If you’re committed to a healthier lifestyle for you and your family, making good food choice selections in your grocery store is a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. While this following list is far from extensive or all-inclusive, below is a list of 6 of the healthiest food choices you will find at your local grocery stores and natural foods markets.
Healthiest Bean – Red Bean
Turns out, red beans contain more antioxidants, not just than other beans, but even compared to ‘super-foods’ such as spinach and blueberries. In fact, a study of more than 100 different natural foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs) listed red beans to be among the five most nutritious foods. Red beans provide a generous helping of dietary fiber and protein, plus energizing B vitamins and potassium.
Healthiest Bread – Real Rye
If you assumed that the healthiest bread choice would be whole wheat, you’d be wrong. The winner is real rye bread. Rye bread triggers a lower insulin response after consuming vs. wheat, helping to ward off unstable blood sugar levels and dangerous Type 2 diabetes. Rye bread also contains the most filling fiber of any bread, so much so, that researchers report real rye bread can halt hunger for up to an amazing eight hours. Real rye bread can be found at your local natural foods store, and should only contain a few ingredients. No high fructose corn syrup or any of the other health-sabotaging ingredients you typically find on commercial bread ingredient labels should be present. Real rye bread is also dense. If it feels too light, it is filled with ‘conditioners’ and other unhealthy filler ingredients.
Healthiest Apple – Red Delicious
While all apple varieties are loaded with health-promoting attributes, Red Delicious apples have been found to have six times more health-giving antioxidants than the lowest-ranking variety, which is Empire apples. Research has proven that Red Delicious apples lower cholesterol better than other varieties and contain more polyphenols, plant compounds that protect against everything from UV rays to cancer. Many of the extra benefits come from their extra-dark red peel, which packs lots of disease-fighting anthocyanins. But, those benefits are only to be had when consuming organic Red Delicious apples, since pesticide and other commercial agriculture chemical residues remain in the flesh of non-organic produce, especially in the peels and skins.
Healthiest Nut – Walnuts
Most people would guess that almonds top the healthiest nut category, but it turns out, walnuts beat them out. A handful or raw walnuts contains almost twice as many antioxidants as an equivalent of any other commonly consumed nut. And, surprisingly, walnuts even have more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, including strawberries and artichokes. They’re also very rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help to naturally lower cholesterol, boost heart and brain health, and reduce cellular inflammation. In fact, as little as 1/4 cup of raw walnuts daily, gives you 94% of your daily recommended Omega-3 fatty acids requirement.
Healthiest Lettuce – Romaine Lettuce
While noshing on iceberg lettuce doesn’t do too much good for your body, the same is not true for all varieties of lettuce. In fact, coming out on top of the healthiest lettuce category is Romaine lettuce. These dark leafy greens are brimming with calcium, potassium, iron and beta carotene – and, just 1 cup contains all the vitamin A your body needs each day. Additionally, Romaine lettuce is rich in ‘isochlorogenic acid’, a nutrient proven to help keep brain cells in tiptop shape.
Healthiest Wine – Chilean Red
Drinking red wine has many proven health benefits, especially heart-related benefits, and Chilean Red has earned the #1 slot on the healthiest red wine list. Chilean Red wine is loaded with nearly 40% more good-for-you flavonols than other red wines, and research has proven that Chilean Red contains more anti-aging and cholesterol lowering resveratrol than all other types. Chile’s super-sunny climate results in riper grapes than contain more nutrients than other grape varieties. And, the drier and darker the wine, the better it is for you. (Remember…all things in moderation!)
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews