Skip to main content

9 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day

What you eat every day can have a profound effect on your physical and mental health. So often, people tend to think of what they should be avoiding for their health or waistlines, but a more productive way to approach food is to think of what they should be adding to their diet on a daily basis. The running theme throughout the list of healthy foods to add to eat every day is that all of these foods are plants or from plant sources.

Plants are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber, and the variety of plant intake is just as important as the quantity of plant intake. Though it might seem daunting to consume nine different plants every day, half of these foods can be consumed together by adding them to one giant salad or blending them in a smoothie. Read on for the list of the healthy foods you should be eating every day.

RELATED: 10 Best Low-Carb Fruits



fresh basket of kale

Per cup: 42.5 calories, 1.4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 18.9 mg sodium, 6.3 g carbs (4.7 g fiber, 1.4 g sugar), 3.5 g protein

Kale's popularity is here to stay, because this leafy green is packed with so much nutrition. In fact, one cup of kale contains 177 milligrams of bone-nourishing calcium. But calcium is not the only nutrient needed for bone health, as vitamin K is also necessary to support strong, healthy bones. Thankfully, 0ne cup of kale provides 493 micrograms of vitamin K. Chop kale up and massage it with olive oil and lemon for a delicious salad, or sauté it with loads of garlic for a yummy side dish—your bones will thank you.

RELATED: 7 Vegetables That Reduce Inflammation and Slow Aging




Per cup: 57 calories, 0.3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbs (2.4 g fiber, 9.9 g sugar), 0.7 g protein

Blueberries have received a lot of attention over the years, and for good reason. This delicious fruit is packed with important chemical compounds found in plants called anthocyanins, polyphenols, and antioxidants. According to a 2018 review article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, "Blueberry can improve vision, is anticancer, antidiabetes, anti-obesity, is preventive against neurodegeneration and macular degeneration as well as osteoporosis, can reduce hyperlipidemia and hypertension, as well as heart disease […]." That is certainly one powerful fruit.




Per cup: 183 calories, 18.3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0.6 mg sodium, 3.8 g carbs (1.9 g fiber, 0.7 g sugar), 4.3 g protein

Is it a coincidence that walnuts look like mini brains, perhaps? Because truthfully, you can think of walnuts as food for your brain. Walnuts are very high in fat, but fortunately, it is a good type of fat known as α‐linolenic acid (ALA)—a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and may be one of the reasons why walnuts are so good for cognition. In addition to being a good source of ALA, walnuts (as well as almonds and hazelnuts) have been shown to increase an incredible protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, that contributes to the production of new brain cells.


Chia seeds

chia seeds

Per ounce: 183 calories, 8.7 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 4.5 mg sodium, 11.9 g carbs (9.6 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4.7 g protein

Across the board, fiber intake is low in the United States. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that adult women under 50 should consume 25 to 28 grams of fiber per day, and men under 50 should aim to consume 31 to 34 grams of fiber daily. However, Americans seem to only eat half of this amount. Fiber is important for maintaining gut health, stabilizing blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol. One serving of chia seeds not only covers almost a third of fiber needs for the day, but it is rich in antioxidants that can have protective effects against chronic disease. Chia can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, or even made into a pudding.

RELATED: Why Does Fiber Make You Poop? 4 Reasons Why Dietary Fiber Helps Get Things Flowing



fresh baby spinach

Per cup: 41.4 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 551 mg sodium, 6.8 g carbs (4.3 g fiber, 0.8 g sugar), 5.6 g protein

Similar to kale, spinach is a dark leafy green that is rich in a variety of nutrients including vitamin K, calcium, and vitamin C. In addition to being a nutrient powerhouse, spinach can have beneficial effects on heart health due to its nitrate content. Nitrates are helpful for individuals with hypertension, as they can aid in the dilation of blood vessels.  A 2015 randomized clinical control trial published in the journal Clinical Nutrition Research found that consuming a meal rich in nitrates from spinach helped with vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels) and decreased blood pressure in the short term.




Per cup: 64 calories, 0.8 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1.2 mg sodium, 14.6 g carbs (8 g fiber, 5.4 g sugar), 1.5 g protein

Like blueberries, raspberries are an incredibly nutrient-dense fruit. Their nutrient profile is similar to blueberries, but they are one of the richest sources of fiber across the plant kingdom—making them an excellent addition to your list of healthy foods to eat every day. Adding 1 cup of raspberries to your morning yogurt bowl will jumpstart you on your way to meeting your fiber needs for the day. Although research in humans is limited on how raspberries themselves affect or prevent chronic disease, increasing the amount of raspberries (and berries) you eat will help you increase your antioxidant intake, which is a critical part of disease prevention.




Per 5 slices: 8.8 calories, <0.1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1.43 mg sodium, 1.9 g carbs (0.2 g fiber, 0.2 g sugar), 0.2 g protein

Ginger has served as a staple ingredient in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, and ginger can not only make a meal taste amazing, but it works wonders for nausea, digestion, and helps fight inflammation. One 2017 research study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that ginger helped reduce fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c in patients with type 2 diabetes. Ginger can be consumed as a tea, used in cooking, or added to a smoothie or soup.

RELATED: 6 Best Teas To Boost Metabolism and Lose Weight



cooked broccoli with sea salt in a bowl

Per cup: 19.4 calories, 0.6 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 6.2 mg sodium, 3.4 g carbs (2.2 g fiber, 0.7 g sugar), 1 g protein

Broccoli is a powerful vegetable and its health benefits are vast. For instance, it is rich in a robust plant compound known as Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane helps fight inflammation, protects DNA, and may even slow tumor growth. Of course, broccoli alone cannot prevent or treat cancer, but including it daily will have protective effects.


Olive oil

olive oil

Per tablespoon: 119 calories, 13.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0.3 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Permission granted to ditch your zero-calorie cooking sprays, because including olive oil in your list of healthy foods to eat every day can have tremendously beneficial effects on your health. Not only does olive oil add satisfying healthy fats to a dish, but emerging research shows olive oil can play a role in slowing cognitive decline. In addition to supporting brain health, a 2020 paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed there was a lower incidence of cardiac events in individuals with high cardiovascular risk when a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil was consumed over a reduced-fat diet.

At the end of the day, you do not need to beat yourself up if you do not include all nine of these foods in your diet every single day. If you do not eat any of these foods, start by adding one new food per week and then work your way up from there. Remember, building healthy nutrition habits is all about progress, not perfection.

The post 9 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Eat This Not That

Popular posts from this blog

These 5 Grocery Items Are Cheaper Than Ever Right Now

The grocery industry has been facing major disruptions. The combined effects of the pandemic, climate change, and economic uncertainty over the past couple of years have culminated in a series of supply chain breakdowns. For the consumer, this means supply shortages , shipping delays , and temporary store closures are becoming more commonplace – and all of the added production cost to suppliers is driving up food prices . The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index report for January 2022 was released on Feb. 9, and it tells the story of cost trends for every spending category over the past year. Now the numbers are in, and since January 2021, "food at home" spending has increased 7.4%. Consumers should use this number as a benchmark, Phil Lempert, the consumer behavior analyst and founder behind Supermarket Guru , told Eat This, Not That! "Anything that's substantially less [than the 7.4% increase] is a deal," said Lempert. "When you

When Should I Take Creatine?

Creatine is probably the most well-researched supplement on the market today. Numerous studies have found positive adaptations in strength, power and muscle mass thanks to creatine supplementation—especially when it's combined with resistance training. Although the benefits of creatine are well-known to lifters, the best time to take it isn't common knowledge. Which leads us to some important questions:     Does an optimal time for consuming creatine exist?     If it does, should you take it before or after your workout? According to a new study published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition, the timing of creatine ingestion does indeed play a role in getting bigger and stronger. Creatine supplementation before resistance training increases muscular strength and lean muscle mass. Interestingly, taking creatine immediately after lifting weights results in greater muscle growth than taking it immediately before. However, in terms of strength gains, no difference betw

Reentry Anxiety Is Real - Why You May Experience It as Stay-at-Home Measures Ease

When the coronavirus stay-at-home orders began in March, most people's lives changed in immeasurable ways. At the time, we were bombarded with (admittedly, very helpful) advice on how to cope with anxiety , should we experience it during this time of social distancing and sheltering in place. But with restrictions slowly starting to ease in many parts of the world, there are many people who have seen an increase in anxiety all over again, this time about leaving their homes and reentering society. Posts about people's growing anxiety have been popping up around social media for the past couple of weeks, and it's given rise to the term "reentry anxiety." We wanted to find out exactly what reentry anxiety is, whether it's normal to be experiencing trepidation about leaving your stay-at-home orders, and how to cope if you are feeling anxious. What Is Reentry Anxiety? The short answer is that "post-lockdown anxiety is real," said Dr. Balu Pitchiah ,