These days, most people seem to believe that getting fit or staying healthy is about what you refrain from eating. Yet believe it or not, the process is actually more influenced by what you consume. Starving yourself certainly isn’t healthy, as you must eat.
You can abstain from a million different foods, and you won’t find yourself any healthier. For that, you need to keep your body full of the right calories, vitamins, and nutrients. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods found in nature that seem positively miraculous when juxtaposed with the highly processed and refined items you’ll find in the freezer aisle. Eating these foods is an excellent step towards better health.
As it turns out, your parents made you eat your broccoli when you were a child for a reason rather than pure cruelty. Broccoli is extremely high in calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium and manganese. As if that isn’t enough, it also has plenty of Vitamins A, C, and K (as well as tons of phytonutrients). You may as well think of Broccoli as nature’s multivitamin.
Like broccoli, spinach seems to have a bit of a negative image. Yet aside from being extremely nutritious, spinach can also be very tasty (try the baby variety if you are extremely apprehensive). It also has a lot of Vitamin K, a nutrient that helps enhance your bone mineral density and reduce your risk of breaks and fractures.
Spinach is also high phosphorous, calcium, potassium, selenium and even zinc. Recent research has shown that the nutrients in Spinach are effective at reducing your risk of prostate cancer and colon cancer, as well as possibly helping ward off Alzheimer’s.
Leeks are the relatively unknown cousins of onions and garlic. They’re rich in thiamine, calcium, potassium and riboflavin. They are also high in Folic Acid, which has been shown to help fight artery damage. Recent studies have shown that leeks can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and improve sexual function. What’s most remarkable about them, however, is that they can literally be added to anything. Chop them up thin enough, and you won’t even notice them in your food.
This seasonal food has been considered an aphrodisiac for centuries, if not millennia. It is rich in fiber as well as magnesium and potassium (more than any other vegetable). Artichokes are also extremely high in Vitamin C and certain antioxidants that help cut your risk of having a stroke. Ripe artichokes feel heavy and emit a squeaking noise when squeezed.
It’s no coincidence that various cultures have sworn by tea for thousands of years. It is heavily infused with ECGC, an antioxidant that actually lowers your risk for most types of cancer. The phytonutrients founds in green tea help foster the growth of good bacteria in your gut while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, which is something few, if any, other foods can do. The best part is that it is also highly effective at hydrating you and can give you a caffeine boost if you wish. Drink as many cups a day as you’d like.