Let’s face it — there are loads of lists out there filled with foods some consider yummy, yet others just don’t like, even if they are healthy eaters. We’ve prepared a list of healthy foods that we think contains at least a few choices which have universal yummy appeal while having some healthy aspects as well:
Bright and colourful, nature’s candies are sweet and delicious, but also loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and those all-important antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent damage to your cells at a molecular level. Based on numerous scientific and medical studies from different sources, berries might just be a super-food, with reported lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart attack, lower memory loss, and lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Filling, crunchy and easily portable, nuts pack a punch in only a small amount. As long as you avoid nuts with added salt or those roasted in oils or sugars, these little snack heroes can help hearts stay healthy, reduce inflammation, boost brain function and help prevent some prostate afflictions in men. But beware! Nuts can be high in calories, so a few go a long way. Research your favourite choices to know exactly how many of each to eat per day.
In addition to being quick, easy and versatile in how you can prepare them, eggs are packed with stuff your body needs. Lean proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats, all nine essential amino acids and brain-boosting choline are all found in eggs. Despite having a bad reputation twenty years ago, numerous studies have confirmed eggs don’t actually negatively affect your health, assuming you don’t eat them in excess and don’t prepare them loaded with butter and high-fat cheese every time you eat them!
This is one of our favourites! Consumed in small amounts daily, high-quality dark chocolate (meaning 70% or higher of organic cocoa content) is rich in fibre, iron, and minerals. This tasty treat may improve blood pressure levels and increase blood flow, while also potentially helping lower the risk of heart disease. One study suggests that cocoa has more antioxidant power than blueberries, but again, moderation is the name of the game because dark chocolate can also contain caffeine and sugars. It’s best to limit your intake to a couple of small squares per day.
This is another delicious food requiring reading of labels to ensure you’re buying the healthy stuff without the additives you don’t want or need. Greek yoghurt, in its best form, will contain close to double the protein of regular yogurt. Many brands add sweet fruit flavours, which increases the sugar and carb content, so it’s best to buy unsweetened plain Greek yogurt and add a touch of organic honey and some fruit or berries of your own. The protein, probiotics and calcium in Greek yogurt all work to keep your bones and belly strong and healthy, while potassium helps balance out sodium and Vitamin B-12 aids in red blood cell formation and brain function.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
More antioxidants! This healthy fat is also loaded with them and vitamins that can keep inflammation, eye and skin issues, neurological diseases and heart disease at bay. Don’t be fooled at the grocery store; not all olive oils are the same. You want unrefined extra-virgin olive oil. Just be careful when you use it to cook, as it burns at a lower temperature than other oils.
One of the most nutrient-dense foods there is, avocados are high in fibre and, ounce for ounce, they top the charts among all fruits for folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium – which happily, are all really good for us. Super useful in oh so many ways, the delicious healthy monounsaturated fat in the avocado is one of its biggest SuperFood health claims. The only other fruit with a comparable amount of monounsaturated fat is the olive (see above). The monounsaturated fat in avocados is oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol.
Again, one of our favourites, in moderation. While one or two black coffees a day have health benefits such as lowered risk of Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease, more than two cups per day or loading your coffee up with cream, sweeteners or sugar defeat those benefits and can do more harm than good.
Just like almost everything on this list, red wine can do harm if you overindulge. One five-ounce glass per day is the maximum, and sorry, that doesn’t accrue if you skip weekdays and drink them all on Friday or Saturday night! Our friends the antioxidants are present in red wine too, along with flavonoids, a plant compound that also has antioxidant benefits. With the ability to lower the risk of heart disease and reduce inflammation, it’s a great justification for your evening beverage of choice.
Vegetables, Fruits and Lean Meats
Sorry, you can’t survive on the other nine foods alone, as yummy as that would be. While some lean meats, vegetables and fruits are better than others, eating a form of lean protein daily is necessary for many of your body’s functions. As a side dish, pick which plant-based foods you enjoy most then check what value they add to your diet and rotate which ones you eat daily.
The list of healthy foods that are also yummy is long and everyone has their preferences, but few fruits and veggies are really bad for you if you eat all things in moderation. Try to eat a balanced diet and save things high in salt, fat and sugar as occasional treats.