What Are the Five Perfect Foods?

by Amber Yake

Perfect foods are usually delicious.

vegetables image by cherie from Fotolia.com

You may think that your favorite snacks and treats qualify as "perfect" but, quite likely, they may be far from perfect foods. Perfect foods are high in nutrients and low in saturated fat and sodium. Once you start relying on these perfect foods, you may find it is no sacrifice. There are five foods that are high in key nutrients, good for your health, and also taste good.

Almonds and Walnuts

Nuts are some of the best non-meat sources of protein there are. Almonds and walnuts contain fiber, vitamin E, calcium and are a good source of healthy fats. The FDA endorses almonds and walnuts as a type of food that lowers cholesterol and improves heart health. Eat them on their own or add them to a salad.

Broccoli

Broccoli is known as the miracle food and for good reason. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, K and beta-carotene and it’s been known to prevent many types of diseases. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition listed it as the food most likely to prevent colon cancer and studies have also shown that it protects against ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and bladder infections.

Dark Greens

Dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale, chard and spinach are full of vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. They are high in fiber and low in calories, making them good for your weight and your heart. Kale, in particular, has more nutritional value per calorie than almost any other food. Dark green vegetables like these may help reduce your risk of cancer.

Bananas

Offering up high levels of vitamins B6 and C, as well as being one of the best sources of potassium makes bananas not only delicious, but also very healthy. Potassium-rich foods like bananas help to lower blood pressure and promote bone health. Studies have also found that bananas improve eye health, protect you from ulcers and promote kidney health.

Quinoa

This grain has recently gained popularity in kitchens due to its numerous health benefits. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all the essential amino acids that your body needs. In addition, it has iron, potassium and magnesium and is gluten-free. It has been known to help with migraines, cardiovascular strength and prevent gallstones. Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) makes an excellent replacement for rice at any meal.

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About the Author

Amber Yake has been writing professionally since 2008. She has experience writing for several online and print publications, including the Low GI Meals website, the "Kamloops Daily News" and providing travel-related articles for LIVESTRONG.COM. She has a Bachelor of Journalism with a major in public relations from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.