30 Foods You Can Actually Eat a Lot Of
It's no surprise that the best types of foods you can eat — and eat a lot of — are fruits and vegetables. But "eating a lot" doesn't mean binging on a ton of one particular food in a day.
Instead, you can eat reasonable amounts each day but should always stick with the recommended daily amount listed on the nutrition facts label, especially if you're watching your weight. A healthy diet also consists of various foods that satisfy hunger and boost the immune system.
Here are 30 delicious, nutritious foods you can eat a lot of daily that will benefit your health.
Celery has been a staple of weight-loss programs for years since each stalk only contains 10 calories. But the benefits go beyond that. Celery is full of antioxidants that protect our cells, blood vessels and major organs. It contains vitamins C, A, K, beta carotene and flavonoids, just to name a few.
Surprisingly, celery also reduces inflammation and supports a healthy digestive tract. In addition, it's low in sodium, full of water (almost 95 percent) and low on the glycemic index, so it has a slow, steady effect on your blood sugar.
Blueberries are a superfood that has a powerful antioxidant effect on the body. One cup provides 24 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and regular consumption has been proven to reduce the risk of health problems.
They also help with bone strength, digestion, blood pressure, diabetes management and cancer prevention as well as improve your heart health, skin and even your mental health. Like many plant foods, blueberries contribute to our overall health and longevity.
Cucumbers are full of water (95 percent) and help you stay hydrated; plus, they flush out toxins, which is beneficial to the kidneys. The fiber in cucumbers also aids in digestion and prevents constipation.
Fisetin is an anti-inflammatory flavonol in cucumbers and is essential for brain health by protecting nerve cells and improving memory. Studies have shown that lignans and polyphenols in cucumbers may help reduce the risk of cancers such as uterine, ovarian, breast and prostate cancer. Interestingly, this amazing vegetable is also known for freshening the breath and works as a natural remedy for intestinal worms.
Although many people consider the tomato a vegetable, it's actually a fruit native to South America. They are a great source of vitamins C and K, potassium and folate. They are full of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Low in calories (18) and high in water content (95 percent), tomatoes lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and decrease the risk of blood clots. The high concentration of carotenoids in the fruit may also protect against breast cancer.
Like many citrus fruits, grapefruit is high in vitamins C and A, which helps boost the body's immune system. Rich in protective nutrients that protect cells from free radicals, this food can reduce the risk of cancer and macular degeneration.
In addition, the flavonoid compounds in grapefruits lower the chances of stroke; improve cholesterol levels, memory and cognition; and reduce blood glucose levels. Although there has not been enough evidence to prove claims that grapefruit dramatically reduces weight, there have been enough studies that prove daily consumption of the fruit helps with weight reduction in participants who ate grapefruit with every meal.
This delicious green veggie is part of the brassica family, including cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, fiber and carotene. Some of the benefits include better heart health and a reduced risk of cancer. The vitamin A in broccoli also helps maintain good eye health.
In addition, brassicas are known to improve gut health and improve the body's defense against infections. This vegetable is tasty whether it's eaten raw or cooked. Still, to get the most nutritional benefits from broccoli, it's best to eat it lightly steamed.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week as part of a healthy diet plan. Loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids plus vitamins D and B2 (riboflavin), fish can keep the heart and brain healthy. The omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked to decreased symptoms of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's disease and may prevent inflammation and arthritis.
Salmon, in particular, tops the list as the best fish you can eat, followed by mackerel, cod and trout, but any fish is better than no fish in your diet.
Garlic is a popular ingredient in numerous recipes since it adds a wonderful, robust flavor to food. But garlic also has many health benefits due to its medicinal properties. Manganese, vitamins B6 and C, selenium and fiber are all part of the plant that helps reduce heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and the risk of hypertension.
The antioxidant properties in garlic are also helpful in preventing dementia and Alzheimer's disease plus fighting infections.
Like most plant foods, cauliflower is full of antioxidants that protect against inflammation and cancer. Its fiber content also helps with digestion and weight loss. As a result, cauliflower decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity while promoting a healthy complexion, giving you extra energy and even helping you sleep!
This versatile veggie has become popular among people who follow a keto or low-carb diet since cauliflower is used to replace rice, potatoes and even pizza dough.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, dietary fiber and magnesium. They make a great, filling snack, especially for people who would rather avoid snacking on chips or cookies. The calcium and phosphorus in almonds promote heart and bone health. Interestingly, almonds also increase libido!
Almonds make a tasty addition to any meal and can be found in numerous products such as almond milk, butter and flour. Although they are good for you, they have 13 grams of fat, so you will need to maintain proper portion control when consuming these nuts. One ounce has 152 calories and 6 grams of protein.
Known as "ancient wheat," quinoa is the seed of an edible plant and has a nutty taste. High in fiber, protein and amino acids, quinoa is a nutritional superfood known to fight diabetes and obesity. A bowl a day may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory illness by 17 percent.
To prepare, rinse the quinoa before cooking it. It tastes great by itself or in soups, salads and pasta. Quinoa can also be roasted or popped like popcorn.
This leafy green vegetable is originally from Persia and is related to beets and quinoa. Spinach is an excellent source of iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A, C and K1.
Since it's loaded with so many nutrients and antioxidants, spinach may benefit eye health, reduce cancer risk, lower blood pressure, promote skin health and boost the immune system. Of course, Popeye knew what he was doing when he gobbled up his daily dose of spinach.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and other nutrients that keep the body healthy. They also contain fiber, which helps maintain proper blood sugar levels and reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The high vitamin C content in oranges also boosts the immune system, improves iron absorption, fights anemia, lowers blood pressure and slows age-related macular degeneration.
There's a reason your mother served you chicken noodle soup when you were feeling under the weather. Broth-based soups are usually loaded with nutrients that boost the immune system, hydrate the body and keep the belly full.
Another reason soup makes a great meal is because it is inexpensive (and simple) to prepare; plus, the leftovers freeze well for future meals.
This delicious and versatile root vegetable is chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals. The folate in beets promotes heart health, and the manganese helps with bone health, brain function and metabolism.
Beets are often recommended to pregnant women since the vegetable is loaded with folic acid, which prevents spinal cord defects and helps with a baby's brain development. The iron in beets also combats anemia, a common symptom among women during pregnancy.
Legumes are large, colorful plant seeds, including beans, lentils, soybeans and peas. Rich in plant protein, calcium, zinc, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, phosphorus and folate, beans are also low in fat but filling to eat. They make an excellent replacement for meat or dairy products, so they're included in many vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Adding legumes to your diet can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels and benefit your digestive system. The antioxidants in legumes may even lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.
An avocado is actually a kind of berry that grows in warm climates. Filled with vitamins C, E, K and B6, niacin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, potassium, beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are often incorporated into a heart-healthy diet. This superfood is great for your vision and helps to prevent certain cancers, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
You really can’t go wrong with how you prepare them, but stick to a standard serving size each day if you're trying to lose weight. Half of an avocado has 14.7 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of carbohydrates and 160 calories.
Adding small portions of vinegar to your diet may decrease your blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. This is due to its acetic acid content, which also combats heartburn and diabetes.
Although vinegar enhances recipes, it's not just for consumption. Some people use it as a topical treatment for head lice, acne and poison ivy. It's also great (when diluted with water) for cleaning.
You can eat quite a bit of green beans because 1 cup only has 31 calories and virtually zero fat. High in vitamins A, B, C and K, green beans are good for your complexion, vision, bone health, metabolism, boosting the immune system and promoting faster wound healing. The beans are also high in folate, which is recommended for pregnant women to prevent birth defects.
They're tasty by themselves or incorporated into recipes, but to get the most benefits out of green beans, buy them fresh and lightly boil or steam them.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
There's a wide variety of plant-based oils on the market, but extra-virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest compared to canola, soybean or corn oils. It contains vitamins E and K and monounsaturated fats associated with good heart health when consumed in moderation.
Presumed to have originated in Greece, the oil is extracted from olive trees and plays a large role in a Mediterranean diet, which health enthusiasts have been promoting for years. The minimal refinement of extra-virgin olive oil helps it maintain most of its nutrients and antioxidants that protect the body against cancer-causing free radicals.
Chia seeds are edible seeds from a flowering plant in the mint family. They contain the powerful antioxidant quercetin, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. A natural source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, chia seeds fight free radicals in the body, help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar levels, reduce weight, promote bone health and reduce inflammation.
The seeds also add a nice texture to salads and protein shakes and taste delicious mixed into baked goods, soups and cereals.
A good source of protein, egg whites promote strong muscles and help maintain muscle mass as you age. Unlike egg yolks, egg whites contain little to no cholesterol and are only 126 calories per cup.
They're made up mostly of water (90 percent) and protein (10 percent), which helps curb the appetite. This is especially beneficial when trying to lose weight and stave off hunger.
Mangoes are sweet and yummy, but they're also ultra nutritious. One cup has 99 calories and provides 67 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. Mangoes are filled with all sorts of nutritious stuff — vitamins C, A, B6, E and K as well as niacin potassium, riboflavin, copper, folate, thiamine, magnesium and fiber.
The plant compounds in mangoes contain immune-boosting nutrients that may help decrease the risk of diabetes, support digestive and eye health, plus lower your chances for cancer — and they're great for your heart. However, the fruit is high in natural sugars, so you shouldn't eat too much in one day.
The omega-3 fatty acid in peanut butter lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and boosts protective (HDL) cholesterol. With protein, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, niacin and vitamin B6, peanut butter has several health benefits. It is actually good for weight loss, bodybuilding, heart health, managing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of breast cancer.
But eat it in moderation since it contains a good amount of fat.
The high concentration of calcium and probiotics in yogurt are excellent for gut health, bone strengthening and your teeth. The protein and vitamins in yogurt also help decrease the risks of osteoporosis and certain cancers.
It's excellent for weight management, but look for yogurt brands that are reduced fat or zero fat and without added sugar.
Like other vegetables, bell peppers are a nutritious addition to any diet, but the level of benefits depends on the color of the pepper and how it's prepared. Red peppers contain more vitamin C, potassium and folate, while immature green peppers are richer in polyphenols.
In addition, stir-frying and roasting are considered healthier ways of eating peppers rather than boiling them.
Popcorn is considered a whole grain that’s high in fiber and antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. But not all popcorn is the same. For example, a bucket of buttered popcorn from the movie theater contains up to 1,090 calories and 2,650 milligrams of sodium.
Air-popped popcorn is the best version for consumption to control the amount of salt and seasoning added. Popcorn prepared this way makes a healthy, satisfying snack.
A curd cheese high in protein, cottage cheese contains B vitamins, calcium, selenium and phosphorus. It plays a significant role in bone and teeth health, plus helps prevent certain cancers.
It also makes a perfect dietary meal since it's filling and promotes weight loss. Cottage cheese is ordinarily high in sodium, so look for brands that contain less salt.
Oats are one of the healthiest grains you can eat. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, their benefits are numerous. For example, the beta-glucan in oats helps lower cholesterol and promotes heart health.
The higher fiber content contributes to a healthy digestive system. A 40-gram serving of oats also provides 5.1 grams of protein, which aids in muscle growth.
An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, the multiple benefits of apples include gut and brain health with a reduced risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Studies have shown that this delicious fruit may help fight asthma since it protects the lungs from oxidative damage. The best way to eat them is whole and unpeeled to reap the benefits.