15 Foods You Need to Eat to Live a Healthy Life

Erin Orbach May 26, 2020
15 Foods You Need to Eat to Live a Healthy Life

Healthy living is more important now than ever. Not only are we fast approaching summer, but we’re stuck inside most the time (rightfully) trying to flatten the curve.

So, aside from those essential home workouts, it’s also essential to eat well to ensure you stay as healthy as possible. But with so much information out there about what you should and shouldn’t be eating to have a healthy living diet, it’s hard to know where to start.

Forget fad diets and what’s trending. We’ve rounded up 15 healthy foods everyone should be eating to live a balanced and healthy life. From fruit and vegetables to grains and legumes, make sure you’re eating these delicious and nutritional foods and quickly notice the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

1. Kale


All leafy greens are great for you, but kale really reigns supreme. Packed full of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and vitamins, kale is a nutrient-dense superfood that is worth eating on a daily basis. Kale is also high in bioactive compounds that have proven to fight cancer in studies.

Kale is delicious cooked or raw, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it beyond salads. From pizza to Panzanella, kale makes a tasty addition to many dishes. Check out some recipe ideas for inspiration.

2. Blueberries


If you know anything about blueberries (apart from the fact they’re sweet and juicy!), you’ll know that they’re brimming with our friends, antioxidants. Studies show that some of these antioxidants are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and carry out protective effects on your brain! Pretty awesome, right?

And that’s just the beginning when it comes to the benefits of blueberries. Whether it’s the fact they can help maintain brain function or that they may lower blood pressure, there’s no denying the magic of these little balls of health. Scatter them across your muesli, pop them in a smoothie or simply snack on them throughout the day.

3. Garlic


High in vitamin C, B1 and B6, calcium, potassium, and more, garlic truly is essential to living a healthy life. Garlic is high in beneficial sulfur compounds such as allicin, which has been found to reduce inflammation and other antioxidant benefits.

Several studies reveal that both allicin and garlic may lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease in the future. Raw garlic also has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties, so if you can stomach it, it’s worth chomping on a raw clove or two from time to time! Otherwise, try grating it on your favorite salad or in one of your favorite recipes.

4. Seaweed


Renowned for its inclusion in Japanese dishes such as sushi, edible seaweed has many surprising health benefits that are supported by science. Some of these are that it’s a great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, zinc, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.

Seaweed is also a fantastic source of omega-3 fats and vitamin B12, both of which are typically found in fish, making them a bit trickier for vegetarians and vegans to get without supplements.  

Not a fan of sushi? Try a delicious seaweed salad or a range of other seaweed dishes to get your intake of nutritional food.

5. Avocados


Ahh, avocados. Who doesn’t love to start their weekend with these smashed on sourdough? Avocados are a unique fruit as instead of consisting mainly of carbohydrates, avocado is high in healthy fats. But their benefits don’t end there! 

Avocados are an excellent source of antioxidants, contain more potassium than bananas, and are full of omega-3 fatty acids.

Aside from being an essential food in a healthy diet, the creamy and buttery flesh of avocados is delicious in a range of recipes. From a layered Mexican sweet potato salad to a tandoori pumpkin salad with buttermilk dressing, avocado is an essential ingredient in so many dishes.

6. Almonds


If you want a quick and tasty snack that is nutrient-dense, reach for a handful of almonds. Full of fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium, almonds are also fantastic sources of protein. Low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats, almonds can also assist with the control of blood sugar levels.

Another great benefit of almonds is that they increase the feeling of being full, meaning you end up consuming fewer calories. Bonus!

Almonds are delicious to snack on whether they’re raw, roasted, or coated with tamari. Almonds are also a fantastic ingredient to add to salads, whether whole or shaved.

7. Coconuts 


The large, hairy seeds of coconut palms, coconuts are grown in tropical climates and known for their tasty white flesh hiding inside. Rich in many vital minerals such as copper and manganese, coconuts might have several other benefits, such as helping your brain, improving your immunity, and stabilizing your blood sugar.

Coconuts are an enormously popular substitute for dairy in vegan dishes and drinks, because of their cream and milk. Full fat coconut milk is a great alternative to heavy cream in many recipes as it’s high in fat and creates a rich texture in dishes such as curries, ice cream, puddings, sauces, and more. Coconuts really are healthy eating at its finest!

8. Broccoli


Ahh, broccoli. That good ol’ fashioned green veggie that has been a staple in our diets from day one. Ok, it might not be as ‘hip’ as kale or silverbeet, but don’t underestimate the health benefits of broccoli. A cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is a good source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and more.

Whether you eat it cooked or raw, broccoli tastes great and makes you feel good. That said, it’s better to keep broccoli as close to its raw form as possible – different cooking methods are known to alter the nutrient composition of the veggie.

9. Bananas


Another dietary staple, bananas are understandably among the world’s most popular fruits. And aside from their sweet and tropical taste, it’s clear to see why bananas are loved around the world. Packed with potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and more, a banana a day makes the perfect snack.

Much like almonds, bananas are filling so they suppress your appetite – ideal for calorie control and weight loss. They might also support heart health due to their high potassium and magnesium levels.

As we all know, bananas are delicious to be eaten straight from the skin. That said, they’re also great in smoothies, chopped onto oatmeal and muesli, and also used in sweet dishes such as banana bread and banoffee pie. Check out these mouth-watering banana recipes.

10. Oily fish

Oily fish 

Oily fish has been linked to many health benefits such as improved mental ability, lower risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, and arthritis. This is because fish oil is rich in healthy fatty acids. There is a range of oily fish that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, including salmon, trout, sardines, kippers, tuna, mackerel, and more.

There is a range of oily fish recipes to try out, from sardine escabeche to confit trout salad. However you decide to eat them, you can be sure that upping your oily fish intake will do wonders for your overall health.

11. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

There are several proven benefits of apple cider vinegar. With the ability to help kill many types of harmful bacteria, apple cider vinegar also significantly lowers blood sugar levels making it ideal for fighting type 2 diabetes.

Studies have suggested that consuming apple cider vinegar may help protect you against cancer. These studies have also shown that different types of vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors (although all these tests have been done in test tubes or on rats, not humans).

But how do you consume apple cider vinegar? Well, obviously you can douse your salads with the stuff. But it’s also been said that drinking four teaspoons (20 ml) of apple cider vinegar in water right before a high-carb meal can reduce blood sugar spikes.

The taste might take a bit of getting used to, but once you have – apple cider vinegar is definitely worth integrating into your diet!

12. Quinoa


Quinoa might have been around three to four thousand years when the Incas first realized the seed was fit for human consumption, but today it’s more popular than ever. And rightfully so. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat, plus, it has almost double the amount of fiber than other grains, which is great for gut health.

Also rich in magnesium and iron, quinoa truly is a nutritional grain that can be used as a base for many dishes. Whether it’s in a kale salad or enchilada casserole, quinoa really is the grain that keeps on giving. Check out these delicious quinoa recipes.

13. Oats


A trusty breakfast staple, oats are a gluten-free whole grain and a fantastic source of vital vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Packed full of magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and more, you’re getting a whole dose of goodness with your morning porridge.

Rich in a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides that have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects, oats have even been known to help soothe skin conditions such as eczema. 

From throwing them into your morning smoothie to making your own bircher muesli or porridge, oats are a fantastic food to eat to start your day as they release energy slowly. Perfect for combatting those mid-morning hunger pangs!

14. Lentils


A highly-nutritional edible seed (although these little guys are also known as ‘pulses’), lentils are made up of over 25% protein, making them an excellent meat substitute. They’re also filled with protein and iron, making them essential for undertaking physical activity.

Lentils can be added to a range of tasty dishes such as salads, vegetarian lasagne, and more. Take a look at these lentil recipes for some inspiration.

15. Carrots


Last but not least, carrots are an essential veggie to have in your diet. Although made up of at least 88% water, they also manage to be made up of several nutrients that are great for your health. Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin K1, potassium fiber and antioxidants.

Whether you’re dipping raw carrots into hummus for a tasty, crunchy snack, or adding them to your favorite salad recipe, don’t overlook this classic vegetable and all of its goodness.

You may also like

Meet the Models Behind Boody’s Pride Photo Shoot


Meet the Models Behind Boody’s Pride Photo Shoot

Pride month is here! At Boody, we celebrate every gorgeous body and our Mother Earth daily, but June gave us an incredible reason...

Shop Local: The Curious Quill


Shop Local: The Curious Quill

This month for Boody’s Shop Local series we are featuring The Curious Quill, a specialty boutique located within Thee Draper Village. They've been selling Boody since 2017.

Makeena: The Smart Shopping App


Makeena: The Smart Shopping App

What is Makeena? Makeena is a free and easy-to-use mobile app that helps you discover better-for-you, better-for-the-planet products, then rewards you for your purchases, anywhere you shop.  Makeena is part of a larger movement — a movement to build better businesses.  We believe small choices impact the world big time.  Being B-Certified means we’re socially responsible and committed to being the change we wish to see in the world.  We give back to environmental nonprofits as a member of 1% for the Planet and partner with other conscious companies.  Where did the idea for Makeena come from? I have always been passionate about taking care of our planet.  I grew up across the street from a corn field that was sprayed with pesticides, so from an early age I was very aware of the environmental impacts on what we eat.  As a child I was also very concerned about people who didn’t have access to healthy food and was always looking for ways to help.  Ultimately, when I went vegan in the 1980s I became even more aware of how difficult it can be to find brands that prioritize sustainability and make healthier products.  Ultimately, these experiences motivated me to start Makeena so that everyone on this big, beautiful planet of ours can easily find and afford healthier food and eco-friendly products.  We chose the name Makeena because it means “happiness” in Swahili and “abundance” in Hawiaiian.  From our headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, we like to say Makeena also means empowerment.  It puts the power of shopping for good directly into the hands of mindful consumers  How did you start and launch the app? We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve been selected to participate in a couple of accelerator programs with really smart mentors and advisors who have helped us refine our platform and build out our strategy.  Along the way we’ve been able to stay true to our core purpose and vision -- which is making the world a better place through our technology and community that rewards the discovery and purchase of better-for-you, better-for-the-planet brands and products.  We’re super excited about Makeena and the future!   What have been some of the biggest hurdles? Like most businesses, the last few months have been difficult to navigate.  We were in the middle of setting up a booth at a trade show for one of our industry's largest events when COVID restrictions forced a rapid change in plans.  For us, the ability to be nimble and responsive, while sometimes painful, also teaches lessons in patience and resiliency.  Ultimately, every hurdle you face in business can either be a curse or blessing -- it is all in the mindset you choose. What have been some of your biggest successes? We’re really excited by all 2020 has brought us so far!  We earned our B-Certification in January, and are launching a new website, new functionality in our app, new newsletter, new community, and added some great people to our team.  And the best part is, we still have half a year left to go!  Truly, we believe the best days are ahead for Team Makeena!   What are your best recommendations for someone new to the app? First off, thank you for downloading Makeena!  We are excited to have you in our community. Second, start scrolling through our brand partners on Makeena and “unlock” experiences.  Take the time to check out brands you already know and love, and those you haven’t yet tried!  Be sure you engage with all the brands on social media, opt-in for their newsletters, and add items you want to try to your shopping list.  Best of all, you can shop at your favorite store or online, anytime.  Once you’re done shopping, scan the UPC codes for the Makeena products you’ve purchased, and take a photo of the receipt and upload it through the app.  You’ll then get cash back through your PayPal or Venmo account. Finally, don’t forget to visit the Rebates page.  You might find a fruit, vegetable, or even an organic household product that you haven’t used in a while that you can earn a little cash back on as well. Using the Makeena app is a fun way to explore something new and engage with great products that are truly better for you and better for the environment.  How’s that for a win-win?!?