Let’s face it: we all want to be healthier. Sometimes it’s easier to grab packaged food. For some it’s the convenience, for others it’s because packaged foods have the nutritional information spelled out in black-and-white for them, for others it’s simply a matter of not wanting to cook or not knowing what they should eat. Even vegetarians are guilty of grabbing for packages, instead of eating whole, nutritious fruits and vegetables. While there are many reasons to grab packaged foods, there are many reasons not to: they are usually devoid of nutrients, high calorie, full of hydrogenated oils, and simply not good for you. Packaged foods do not contain the minerals and vitamins that your body needs to protect itself from disease.
If you are ready to try some whole foods, or if you are looking for some new foods to add to your diet, check out a few healthy, vegetable and fruit superfoods that can add variety and essential vitamins and minerals into your diet.
Beets, cabbage, purslane, and swiss chard are highly overlooked as nutritious foods. Beets are an excellent source of betaine and folate, both of which work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, a compound that can increase the risk of heart disease. Beets also provide betacyanins, pigments that fight cancer. Cabbage helps the body create enzymes that protect cells from free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer, while purslane has the highest amount of omega-3’s in any edible plant.
Swiss chard contains carotenoids, chemicals that protect your eyes.
If these vegetables don’t sound appetizing to you, try adding some new fruits to your diet. Guava contains lycopene, a prostate cancer fighting antioxidant, as well as a high amount of fiber. Pomegranate juice improves blood flow to the heart and provides nearly 50 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, and goji berries have a super high amount of antioxidants.
According to studies, goji berries also reduce insulin resistance and in turn, reduce the risk of diabetes. And last but not least, grab some dried plums for a high level of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
While it might be easy to grab packaged foods, I bet you’ve never seen these healthy claims on a packaged meal. If cancer and diabetes rates are so high, and so many people are eating packaged foods devoid of nutrients, doesn’t it make sense to acquire a taste for natural, whole fruits and vegetables?