These days, there seems to be as many “healthy diets” as there are experts. Whilst our specific dietary needs may vary according to our individual body types, metabolisms, and genetics, there are also some basic guidelines that can be useful in determining which foods are nutritious and which aren’t.
1. Try to emphasize fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants–nutrients which help neutralize toxins in the body. In general, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of antioxidants: for example, yellow, orange, and dark green vegetables; citrus fruits; and cruciferous vegetables (those in the cabbage family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage). Whilst taking antioxidants in supplement form can be beneficial, those found in foods are a lot more powerful.
Fruits and vegetables are also high in other sorts of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, which is supportive of the immune system, is abundant in strawberries, oranges, and bell peppers. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash are a powerful source of beta-carotene, which is important for vision. Green leafy vegetables support the health of our bones and teeth, amongst other things, with high levels of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Some helpful guidelines for you to follow: Eat two to four pieces of fresh fruit every day, and fill half of your plate with vegetables at any meal.
2. Eat the amount and combination of whole foods that make you feel your best. There are so many different approaches to healthy eating. If you feel good when eating a high-protein diet with lots of non-starchy vegetables and few carbohydrates, it may be the best diet for you. However, if you feel your best when eating a diet high in grains, vegetables, and beans, then that may be the best diet for you.
Animals that are grass-fed and/or grown on organic foods (and all the products those animals produce) seem to have superior nutritional profiles. Additionally, studies have shown that children who grow up eating organic foods have lower levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies than those raised eating conventional foods.
John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.