While it is important to get a variety of foods, some foods are superior to others. In comparison to other foods out there, the best foods and drinks are nutrient powerhouses, supplying you with essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Even with a high nutrient content, you cannot live on one food or drink alone, for no single food provides all your needs. These healthiest food and drinks should be included as part of a well-balanced diet.
Water Is Best
Water is the foundation for life; it is also calorie free. The human body is made up of about 60 percent water. Not only is water vital to every cell in your body, it also helps lubricate joints, helps regulate internal body temperature, flushes waste from the body through urination and acts as a shock absorber to the spinal cord and brain. Compared to all drinks, water is the healthiest. While every person needs a certain amount of water daily, the amount varies from person to person. Typically, men should drink around 3 liters of water per day; women need about 2.2 liters per day.
Blueberries Help Immunity
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants -- especially anthocyanins and polyphenolic flavonoids -- which protect your body and boost your immune system. Blueberries contain fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium that not only help lower your cholesterol level, but may also reduce your risk of cancer.
Nutrition in Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a naturally sweet food with numerous nutrients, which makes them one of the most nutritious foods. Low in calories, with only 103 calories for a medium-sized potato, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin A, antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and manganese. Beta carotene and vitamin A are crucial for healthy vision, immunity and bone development. Vitamin C also plays an important role in immunity and in keeping you well. Healthy thyroid functioning and normal blood-sugar levels depend on the nutrient manganese.
Fish Have Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may lower your risk of heart disease, improve cognitive functioning and protect against some types of cancer. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Heart Association recommend that you should consume two, 4-ounce servings of fish per week as part of a healthy diet.
Nuts May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Whether you are eating almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts or any other type of nut, you may be lowering your risk of heart disease, according to the United States Department of Food and Drug Administration. Eating only 1.5 ounces of nuts -- along with following a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol -- is enough to potentially reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats, fiber, selenium, polyphenols and arginine.
Eggs Offer Superior Protein
The protein found in eggs is of such high quality that it is used as a standard in research to measure the protein of other foods. Other proteins found in meat, soy and dairy just don't stack up. While the egg yolk does contain cholesterol, it also supplies the good-for-you nutrient choline that protects your brain and heart. For older individuals, consuming the high-quality protein found in eggs may reduce the rate of protein breakdown and it might slow muscle loss. As with any food in your diet, consume eggs in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet.
Leafy Green Vegetables Have Antioxidants
Kale, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, bok choy and chard provide impressive health benefits. Leafy green vegetables are packed with carotenoids, which are antioxidants that may help protect cells from the early stages of cancer. Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and in several B vitamins.
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- North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission: Sweet Potato Nutrition
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- United States Department of Agriculture: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
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- U.S. Department of the Interior: The Water in You
- United States Department of Agriculture:Basic Report: 11508, Sweet Potato, Cooked, Baked in Skin, Without Salt