Healthy foods to include in your diet
Meaty and filling, as a stand-in for beef they can slash up to 400 calories from a meal. They may also protect against breast cancer by helping to regulate a woman’s estrogen levels.
Another high-fiber cholesterol fighter. On weeknights use the pearl or quick-cooking variety. More time? Give hulled barley, with its extra layer of bran, a go.
A surprisingly good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Those are the fats that lower the bad-for-you cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good-for-you kind (HDL).
Contains three times the amount of fiber per serving as the typical semolina variety. Skip pasta labeled “multigrain”: It may be made with a number of grains, but they aren’t necessarily whole ones.
Oatmeal (Steel-Cut or Old-Fashioned)
Holds cholesterol in check, helps fight against heart disease, and keeps you full until lunch, thanks to its soluble fiber.
It offers nine essential nutrients: calcium, of course, but also B vitamins, which help neurological function, and vitamin D, a potential cancer fighter.
Packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which keep blood vessels healthy. The plant fibers help lower cholesterol.
A protein powerhouse, these are flush with folate, a nutrient that may prevent certain birth defects.
Packed with fiber, this superfruit was one of the top antioxidant-rich picks in a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study.
The whites offer up protein with minimal calories (and zero fat or cholesterol). Egg yolks get a bad rap, but don’t skip them—they are awash with vitamin B12 and vitamin A, and they contain choline, a nutrient that’s particularly important for pregnant women.
This protein-rich winner is an acquired taste for some, but totally worth it. Chockablock with vitamins D and B12, it is also an excellent source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
You’ll get iron (for healthy hair), plus folate and at least a dozen flavonoids—compounds that are loaded with antioxidants.
Ounce for ounce, this fuzzy fruit contains twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange and almost as much potassium as a banana.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
An outstanding source of monounsaturated fats. When used in moderation, this tasty Mediterranean staple may even cut the risk of heart disease.
Its omega-3 fatty acids may improve your mood and keep your skin glowing. Why wild? It’s exposed to fewer toxins than the farmed Atlantic variety.
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless)
A dinner staple from the leanest part of the bird: Half a breast has just 2.5 grams of fat and more than 22 grams of protein.
The payoff from this leafy green: loads of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and antioxidants. Kale is also a good source of lutein, an eye-friendly nutrient that may slow macular degeneration by more than 40 percent.
You’ll get nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of fiber in one ½-cup serving, plus cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.
A chili essential, these were found to be one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in a USDA study.
These young soybeans pack more fiber per serving than shredded-wheat cereal and have the same amount of protein as roasted turkey.
The antioxidants in this winter squash keep skin healthy; its potassium helps lower blood pressure.
Nonfat Greek Yogurt
Rich in probiotics (bacteria that may improve digestion and increase your immunity), this extra-thick yogurt can contain 8 grams more protein per serving than conventional yogurt.
These burrito mainstays boast antioxidants and magnesium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function.