Smart Eats: 5 Foods You Need Daily

Being barraged by a flood of articles regarding what you need to eat on a daily basis most definitely does not help those of us who try to do the right thing by eating well. Even those who don’t follow diets and trends, but simply try to be healthy, can be confused about what is healthy, what’s not, and what lies in between the two. Here is a basic list of what every human body needs, every day:

5 Lean proteins

Despite what many detox programs say about protein “clogging up” the intestinal tract, and fitness programs touting protein at every meal of the day, lean protein is important for satiety, muscle repair, and general optimal functioning. The best way to get ideal amounts for your body is to increase the plant proteins (leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa, raw protein powders) and decrease the fatty proteins like ground beef, bacon, and fatty cuts of meat. Consume moderate amounts of fish, dairy, and egg protein as well, and simply listen to your body – no need to force down more protein than you can “normally” consume.

4 Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in minerals that help the body function efficiently. They also help with satiety, meaning you’ll feel full after eating them; in one study, people who ate nuts and seeds had a lower body mass index and reported feeling more satisfied with their diets than those who did not eat them. Try to eat nuts and seeds raw and unpasteurized.

3 Berries

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Most of us have heard that berries are one of the best foods you can eat for their anti-oxidant properties. Berries are generally darker in pigment and smaller than their fruit colleagues, growing on bushes mainly during summer months. They freeze well, meaning you can eat them during the winter if you so choose. High in fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients, eat berries for digestive care and to keep your body young.

2 Greens

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Greens are any leafy green that can be found amongst the lettuces, darker leaves, and sprout sections of a grocery store, generally anywhere in the world and during all times of the year. Even when certain kinds are not in season (like lettuce, cabbage, and arugula during summer), others are (like collards, kale, mustard, dandelion, and spinach). Greens alkalize the body as well as provide a host of important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that reduce the effects of aging. A great resource for learning about greens is

1 Vegetables

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A fairly obvious start, vegetables should be our primary food, making up the largest part of our diet. Vegetables are low sugar, complex carbohydrates, meaning they provide your body with energy without spiking blood sugar. They are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes, helping your body repair and rejuvenate while taking little energy to digest. Get in at least five servings a day for optimal health.

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