What are your favorite foods? Let me guess. Burger? Pizza? Pasta? or any junk food like that. Right? In short, few likes healthy foods like-veggies or fruits as a favorite or all-time food.
But do this unhealthy food contains all the nutrients your body needs to survive. Certainly, NO.
At first, let’s go through the basic definition of foods. Any substance in liquid or solid form that contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals is known as food. In other words, it provides our body with energy and makes us physically active.
But the junk food or processed food we eat doesn’t have these six nutrients in it. Or whatever nutrients they got into it is not balanced or healthy for us.
Most of the time it has more fat than we need which cause overweight, heart problems and many other problems like this. These issues are very common nowadays.
Food is a basic need of human beings. We all need foods to live in. But when we don’t have a balanced diet of healthy foods it’s difficult to lead a healthy living.
Now the question is “What is healthy food?” or do you know “Which healthy food you have to eat?
Surely, you are thinking about the homemade food full of veggies, rice, meat is healthy for you. But sorry, homemade foods also don’t have balanced food nutrients always. So, homemade foods also need to be in a balanced way to provide you all the nutrients you need.
So how can you understand, Which food is healthy? What is a balanced diet for you? or What will be affordable healthy food?
If you know the answers you are in benefits already. But if you don’t know them then this article is for you.
In this article, you will get an overall view of healthy foods to eat, their benefits, and their use. You will also get a list of affordable healthy food.
What is Healthy Food?
In general, food and healthy foods have the same definition or by default the same thing. Then why healthy food is different or considered as important for our wellbeing?
Basically, meals that are artificial free or have no added sugar is considered healthy food. Healthy food contains six food nutrients in a balanced way. These foods are full of rich vital nutrients and minerals.
Nutritious foods can contain fruits, vegetables, drinks, red meat, seafood, poultry products, dairy items, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, grains, spices, etc. Every food item has its own benefits and needs but it could be harmful if we don’t know the uses. That’s why we need a proper mix of these food items to have a healthy diet.
Let us know about the top healthy foods including every category.
Top Healthy foods
Fruits are the most popular healthy foods. Whenever we think of healthy eating we think of fruits first. Fruits need no preparation to eat and can easily fit into our diet.
The fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals. Similarly, they are full of high fiber and antioxidants which can boost our health and immunity system.
By including fruits in your regular diet, you can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps to maintain good health and clear skin.
Affordable Healthy Fruits
Apple, pears, lemons, bananas, oranges, berries like- strawberries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwifruit, avocado, jackfruit, mango, melons, olives, and pineapples are affordable and easy to get fruits all over the world.
Unlike fruits, vegetables also provide good health and well-being. Boiled green leafy vegetables are best to include diet food or diet chart. You should include at least three to five vegetables in your daily diet to get better health benefits.
Vegetables have many vitamins, minerals, potassium, and dietary fiber which can help in weight loss and increase the ability to fight inflammation.
After that, having healthy foods like vegetables in daily meals may lower the risk of high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, eye problems, digestive problems, and cancer.
Affordable Healthy Vegetables
There are plenty of vegetable options to include in the diet. Most of them are affordable and easy to get. Among them, spinach, carrots, broccoli, green peas, sweet potatoes, beets, red cabbage, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cucumber, etc. are the most common vegetables which you can include in our daily food chart.
Whenever it comes to drinks nothing can fill up the quench of water. Water, no doubt is the most important element for the human body to keep hydrated. You should drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
Including water, many healthy drink options can contribute to your healthy diet. It can be tea, coffee, milk, fresh fruit or vegetable juices, or natural water.
Having a sufficient amount of healthy drinks can help you to lose weight, better digestion, sleep well, increase immunity, and non-other than improving skin.
Affordable Healthy Drinks
If you came to the affordable drinks as healthy foods, water will be on top no doubt. Along with it, the most affordable healthy drinks you get are green tea, coffee, coconut water, and fresh juice like- orange juice, pomegranate juice, beet juice, carrot juice, etc.
Healthy Red Meat
Red meat is the most argued food in terms of health benefits. Though many people avoid red meat, it can be included in healthy foods if it is taken in a limited amount. Studies show it’s better to have 50-70 gm. red meat in your meal.
Red meat carries vital nutrients, like protein, vitamin B-12, and iron. Red meat helps to keep nerve and blood cells healthy. It also lets the immune system work properly and build bones and muscles.
Affordable Healthy Red Meat
Beef, Buffalo, lamb, mutton, chicken breast, etc. are known as red meat. Red meat is expensive to eat. But the chicken breast and lamb can be afforded.
Seafood like fish is one of the healthiest food on the planet. Any kind of water-based foods as sea fish or sea vegetable is basically known as seafood.
Shrimp, tuna, salmon, caviar, etc. are the most popular sea fishes. As being healthy foods sea fishes are full of protein, iodine, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fishes are good for brain health and eyesight. It can also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and low down the depression.
Affordable Healthy Seafood
Seafood is now available in different super shops. If you want to buy seafood shrimp, salmon, cod, tuna, Crabs, or Lobster will be easy to get. You can also buy it from famous online shops like MyOrganicBD.com.
Healthy Poultry Products
Chicken is the most loved and admired meal by everyone. Certainly, that yummy chicken fry, grill, burger, or biryani can tempt anyone anytime. Wondering, you don’t have a different choice.
Thinking of poultry products, chicken and eggs first comes into mind. But duck meat, duck egg, turkey, and geese also belongs to poultry products.
Poultry products are yummy healthy foods by being great sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like iodine, iron, zinc, and essential fatty acids. You should add poultry products to your weekly healthy diet. But don’t eat too much.
Affordable Healthy Poultry Products
Poultry products are the most affordable and budget-friendly products all over the world. Every poultry products are cheaper than red meat or fishes. You can easily add chicken or eggs to your diet plan.
Healthy Dairy Foods
In our childhood, there was a fixed routine of having a glass of milk every day. After getting an adult this habit has been left behind. But you shouldn’t do that.
A small portion of milk every day can provide you many health benefits like improved bone health and digestive system, lowering blood pressure problems, secure you from heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
If you don’t want to add milk to your healthy diet chart then there are other options for you. You can add other dairy products like butter, cheese, cream, curd, yogurt, etc. to your diet plan.
Any kind of dairy product has nutrients including calcium, vitamins, protein, potassium, magnesium, etc.
Affordable Healthy Dairy Products
Dairy products are cheap and affordable healthy foods for almost everyone. But you should have dairy products in a limited amount. Overeating of dairy foods may trouble you.
Healthy Beans and Legumes
If you are a vegetarian and can’t add red meat or poultry products to your healthy foods diet then legumes have the solution for you. Beans and Legumes are a vital source of protein and can fill up the lackings of meat or eggs.
Beans and legumes are the best sources of vegetarian protein. They contain many health benefits to fulfill your needs. Beans and legumes are filled with plant protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Though legumes have low calories, it can make you feel full. It will provide you energy for your body, brain, and nervous system. It can also reduce your cholesterol level, blood sugar, and weight.
Affordable Healthy Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes like black beans, kidney, mung, lentils, peas, soybeans, etc. are easy to get healthy foods from any general store or superstore or even online. They are also cheap so you don’t need to think about your budget.
Nuts are popular as dry fruits and can be a healthful snack option. For vegetarians, it’s necessary to include a handful of nuts in daily meals. Nuts are a good source of protein, fats, vitamins, fibers, and minerals.
It helps to regulate body weight by burning energy. And also protect you from heart diseases and diabetics. If you don’t have allergic problems it will be better to include nuts in your diet chart.
There are plenty of nuts choices to have. Like Almonds, brazil nut, cashews, hazelnut, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, etc.
However, you can have nut as the way it is or dry roast them a little to add flavor. Even you can use nuts in cookies or cakes or even in deserts. Or have nutty products like peanut butter.
Affordable Healthy Nuts
Though some nuts are expensive healthy foods to buy, you may afford peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, and walnuts. They are easy to get in any super shop or market.
Seeds have the same nutrients as nuts. You can replace seeds with nuts if you want variation in your meals. Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, psyllium seeds, and chia seeds are common seeds you may have in general stores.
Seeds are rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Oily seeds also contain antioxidants that help to maintain taste balance.
Like nuts, seeds help in weight regulation, reduce heart diseases, and diabetics. It also provides energy and makes you feel full. Have seeds in your salad, vegetables, smoothies, yogurt, etc. to enrich the taste of your healthy foods.
Affordable Healthy Seeds
Unlike nuts, seeds are more affordable and cheap to buy. Seeds can be found in any place like super shops, or online e-commerce sites. You can get the best quality seeds or superfoods from MyOrganicBd.com.
Healthy Herbs and Spices
Though you include plenty of veggies or meat in your diet. It may be boring or no so tasty to eat them boiled or grilled. It’s better to spice up your plate with spices to have variations in your daily foods.
Spices make the foods tastier and provide a boost of antioxidants. There are more than 100 spices to add flavor to your food. Some very common spices like- garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, chili paper, etc. may be used by you in your kitchen.
Spices themselves are healthy foods and every spice has its own health benefits. Like- ginger helps to relieve nausea, turmeric reduces inflammation, cinnamon decreases blood sugar, garlic fights against heart diseases, and so on.
Affordable Healthy Herbs and Spices
Spices are super cheap and available in every general store, super shops, or e-commerce site. A little amount of spice used in your cooking will increase the food taste a thousand times better.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet
Prevention is better than cure. Heart diseases, diabetics, blood pressure, are some well known common diseases nowadays. In every family, finding a heart patient or blood pressure problem is not that tough.
By having a healthy diet, we can lower the chances of suffering from these lifetime diseases. As you read earlier, eating healthy food has many benefits to provide.
Let’s take a look at the overall benefits of having a healthy and balanced diet.
Strong bone and teeth
A diet with enough calcium and magnesium is important for strong bones and teeth. Keeping the bones healthy can minimize the risk of bone issues later in life, such as osteoporosis.
Low-fat dairy products, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, canned fish with bones, tofu, and legumes are rich in calcium. And leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the best sources of magnesium.
Lower the risk of heart diseases
Increasing healthful eating and physical activity can prevent the risk of facing heart diseases and improves heart health. Similarly, eating fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids can protect your heart from blood clots and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Salmon, tuna (canned or fresh), and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Contribute to maintaining body weight
Dietary fibers are an important element for managing weight. It helps to regulate hunger by making you feel full for a long time. Foods rich in fiber and lean proteins also help in weight loss. Plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, and beans are rich in dietary fibers and lower in calories.
Reduces the risk of liver cancer
Fruits and vegetables, high in antioxidants may help to fight cell damage that often leads to liver cancer. Above all, having citrus fruit (Grapefruits, oranges, limes, and lemons), green tea, leafy greens (Arugula, spinach, and mustard greens), and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) can help with liver cancer prevention.
Prevent type 2 diabetes
Having meals containing fiber and vitamin D may reduce blood sugar levels and help prevent diabetes. Drinking coffee or tea increase insulin sensitivity, which also reduce the risk of diabetes. Adding herbs like- curcumin and berberine to your food may do the same thing.
A healthful diet may help to maintain cognition and brain health. According to Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, foods containing vitamin D, C, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and polyphenols protect against cognitive decline and memory loss.
Lower the risk of the obesity problem
According to WHO, eating fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of obesity. You should at least have five to seven servings of whole fruits and vegetables. The fiber content, in fruits and vegetables, helps you feel full with fewer calories and help to prevent weight gain.
Improves blood cholesterol
Fruits and vegetables increase important cholesterol-lowering compounds. Foods high in soluble fiber, like- Whole-grain cereals, Fruits, and legumes also helps to prevent your digestion system from absorbing cholesterol.
Reduce the risk of Stomach cancers
According to the researchers of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a diet rich in fruits reduced the risk of Stomach cancers or upper gastrointestinal cancers.
Less the chances of having a stroke
Stroke can be prevented by healthy food habits. By adding low-fat dairy, whole grains, fish, fruits, and vegetables to your diet you can lower the risk of stroke.
Reduce the risk of colorectal/intestine cancer
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fiber lowered the risk of colorectal or intestine cancer.
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains provides a combination of prebiotics and helps to improve digestion.
Reduce blood pressure problem
A diet rich with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can reduce blood pressure.
Lower the risk of liver cancer
A diet rich in fiber reduces the risk of liver cancer.
Other health benefits of a balanced diet-
Boost up the mood
Helps to have sustained good health
Strengthen your immune system
Gives you more energy
Getting a good night’s sleep
Changing a long time food habit is not an easy thing. But to have a healthy balanced diet, there are some quick tips which may help you-
Have 3 major meals and 2 snacks between the meals.
Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Breakfast is the whole day energy booster for your body.
Ensure each of the meal consists of about 50% fresh veggies and fruits
Eat more raw foods such as salads
Add lean protein in a meal such as eggs, fish, and nuts
Consume whole fruits rather than juices or smoothies
Drink lots of water every day. Keep a water bottle near you as a reminder.
Swap your soft drinks with water, coffee, and herbal tea
Avoid processed meat
Eat no meat for at least 1 day a week
After reading this article, you might have understood what is healthy food and the importance of having a healthy balanced diet.
Healthy foods have proven benefits for a better and healthy lifestyle. It helps in preventing many lifetimes and life-taking diseases. But still, we don’t understand the importance of taking a balanced diet.
Above all, it’s high time, we should understand the importance of eating healthy food and start a healthy living. Let yourself begin a healthy lifestyle today. Slow and steady you will see the benefits on your own.