10 Nutrient-Rich Foods for a Healthy Diet

Food

In a perfect world, everything we eat would taste delicious, be super-convenient, and offer plenty of nutritional benefits. But do such foods exist in the real world?

They certainly do — and hard-to-find specialty foods need not apply. These 10 nutritionists’ favorites are versatile and delicious, and most can be prepared in a flash.

Beans

Calypso, scarlet, black turtle, cranberry — even the variety names of this delicious food are pretty cool.

They’re such a nutrient dynamo that beans are the only food recognized in two food groups, vegetables and proteins, says Connie Evers, RD, author of How to Teach Nutrition to Kids.

Beans are high in low-fat protein, packed with fiber, and contain a host of nutrients and phytonutrients, the combination of which may help guard against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers while also building and repairing muscle.

Add beans to soups, stews, and chili. Sprinkle them in salads, and add them to burritos or scrambled eggs. Or try blending beans with spices for great spreads or dips.

Greek Yogurt

Smooth, creamy, and extra-thick, Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, potassium, and calcium and is also an important source of probiotics.

The nutrients in yogurt help build strong bones, aid digestion, and keep your immune system going strong. Along with having less watery whey than regular yogurt — which helps make the Greek variety super-thick — Greek yogurt also has less sodium and fewer carbs than regular yogurt and packs twice the protein.

Use plain nonfat Greek yogurt as a base for salad dressings, dips, and smoothies, suggests Evers, or try topping soups, stews, nachos, or chili with it. If you like your yogurt sweet, add a teaspoon of jam and sprinkle in some nuts or seeds and you’ve got a quick, healthy on-the-go breakfast.

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