This Dietitian Eats These 5 Foods Every Day — and You Should, Too
Whether you're trying to lose weight or you just want to take better care of yourself, a healthy diet is essential. But picking and choosing the most virtuous foods can be tricky. How do you ensure you're getting the vitamins you need? Enough fiber? The right nutrients to slow aging or keep your system running smoothly?
POPSUGAR asked Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, a registered dietitian and nutritionist and the national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to help us sort through the clutter. Here, you'll find five foods she recommends eating at least once over the course of the day. And whether you want glowing skin or a healthy digestive system, her picks deliver. "These foods all promote different aspects of health and provide a balance of nutrients you need," she says. "I eat them every day, and you should, too."
Fortunately, they couldn't be easier to add to your menu — keep reading to see for yourself.
"Leafy greens are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, E, C, and K," Davis says. "These vitamins are essential for a healthy immune system and glowing skin." Eat them in a salad, fold them into a pasta dish (try spinach, mozzarella, and tomato), or add them to your breakfast omelet or smoothie.
"Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health," Davis tells POPSUGAR. The breakfast staple also boasts choline, the building block of neurotransmitters that help support the brain and nervous system. Try eating eggs hard-boiled for a protein-rich snack, or make them the centerpiece of any meal.
Small Cold-Water Fish
"These fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B2, and other important nutrients like selenium and calcium," says Davis, who notes that small fish are also less likely to be contaminated with mercury than their larger counterparts. Vitamin D is especially crucial: it helps the body absorb calcium, which is key for strong bones, and it's found in very few foods. Try adding fish like sardines and mackerel to salads and pasta dishes.
"Nuts are high in healthy fats and antioxidants," Davis says. These include omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain function and protect against heart disease. Nuts are also a good source of protein and fiber, which means they quickly satisfy hunger and keep you full longer. "I tell my clients to keep them in their desk or car. They're the perfect on-the-go snack," she says.
"Prunes are relatively low in calories but high in nutrients and can even help lower cholesterol," Davis says. "Their fiber also aids digestion and reduces risk for diseases like diabetes, while antioxidants help fight harmful substances and the aging process." Work them into your snack rotation, stat.