8 Foods You Should Always Buy
After my last piece, 10 Foods You Should Never Buy, I wanted to focus on what you should put in your grocery cart. Yes, I know nutrition is a highly individual process, but these 8 foods are pretty amazing and health-promoting.
My take on healthy nutrition is that it's a lot like an orchestra. Just as each instrument works with the others to produce a beautiful symphony, the nutrients in food work together to create the foundation for your health. It's the interaction of nutrient-dense foods that enhances immune response, causes cancer cells to die, repairs DNA caused by toxic exposures, and enhances cell-to-cell communication. Here are 8 foods I hope you'll enjoy very soon, perhaps in concert.
Avocados are a great source of healthy, monounsaturated fat. They're high in fiber, B-vitamins, folic acid and potassium. A 2005 study found that adding avocado to your salad increases your absorption of carotenoid antioxidants 3
Berries pack a powerful punch. Not only are they are full of health-promoting antioxidants such as anthocyanins, but they're also effective at inhibiting dangerous biofilms in the gut. A 2008 study showed that elderly lab animals that consumed a diet rich in berries exhibited a reversal in age-related problems.
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage have high levels of isothiocyanates, which are cancer-preventive and have anti-carcinogenic properties. The isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables trigger genetic changes that turn on cancer-fighting genes and turn off tumor-producing genes.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are easily digested and sent directly to your liver, where they're converted directly into energy rather than stored as fat. Coconut oil also contains high levels of lauric acid, which has impressive antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are a great source of gut-friendly, beneficial bacteria. They help combat seasonal allergies, eczema, depression, and irritable bowel to name a few.
Greens are amazing. Not only are they incredibly nutrient dense, but new research suggests that they help combat food allergies and inflammatory diseases. They also protect you from cancer and aid in maintaining a healthy intestinal balance by promoting the proliferation of beneficial bacteria.
Eggs from hens that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet — namely worms, insects, seeds and green plants — can be very health promoting. A single egg contains natural B12, choline (which supports your brain and heart health), lutein for your eyes, healthy protein and nine essential amino acids.
Turmeric is a true superfood. It has known anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory capacities. A recent study showed that it significantly increased the lifespan of roundworms, fruit flies, and mice that consumed it on a daily basis.
Alejandra Carrasco, M.D., is an integrative and functional medicine physician, best-selling author of Bloom, and founder of Nourish Medicine, a root-cause resolution integrative and functional medicine practice in Austin, Texas. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center. Alex is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine as well as the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. She is also a certified practitioner by the Institute of Functional Medicine and has spent the last decade studying nutrition, integrative, preventive, and functional medicine.