8 Healthy Foods You Should Eat Every Day

Physinews Daily Health Reports: Spinach
It may be green and leafy, but spinach is no
nutritional wallflower, and you know from reading
Eat This, Not That!. This noted muscle builder is a
rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate,
which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke,
and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases
blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect

you against age-related s*xual issues. And spinach
is packed with lutein, a compound that fights
macular degeneration (and may help your s*x drive).
Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or 1/2 cup cooked per
SUBSTITUTES: Kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce
FIT IT IN: Make your salads with spinach; add
spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix
it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an
instant dip.
PINCH HITTER: Sesame Stir-Braised Kale > Heat 4
cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger,
and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a skillet. Add 2 Tbsp. water
and 1 bunch kale (stemmed and chopped). Cover and
cook for 3 minutes. Drain. Add 1 tsp. soy sauce and
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds.
Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation,
but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not
disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions
of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements
to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body.
That helps boost your immune system and helps
provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts
are probiotic, though, so make sure the label says
“live and active cultures.” Aim for 1 cup of the
calcium and protein-rich goop a day. And choose
wisely: Use our Best and Worst Yogurts.

SUBSTITUTES: Kefir, soy yogurt
FIT IT IN: Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts,
flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast — or
dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base
for creamy salad dressings and dips.
HOME RUN: Power Smoothie > Blend 1 cup low-fat
yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 cup
carrot juice, and 1 cup fresh baby spinach for a
nutrient-rich blast.
There are two things you need to know about
tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed
with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and
processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones,
because it’s easier for the body to absorb the
lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene
can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate,
skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the
risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of
lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry
tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. For the best
picks in the produce aisle, click here.
SUBSTITUTES: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit,
Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava
FIT IT IN: Pile on the ketchup and Ragú; guzzle low-
sodium V8 and gazpacho; double the amount of
tomato paste called for in a recipe.
PINCH HITTER: Red and Pink Fruit Bowl > Chop 1
small watermelon, 2 grapefruits, and 1 papaya.
Garnish with mint.
Most red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits are
spiked with carotenoids — fat-soluble compounds
that are associated with a reduction in a wide range
of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of
inflammatory conditions such as asthma and
rheumatoid arthritis — but none are as easy to
prepare, or have as low a caloric density, as carrots.

Aim for 1/2 cup a day.

SUBSTITUTES: Sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut
squash, yellow bell pepper, mango
FIT IT IN: Raw baby carrots, sliced raw yellow
pepper, butternut squash soup, baked sweet potato,
pumpkin pie, mango sorbet, carrot cake
PINCH HITTER: Baked Sweet Potato Fries > Scrub
and dry 2 sweet potatoes. Cut each into 8 slices, and
then toss with olive oil and paprika. Spread on a
baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. Turn
and bake for 10 minutes more.
Host to more antioxidants than any other North
American fruit, blueberries can help prevent cancer,
diabetes, and age-related memory changes (hence
the nickname “brain berry”). Studies show that
blueberries, which are rich in fiber and vitamins A
and C, also boost cardiovascular health. Aim for 1
cup fresh blueberries a day, or 1/2 cup frozen or
dried. Try this amazing blueberry smoothie!
SUBSTITUTES: Acai berries, purple grapes, prunes,
raisins, strawberries
FIT IT IN: Blueberries maintain most of their power in
dried, frozen, or jam form.
PINCH HITTER: Acai, an Amazonian berry, has even
more antioxidants than the blueberry. Try acai juice
from Sambazon or add 2 Tbsp. of acai pulp to cereal,
yogurt, or a smoothie.
Black Beans
All beans are good for your heart, but none can
boost your brain power like black beans. That’s
because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant
compounds that have been shown to improve brain
function. A daily 1/2-cup serving provides 8 grams
of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. It’s also low in
calories and free of saturated fat.
SUBSTITUTES: Peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava,
and lima beans
FIT IT IN: Wrap black beans in a breakfast burrito;
use both black beans and kidney beans in your chili;
puree 1 cup black beans with 1/4 cup olive oil and
roasted garlic for a healthy dip; add favas, limas, or
peas to pasta dishes.
HOME RUN: Black Bean and Tomato Salsa > Dice 4
tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 jalapeños, 1
yellow bell pepper, and 1 mango. Mix in a can of
black beans and garnish with 1/2 cup chopped
cilantro and the juice of 2 limes.
Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon,
loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols
than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-
building protein as chicken, the walnut sounds like a
Frankenfood, but it grows on trees. Other nuts
combine only one or two of these features, not all
three. A serving of walnuts — about 1 ounce, or 7
nuts — is good anytime, but especially as a post-
workout recovery snack.
SUBSTITUTES: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios,
macadamia nuts, hazelnuts
FIT IT IN: Sprinkle on top of salads; chop and add to
pancake batter; spoon peanut butter into curries;
grind and mix with olive oil to make a marinade for
grilled fish or chicken.
HOME RUN: Mix 1 cup walnuts with 1/2 cup dried
blueberries and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks.

The éminence grise of health food, oats garnered the
FDA’s first seal of approval. They are packed with
soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
Yes, oats are loaded with carbs, but the release of
those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because
oats also have 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup
serving, they deliver steady, muscle-friendly energy.
Or have a sandwich, from our list of the Best and
Worst Breakfast Sandwiches.

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