It’s no secret that what you eat has a lot of bearing not just on the way you look, but also on the way you feel—and when it comes to feeling your best, some foods are better at helping you along than others. But eating healthy can be an expensive, and labor-intensive diet, so here are some simple foods you should try to incorporate into your diet.
Leafy greens. This year’s FDA dietary regulations have a number of suggestions and revisions to past dietary guidelines, some of which are surprises. But what isn’t surprising is that the FDA recommends a plant-based diet. This means things like kale, bok choy, spinach, collards, chard, broccoli, cabbage, and red and green leaf lettuce should be the foundation of a good diet. Dark greens like these are high in K. folate, minerals, and vitamins that help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even depression.
Fish. Fish are a great source of omega-3s and fatty acids which can help prevent heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, or kidney cancer. Fish are low in fat and generally pretty easy to cook. The next time you’re at the store, consider picking up a filet of salmon, halibut, or trout instead of a heavy red meat like steak. But be careful about overdoing it with fish: high mercury levels can be detrimental to your health. Avoid fish like shark, tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, and watch it with the tuna—especially if you’re pregnant.
Nuts. Nuts have a lot of healthy fat in them to keep you going. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, and a study on the Mediterranean diet found that people who consume 30 grams of nuts daily led to a lower rate of depression. Eat almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts salted or unsalted—just eat them!
Berries. Delicious and naturally sweet, studies show that women over the age of 70 who ate berries displayed a slowed rate of memory loss. Besides being good for your brain, berries are good for your eyes, they’re full of disease-preventing antioxidants, and they can help you lose weight. Eat up.
Lentils and beans. These versatile treats contain high levels of folate and zinc, iron, fiber, and protein. Consuming enough legumes can make you feel as full as if you had eaten meat, and they’re better for your digestion.