeal or yogurt; Add a cup of frozen berries, 8 ounces of almond milk and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to a blender and whip up a fruit smoothie!


4. Broccoli

What it offers:
Vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, manganese, fiber

How to fit it in your meal plan:
Add to stir-fries; enjoy raw with hummus dip; steam and layer on top of a baked potato with a touch of cheese.


5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What it offers:
Heart-healthy monounsaturated fat

How to fit it in your meal plan:
Use in salad dressings or marinades; drizzle over steamed veggies with a touch of balsamic vinegar; use in place of butter when cooking


6. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, collard, mustard, turnip, Romaine lettuce

What they offer:
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, folate, potassium, fiber

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Make a Romaine lettuce salad; toss a handful of kale to your fruit smoothie; add bagged frozen spinach to soups and casseroles


7. Nuts/Seeds

Almonds, peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, nut butter (peanut butter; almond butter)

What they offer:
Monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, protein, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin E

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Toast and sprinkle on top of salads; add to rice dishes; mix in oatmeal or yogurt; have a small handful for a snack


8. Omega 3 Fatty Acid-Rich Fish

Salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, herring, halibut, sardines, anchovies

What it offers:
Heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, potassium

How to fit it in your meal plan:
Order grilled salmon the next time you dine out; mix a can of tuna with a spoonful of fat-free Greek yogurt, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a dash of ground pepper-serve with whole grain crackers.


9. Sweet Potatoes

What they offer:
Fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Add shredded sweet potatoes to your stir-fry; slice into long wedges, toss with a little oil, salt and pepper and pop in oven; oven roast with a touch of maple syrup


10. Whole Grains

Amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, kamut, millet, oats, popcorn, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, teff, triticale, wild rice, wheatberries

What they offer:
Fiber, B-vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, selenium, copper

How to fit them in your meal plan:
Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast; use brown rice or quinoa as a side dish; add barley to soups and casseroles.



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