Consuming a healthy diet that includes all the food groups can help a person improve their intake of essential nutrients.
Many people eat repetitive diets and the same foods every week. However, incorporating the following foods into weekly meal plans can help them stay healthy and perform at their best.
For example, a person could try a 2-week rotating meal plan and vary their protein sources, vegetables, and berries. This adds variety and a range of nutrients.
This article looks at some of the healthiest foods to include in the diet every day. It explores what the research says about their health benefits and offers some tips for consuming them.
Eating protein at each meal can help balance blood sugar levels and avoid the spikes that may happen when eating carbohydrates on their own. This approach can help people maintain their energy levels and concentration.
The amount of protein a person needs depends on factors such as their sex, age, and weight. Additionally, protein requirement varies according to how much and what type of activity the person does and if they are pregnant or nursing.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that most people in the U.S. eat enough protein but need to select leaner varieties of meat and poultry and increase the variety of protein foods they eat, choosing meats less often.
According to the USDA, adults need 5–7 ounces (oz) of protein each day. The following are examples of common healthy protein foods and their protein content:
Health experts including the American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source recognize the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthiest ways to eat.
Diets that emphasize vegetables, such as plant-based diets and the Mediterranean diet, can help lower the riskTrusted Source of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Eating a range of different colored vegetables every day helps ensure an intake of a wide range of phytonutrients, which are beneficial plant compounds.
The USDA’s MyPlate resource recommends that adults eat 2–4 cups of vegetables per day depending on their sex, age, weight, and activity levels.
The USDA also advises that people eat different colored plant foods, including leafy greens, beans, and lentils.