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Courtesy of Fulya Celik

15 healthy foods that we should all consume more

Spring is the ideal time to reset your diet, which includes a varied and balanced menu of healthy seasonal foods.


February 25, 2024

In addition to keeping the taste buds in suspense, maintaining variety in your daily diet can benefit your physical and mental health, providing the body with everything it needs to function optimally. According to the CDC, a mindful diet increases life expectancy, reduces the risk of disease, strengthens muscles, bones, and the immune system, contributes to a healthy weight, and improves dental and skin health. Topical treatments can only go so far. To look and feel our best on a holistic level, let’s consider food as the ultimate medicine. If we prefer to take this simple message from a different perspective, research shows that diet (or, more precisely, unhealthy diet) is the most significant risk factor for premature death. In short, if we’ve put our revitalized recipe regimen on hold, it’s time to re-prioritize it—and get cooking!

People are creatures of habit. So, if we need a little help introducing new ingredients into our daily diet, let the options below be your meal planning inspiration. Here are 15 healthy foods that we could all benefit from snacking on regularly.

Lupin beans

  • Lupin beans can help reduce blood sugar spikes, keep bad cholesterol under control, regulate blood pressure, and strengthen bones thanks to fiber, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as minerals like potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Let’s try snacking on lupin beans between meals.

Red onion

  • Consider the red onion as a turbo-charged version of its white counterpart. In addition to being a powerful ingredient rich in vitamins C, K and B12, as well as calcium, magnesium and potassium, it also contains quercetin, an antioxidant that helps protect against allergies and heart disease. Add chopped red onion to salads, sauces or quickly pickle the root to add to the meal.


  • Although often contested, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats that increase “good” cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels, helping to prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis. In addition, this fatty fish is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which can normally only be absorbed by exposure to the sun. Fresh sardines are recommended and can be enjoyed baked or grilled, as served in Portugal.


  • Capers – the unopened buds of the perennial bush – contain polyphenols and have antioxidant properties that help slow cell and skin aging. Capers stimulate microcirculation and are considered a natural diuretic that helps reduce bloating, making pickled a supplement that stands out as a beauty food.


  • The seeds, roots and leaves of this valuable plant have been enjoyed for centuries. Rich in vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iodine, arugula is part of the cruciferous family (think cauliflower). It has digestive and detoxifying properties, fights water retention and acts as a natural antibiotic. We add raw rocket to sauces, salads or sandwiches.

Sweet potato

  • Sweet potatoes contain high levels of flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamins C and A, and their antioxidant properties make them a kind of anti-aging hero ingredient. Let’s enjoy sweet potato whether it is baked, boiled, mashed or (of course) fried – and be sure to include a rich layer of nutritious skin.


  • We all know celebrities are obsessed with kale, and for good reason—it might just be the ultimate superfood. A bomb of antioxidants, it contains flavonoids, vitamins A, C, K, E and B, calcium for bones, zinc for the immune system and iron as a bonus.


  • Edible mushrooms are among the most popular superfoods and supplements, and for good reason. Low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients, mushrooms have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can help support the immune and cardiovascular systems. Rely on mushrooms as a source of vitamin D, protein, potassium and more, and explore different forms for benefits that suit specific conditions.


  • In addition to being gluten-free with a low glycemic index, millet is rich in protein, amino acids, antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron – everything needed for healthy hair and skin. It even seems to be able to lower cholesterol levels. The grains are cooked like rice, they are ideal as a side dish or in your favorite salad with a crunchy character.


  • This bold and spicy vegetable, valued by the ancient Romans, is low in calories, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and contains erucin, an active ingredient that helps lower high blood pressure. If pizza is on the menu, add a layer of raw arugula for a quick and healthy hybrid meal.


  • Hummus is not only an extremely tasty snack. Chickpeas are the basis of the aforementioned nutritious sauces and a valuable addition to salads. It provides doses of fiber, vitamins C, E and A, magnesium and more. Small legumes contain useful unsaturated fatty acids and, of course, proteins. Chickpeas help reduce the glycemic index (reducing the risk of diabetes), reduce the absorption of cholesterol linked to heart disease and promote gut health.


  • Mangoes are the most popular fruit in tropical regions, and modern agriculture means that we can all enjoy them – and their health benefits. The fruit is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to alleviate certain chronic diseases, along with protective antioxidants and anti-diabetic effects. Fruit may seem like a dessert-like choice, but it’s one choice that can make us happy.


  • Adding lentils to your diet is simple and essential. This little legume has a long history, and for good reason—lentils are a source of protein, potassium, folic acid, and more. Adding antioxidants to the mix gives us a superfood that can delay chronic disease, potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


  • Belgian Cabbage Kale isn’t just a bar snack—the miniature cabbages are a health food. As a cruciferous vegetable, kale contains vitamins C and A, potassium, calcium and even some protein. We can bake it (with your favorite vegetables), steam it or add it to a salad for an affordable raw option.


  • For a sweet and sour dosage of antioxidants, let’s take a handful of blueberries. Regular consumption of anthocyanins (one of the many phytochemicals in blueberries) reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In addition, these berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In short, experts agree that blueberries are a universally healthy snack.

If you’re looking to improve your diet, these foods can add variety, nutritional value, and flavor to your menu. Various combinations of these healthy foods can provide you with all the nutrients you need for optimal body function and health.

Originally published on vogue.com