Black beans are the only bean to make it onto our list of the healthiest foods in the world. They’ve been used in Mexican and Spanish recipes for hundreds of years, and only now is it being discovered how healthy they really are. They are now a popular side dish option at most restaurants, so it’s easy enough to swap out fattening or unhealthy menu items with this super food.
It’s commonly understood that fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but surprisingly enough black beans contain them as well. Beans in general are good to add to your diet, as they are a carbohydrate that is digested more slowly, so you feel fuller longer and helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. This is crucial for those that have been told they run the risk of getting diabetes, and it also helps weight loss efforts which brings a host of additional benefits. They also contain fiber which helps to regulate your digestive system.
Calcium – 6% – A great non-dairy source of calcium.
Protein – 8.2g – This represents a great source of non-animal protein.
Fat – 0.3g – The low fat content of black beans is great for maintaining a healthy weight.
Some think that cantaloupe is a negative calorie food, but whether it is or it isn’t it’s still a great addition to your regular diet. Picking a cantaloupe is easy enough, you simply give it a sniff and see if it smells like ripe cantaloupe or not, you’ll know. There’s also a relatively large window for when you use it, so you can buy it without worrying about it going bad soon. Just make sure that when you first cut it open you finish it off quickly.
The main benefit to eating cantaloupe is all the vitamins it contains, most notably Vitamins A and C. These provide powerful antioxidants that your body uses right away to help itself survive in the world we live in and all the stresses that come with it. There are also benefits to your heart and lungs, and it helps you to feel more relaxed. You should also get natural energy from it, which makes it a smarter choice than drinking an energy drink or using a caffeinated pick-me-up.
Vitamin C – 61% of what you need each day, mix it up with other fruits day to day.
Vitamin A – 68% of your daily needs, not a bad start to the day.
Calories – 34 – Calorie counters rejoice!
Fat – 0.2g – Makes it easy to incorporate into several different diet programs.
Artichokes don’t typically find their way onto many American plates, unless you count spinach artichoke dip as restaurant appetizer. But in order to keep it healthy you’ll have to eat them in their whole form. Try adding them to salads for some Mediterranean flair. They can typically be found in the deli section with things like potato salads and cole slaws. You can opt for canned or jarred varieties, but check the label to see if there is excessive sodium added to the marinade.
Not to put too fine a point on it, your insides simply love artichokes. It helps with all sorts of digestive issues, and the fiber it contains keep things moving for you. They also have a healthy dose of Vitamin C, not enough to get you through the day, been when added to an already health-conscious diet you’ll find that it’s easier to meet all of your needs.
Vitamin C – 20% of what’s needed each day for most adults.
Protein – 3.3g – Another good source of plant-based protein.
Fiber – 5.4g – A fifth of the fiber needed each day. Be sure to mix it up.
Who would have thought that this summertime treat is also one of the healthier foods you can have? Just be sure not to overdo it here, because it still contains sugars, even though they are all-natural, they can still cause a spike in insulin levels if you consume too much at one time.
Although most people enjoy eating watermelon, and have a rough idea that it’s good for them since it’s a fruit, they aren’t sure exactly what it’s doing behind the scenes, or how great it is. First, it rivals tomatoes with its levels of lycopene, a very helpful in battling two big killers: heart disease and cancer. Aside from that it’s also a good source of other vitamins that are known to help cut down on free radical damage. It’s almost entirely fat free, so you can enjoy it without the guilt, as long as you consider the sugar as stated earlier.
Vitamin A – 11% – Like any fruit worth its salt, it boosts your vitamin levels.
Vitamin C – 14% – Helping you to get to your daily intake of Vitamin C.
Fat – 0.1 – The most fat-free fruit we’ve seen.