It's not hard, or expensive, to eat healthy; all you need are a few smart choices. Check out these top 10 nutritious foods, courtesy of Nutrition Action Healthletter (NAH), produced by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.
You've no doubt heard of this one, but did you know that most adults are deficient in healthy omega-3 fats, crucial for heart health? Eat this and other fatty fish (sardines, mackerel) at least twice a week, starting with our recipe for Roasted Salmon with Avocado Salsa.
The perfect hand-to-mouth snack, and full of vitamins C and A. Eat them straight, dip in a yogurt-ranch dressing, or try Sauteed Grape Tomatoes with Pesto.
"One of the best vegetables you can eat," says NAH. They're loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. Try our kid-friendly, foolproof recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Sticks.
Skim or low-fat milk.
Tons of calcium, vitamins, and protein, with little or no saturated animal fat (NAH eschews 2 percent, reduced-fat milk as too high in fat). Low-fat yogurt is another excellent choice. Try Cinnamon-Scented Raspberry Rice Pudding made with skim milk.
A nutrient superstar (vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, sulforaphane), and one of the least expensive vegetables around. An easy, tasty preparation: Broccoli with Lemon Zest and Parsley.
Instead of fatty, low-fiber chips, grab some of these when you need a crunchy snack. Look for whole-grain rye crackers, recommends NAH. Accompany with our nutritious Roasted Yam and Onion Dip.
Quick-cooking brown rice.
Don't be deterred from brown rice by its long cooking time; companies such as Uncle Ben's now produce quick-cooking varieties that still retain the fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals. Brown Rice and Hempseed Salad is one of my favorite detox recipes.
"Perfect for snacks or dessert," says NAH, and stuffed with vitamins, fiber, folic acid, and limonoids, which researchers believe may help prevent cancer. Try our awesome Olive Oil Cake with Citrus Compote, made with nutrient-packed citrus peel.
Vitamins A and C, carotenoids, fiber, and a sweet taste; what's not to love about this versatile, inexpensive vegetable? Look for it precut in your produce department; or buy whole, then halve, seed, and bake, as in Roasted Butternut Squash with Goji Berries.
Spinach and kale.
These two "standout leafy greens" are part of the dark green leafy vegetable family–the most nutrient-dense of all foods. Basically, eat as much of these as you can! Simply steam or saute with garlic and lemon; or try Spicy Kale-Almond Pesto with White Beans (one of our all-time fave recipes).