But Why Should I Eat That?

There are certain foods we all know we should eat more often: leafy vegetables, eggs, wild salmon, etc. But often times, we don’t know the reasons why they are good for us. And without educating ourselves on these facts, it might make it easier to overlook implementing them into our diet.

Here’s a list of eight foods you should try to prioritize when planning your meals. Don’t just take my word for it, take the time to learn WHY these foods are superstars.


Eat Dark Leafy Greens

The Facts:

  • An excellent source of nutrients including folate, vitamin K, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber
  • Also contain high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds known as carotenoids
  • Examples: Kale, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens, Spinach, Lettuce, Arugula

Cool Story But Why… 

Folate is a B vitamin that promotes heart health and helps prevent certain birth defects and also necessary for DNA duplication and repair which protects against the development of cancer.

The vitamin K contents of dark green leafy vegetables protect bones from osteoporosis.

The increase of dietary fiber regulates the digestive system and aids in bowel health.

Eat Berries

The Facts:

  • Berries area nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
  • Examples include: Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries

Cool Story But Why…

Berries contain antioxidants, which help keep free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells) under control. When present in excessive amounts antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals.

Berries are a good source of fiber, including soluble fiber. Consuming soluble fiber slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract, leading to reduced hunger and increased feelings of fullness.

Berries also have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Eat Eggs

The facts:

  • Whole eggs are rich in many nutrients including B vitamins, choline, selenium, vitamin A, iron and phosphorus
  • Eggs are a great complete protein source. A complete protein is one that provides all the essential amino acids that your body needs
  • Eating eggs could increase “good” HDL cholesterol
  • Contain lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants)

Cool Story But Why…

People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems.

Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain

Lutein & Zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that accumulate in the retina of the eye which reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Eat Legumes

The Facts:

  • Legumes are a great source protein, slow digesting complex carbohydrates, and fiber
  • High in B-group vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium
  • A good source of soluble fiber
  • A good source of antioxidants
  • Examples: Split peas, Kidney beans, Navy Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Black Beans

Cool Story But Why…

Dietary fiber helps to keep our bowels healthy and increasing soluble fiber helps lower blood cholesterol levels.

Legumes are a great plant based protein option for vegetarians and meat eaters. Protein is a critical to overall cellular function and muscle growth.

Magnesium is a mineral found in legumes that aids in energy production, protein formation, gene maintenance and nervous system regulation.

Eat Nuts & Seeds

The Facts:

  • Nuts and seeds are rich in fiber, vegetarian protein and heart-healthy fats.
  • Pack various plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can protect against oxidative stress
  • Examples: almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds

Cool Story But Why…

They contain healthful mono and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help manage inflammation and maintain the normal structure of every cell in the body.

Nuts help lower LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels **The “bad cholesterol”

Nuts contain arginine, a precursor to nitric oxide that can help relax the blood vessels and prevent clotting.

Walnuts and flax seeds boost the healthy fat intake because they are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that can help protect against heart disease.

Eat Wild Salmon

The Facts:

  • Salmon is a highly nutritious fish packed with healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, potassium and selenium.
  • Great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)

Cool Story But Why…

Salmon is high in potassium which helps control your blood pressure. Also high in selenium helps protect bone health, decreases thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroid disease 

Unlike most other fats, omega-3 fats are considered “essential,” meaning you must get them from your diet since your body can’t create them.

  • Fight Depression and Anxiety
  • Improve Eye Health
  • Promote Brain Health during Pregnancy and Early Life
  • Improve Risk Factors for Heart Disease
  • Fight Age-Related Mental Decline andAlzheimer’s disease Improve Bone and Joint Health

Eat Avocado

The Facts:

  • Avocados contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals (Vitamin K, Folate Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin))
  • Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids

Cool Story But Why…

High potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure  

They help you absorb Vitamins A, D, E and K which are fat-soluble, along with antioxidants like carotenoids

Consuming monounsaturated fatty acids may help lower your risk of heart disease by improving your risk factors. For instance, MUFAs may lower your total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels but maintain your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level.

Eat Whole Grains

The Facts:

  • Whole grains have valuable antioxidants that are not found in fruits and vegetables, like B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber.
  • Examples: Oatmeal, Wheat, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Corn, Barley, Wild Rice, Black Rice, Spelt, 100% Whole Grain or Wheat Bread, Sprouted Grain Breads

Cool Story But Why…

Whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity.  

Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers form a viscous gel that helps to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood glucose levels. The fiber in brown rice helps lower cholesterol, moves waste through the digestive tract, promotes fullness, and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.

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