10 Healthy Foods You Can Easily Eat Daily
Want a simple way to eat plenty of healthy foods each without spending a ton of time or money?
1. Create a list of healthy foods you’ll actually eat most days
2. Map out doable ways to fit them into your day, no matter how hectic
3. Track your progress, adjust and stick with it
Healthy Foods to Eat Most Days
1. Leafy Greens are high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. So versatile as a stand-alone side, mixed into most meals, or munched on raw in sandwiches or salads. Save time with pre-washed raw and frozen cooked greens.
2. Berries are high in vitamins and phytonutrients and have many health benefits. Fresh ones in spring/summer are amazing. Add frozen ones to yogurt, smoothies, and desserts. Dried blueberries are a super easy sweet snack.
3. Tomatoes are high in vitamins and phytonutrients (especially lycopene, linked to lower stroke risk). These guys are super versatile, whether they’re fresh in the summer, or in a can or jar for soup, sauce or salsa.
4. Nuts and Seeds contain healthy fat, fiber and heart disease-fighting Omega-3 fatty acids. Ground flax seeds can be added to smoothies, oatmeal and baked goods. Nuts are great for snacks or added to salads and other dishes. Don’t get me started on nut butters. Pure magic.
5. Fermented Foods like yogurt or kefir (plant-based or dairy), kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables (in brine, not vinegar). They aid your immune system and fight inflammation. New benefits are uncovered often.
6. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which aids digestion and lowers cholesterol. It’s versatile as a hot cereal and an ingredient in granola and other yummy treats.
7. Cruciferous Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts prevent cancer. They may reduce cancer risk and are high in fiber and phytonutrients,. Cooked they can be added to most meals, or raw toss them in just about any salad. Take a small bag with you for the perfect snack.
8. Beans help manage your weight with lean protein and insoluble fiber. Use in soups, salads or add to grains. Canned beans and hummus are delicious and easy. Peas (fresh, frozen, dried) count too! Eat small portions often or take an enzyme like Beano for (ahem) best digestion. It works!
9. Whole Grains like brown or black rice, millet, quinoa, farro, and popcorn provide disease-fighting fiber, minerals and phytonutrients. They’re easy to mix with anything from veggies to plant or animal protein. And popcorn rocks!
10. Onions and Garlic contain phytonutrients that fight inflammation. These are great flavor boost in almost any dish.
This makes up about 75% of what my family eats each day. The other 25% mostly includes healthy stuff like peppers, mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, sweet potatoes, avocado. Occasionally we’ll enjoy meat, dairy, fish, bread, pasta or sweets.
How to Fit Healthy Foods into Any Routine
Eat healthy foods is doable even if you don’t have much time, money or desire to be in the kitchen. Most days we eat the same simple things, with the exception of dinner. Here’s how it works for my family:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with nuts and fruit (dried or fresh) -or- a smoothie with cashew yogurt, almond milk, frozen fruit and flax
Lunch: A big, colorful salad with kraut, beans and seeds-or- a grain, veggie and protein (tofu, egg, and/or bean) bowl
Snacks or other meal options: nuts, fruit, popcorn, a PBJ on sprouted grain bread, or hummus with veggies and whole grain
Dinner : fill in anything we missed (cruciferous veggies & onions, tomato soup) and/or indulge with a bit of lean meat, whole wheat pasta or cheese; occasional dessert – mostly chia pudding, fruit and nut bites, or fruit crisp
You can buy most of these already prepared, make them yourself, or order them in restaurants. I boil oatmeal and other grains, beans, and roast veggies and other proteins on Sundays, portion out for the upcoming week + freeze some for future use. Salads with greens and other veggies take maybe 10 minutes to prepare, including cleanup. I can then briefly prep a weekday dinner and pack lunches for the next day. Yes, it takes some advanced planning & time but you’ll avoid the stress and compromise of eating whatever you can find last minute.
Keep Track, Experiment, and Stick With It
Keeping track of progress is fun when you’re nailing your goals. But what if you begin to slide? Look, no one’s perfect and eating well is never an all-or-nothing proposition. Every apple or salad or bean you eat makes a difference. A treat or a skipped salad is no reason to blow the whole day, week or year. Fit in what you can, where you can. And just be honest with yourself about what you’re eating.
Experiment, practice, and learn what works. Then, stick with it.
Start small. Be consistent. Build momentum.