Modern Science now concurs that among all lifestyle factors, no single factor is more important to our health than the food we eat. According to healthcare experts it is our best bet in avoiding chronic preventable diseases. Based on current research, we do not need one diet for preventing heart disease, a second for preventing diabetes, a third for preventing obesity and a fourth for preventing cancer: All four of these chronic preventable diseases require a move in the same general direction, that is, a decreased intake of sugar and processed foods and an increased consumption of health-promoting, nutrient-rich foods.
Nutrient rich foods are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. Eating more nutrient-rich foods, cooking them properly, and learning about how to create a better way of eating, will help you feel stronger and healthier. You will have more energy, sleep better, reduce your stress levels and enjoy general optimal health. But, what exactly are nutrient-dense foods? These are foods which provide a high amount of nutrients but have relatively few calories. Real foods have complex chemical structures that are very difficult to replicate. For example, antioxidants and phytochemicals found in many plant foods support the immune system, aid the body’s detoxification processes and help with cellular repair. Nutrients found in healthy, whole foods contain micronutrients such as essential vitamins, trace minerals and electrolytes. They also contain macronutrients, including carbohydrates (both simple and complex), proteins (amino acids) and different types of healthy fats.
Some of the most nutrient-dense foods available to us include:
• Leafy green vegetables – Kale, collard greens, spinach, pak choi, cabbage and romaine lettuce.
• Red, yellow, green and orange bell-peppers
• Broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous veggies like cabbage and brussel sprouts
• Carrots and parsnips
• Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
Eat a variety of real foods from all different food groups, including healthy proteins and fats, in addition to plants, and you should be well on your way to eating a nutrient-dense, balanced diet. Above all, practice self-awareness by paying attention to how your dietary choices make you feel. Everyone is a little different, so it’s up to you to decide which exact type of diet ultimately serves you best.