Feel Better With These Five Healthy Foods

Photo credit: Jack Dykinga, U.S. Department of Agriculture [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With so many food choices, how do you know whether the foods you are eating are not only contributing to your nutritional needs, but are also playing a role in how you feel? The food you eat has a direct impact on your health. Some foods have specific health benefits, such as improving your skin and hair or helping ease digestive problems. Many of the foods you eat every day not only fuel your body, they help to alleviate health conditions. Fresh foods with few or no preservatives are best for your body. There are lots of choices, but here are five delicious foods that can help improve your health.

Chicken is a healthy food that contains not only protein but a number of essential vitamins and trace elements. Chicken is a good source of the B vitamins, B12, B6, and B3. People who have low energy despite eating carbohydrates may not be getting enough vitamin B. Vitamin B doesn’t give you energy, but helps your body extract energy from the carbohydrates and protein that you eat. In addition to helping your body extract energy from carbs, the nutrients in chicken can help your body maintain healthy red blood cells and avoid anemia.

How many times did your mother tell you to eat your broccoli? There’s a good reason she encouraged you to eat green foods, such as broccoli and spinach. Broccoli and spinach are rich in iron, and vitamins A, C, and vitamin E. These vitamins help improve blood health and boost your immune system. Raw vegetables provide the best source of these nutrients, but you can benefit from cooked vegetables too. Avoid overcooking vegetables. Overcooking can break down the nutrients making them unusable by your cells. Steaming vegetables brings out the flavor without destroying important nutrients.

Bananas are quite possibly the most perfect snack. They are naturally sweet, smooth in texture and rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 affects mood and can help you have a sense of well-being. Bananas are great alone, in fruit salads or in smoothies and shakes. Try some sliced bananas in a bowl of plain low-fat yogurt. Slice up some bananas on whole grain cereal with low-fat milk for a delicious, nutritious breakfast or anytime snack. The natural sugar in bananas also boosts your energy level.

Those with a sweet tooth will be happy to hear that dark chocolate has health benefits besides improving mood and satisfying a sugar craving. Tryptophan and magnesium are beneficial trace elements found in dark chocolate that can help you feel calm and improve your mood. Dark chocolate can help to lower cholesterol, which reduces your risk of developing heart disease and coronary artery disease.

You have probably heard a lot about the benefits of eating whole grains. It’s all true. Whole grains, such as whole wheat and oats, contain a trace element called selenium, which can help alleviate the symptoms associated with depression. They are also loaded with fiber to help you feel fuller for longer and improve digestion. Switching from processed flours to whole grains does not mean you will be eating cardboard. Whole grains breads and muffins are delicious alone or with natural fruit spreads.



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