What to know which 25 foods are the absolute best for long-term health? Find out how your favorite foods score in the Nutrient-dense diet.
Make soup a standby
“Cook a big pot once a week,” says Fuhrman. “Start with a couple quarts of carrot juice, and throw in lots of mushrooms, beans, and cruciferous vegetables like bok choy and kale, plus onions or leeks and spices. Take a container of it for lunch every day.” Not only will you avoid succumbing to fast-food fare, but “the beans sit in your digestive tract for a long time and stop you from wanting to snack all day,” says Fuhrman.
“You don’t need to cook every night of the week; plan for leftovers,” says Fuhrman. “Leave time to shop and cook on Wednesdays and Sundays, and make soup and salad dressings on Sunday.” Also, take advantage of frozen foods, typically flash frozen at the peak of ripeness and nutritional value, as well as judiciously chosen prepared foods. Increasingly, natural grocers are listing ingredients on prepared foods—a healthier approach that some restaurants are taking as well.
Eat a large salad every day
“More than 200 studies show that raw vegetables have the most powerful potential to protect against cancer,” says Fuhrman. “So make a salad one main dish.” Go for high-quality salad bars when you eat out; for even more nutrients, add items like roasted peppers, nuts, and seeds. “I recommend nuts and seeds as your preferred fat source because scientific literature shows that they reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart attacks,” he says. At home, make your own nutrient-dense dressings. Fuhrman uses small amounts of “good” fats in his favorite homemade mixtures: pistachio-mustard, blueberry-cashew-almond, and balsamic vinegar–almond butter–roasted garlic. “A little bit of healthy fat facilitates the bioavailability of the nutrients in the salad,” he explains.
Keep it simple
“You can make anything taste good if you pour cream, butter, sugar, and salt all over it, but the key is using natural flavors and foods, and sweetening dishes with fruits like mango and blueberry,” says Fuhrman.