19 Healthy Foods You Should Start Adding to Your Meals

Written By Jill Taylor

Not every diet has to mean a complete overhaul of your normal meals. You might find a diet much easier if you simply adjust the foods that you already know you like, making them a little bit more healthy. We’ll go through 19 healthy foods that can instantly improve your favorite meals.

Quinoa

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Quinoa seeds might be small, but they pack a punch when it comes to benefitting your body. The Harvard School of Public Health suggests quinoa “is a good source of plant protein and fiber” and “contains all nine essential amino acids.” Quinoa also doesn’t contain gluten, making it a great option for people with gluten intolerances.

Blueberries

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Another small-sized superfood, blueberries contain many antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. They might even be able to lower your risk of getting heart disease, and improve your brain and memory! Blueberries are full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.

Kale

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Kale is one of the best-known healthy foods, and for good reason. It’s loaded with so many nutrients that are all amazing for your body, like vitamins A, K, C, and B6, as well as manganese, calcium, and potassium. On top of all of that, it also contains antioxidants.

Salmon

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If it’s good enough to maintain the massive bodies of grizzly bears, then you may think that humans could benefit from eating salmon too… and you’d be correct! Salmon has lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Despite the name, these are crucial for helping your body function and for lowering your risk of certain diseases.

Avocados

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It turns out that the quintessential millennial dish of avocado on toast might have a good reason for being so well-known. Avocados have lots of healthy fats, which can work wonders on your heart, and contain even more potassium than bananas. They can also lower your cholesterol and have a ton of fiber too.

Sweet Potatoes

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Business Insider reports that “sweet potatoes are generally healthier than regular potatoes, partly because of their incredibly high vitamin A content.” They can be a great option for diabetics too, since they help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and also have a lot of antioxidants.

Almonds

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Not only are almonds good for you, as they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but they can be added to nearly any dish. An almond topping can reduce your blood pressure and steady your blood sugar levels. They can be an effective way to start your weight loss journey.

Greek Yogurt

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Eating healthy is not just about vitamins and minerals, though. Your digestive health is also important, and that’s where foods like Greek yogurt come in. It contains probiotics that improve your gut health, and it can be a useful way to manage your appetite since it increases how ‘full’ you feel.

Garlic

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It might make your breath stink, but garlic can also strengthen your immune system and improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you’re feeling ill, then adding garlic to a recipe could have you feeling better faster, since it boosts your body’s immune response.

Chia Seeds

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Similarly to Greek yogurt, chia seeds can help you manage your appetite by making you feel more ‘full’ for longer. This is because they can absorb around twelve times their weight in water, which also helps out with keeping you hydrated. They’re high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids too.

Eggs

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Eggs are an excellent source of protein, but did you know that they are also great for your brain and liver? They contain high levels of choline, which the BBC says “helps transfer signals between nerve cells” and “is also linked to liver function.” You can easily add eggs to many recipes, making them a versatile addition to your diet.

Broccoli

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An everyday vegetable that is completely full of healthy goodness, broccoli has so many benefits that it’s difficult to list them all. It contains lots of fiber, protein, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamins, and folic acid. It can also help with digestion and detoxification.

Spinach

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Kale and spinach are pretty similar in terms of being amazing for your body. Spinach is also very nutrient-rich, contains very few calories, and has a number of benefits. It’s been connected to eye health, a boosted immune system, and reduced blood pressure.

Apples

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and an extra apple in your meal adds a lot of fiber and water to your diet. Apples are filling, which is good for weight loss, and could lower your risk of some conditions like diabetes. They’re also excellent for your gut health.

Flaxseeds

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If you’re considering adding some flaxseed to your diet, you might be surprised to learn that the way you eat it matters. Mayo Clinic recommends “ground over whole flaxseed because the ground form is easier to digest.” Not all the omega-3 fats, fiber, and protein in flaxseed will be digested if eaten whole!

Walnuts

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It has been suggested that there’s a link between walnuts and having a lower risk of heart disease. By adding a few walnuts to your favorite meals, you can reduce inflammation, keep your gut healthy, and even improve your brain health. Consider sprinkling some walnuts into your next meal.

Lentils

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If none of the foods so far have caught your attention, but you still need a healthy option to add some fiber and protein into your diet, lentils might be for you. They’re a vegan source of protein and they also contain iron and folate. Lentils could stabilize your blood sugar levels too.

Turmeric

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This spice can be added to so many meals, from lamb chops to scrambled eggs. Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can even help out your brain. Some people have reported that turmeric could reduce the symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Oats

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It’s a little ironic that the last item on our list today could be one of the healthiest starts to your morning. Oats are high in fiber and can lower your cholesterol levels, as well as maintain your blood sugars. They’re also filling, which can stop you overeating throughout the day.

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