These easy-to-eat foods are packed with multiple nutrients to help you stay healthy:
- Plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium.
- Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. “Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory.
- Nuts have gotten a bad rap because of their high fat content. But their protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidant content earn them a place on the top 10 list. The key to enjoying nuts, experts say, is portion control.
- Kiwis are full of antioxidants. A great source for vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and a decent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which is one of the missing nutrients, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it.
- Quinoa is one of the best whole grains you can eat. It is high in protein, fiber, and a naturally good source of iron. It also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
- Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They’re also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups weekly.
- Salmon is a super food because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice weekly. Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces) has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat.
- Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. You can eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. Eat it as a side dish, or toss into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.
- Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato.
- Berries are loaded with antioxidants, low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. And their flavors satisfy sweets cravings for a fraction of the calories in baked goods. Blueberries lead the pack because they are among the best source of antioxidants and are widely available.