I hope you’re ready for my new series, “Healthy Foods From A to Z!” I’ll take each letter and research an assortment of health foods beginning with the chosen letter! Today, we are looking at healthy foods that start with A!
What goes through your mind when you think about eating healthy?
What kinds of foods come to mind?
How do you define “health food?”
If you’re like most people I run into, they think pretty negatively about eating healthy. Like, there’s only certain foods you are allowed to eat and there is never enough.
I’m here to tell you, through this new series of health foods from A to Z, there are more healthy foods than you think.
So, when we think of food that starts with the letter A, our thoughts tend to turn to food items such as apples and almonds. But there are many more foods that start with this letter than just those two! In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular food items for the letter a!
Foods That Start With A
The apple is probably the most common food that starts with a, that you can think of. They are sweet, juicy, and the most versatile food. You can cook them in so many different ways: as a side dish that is served with pork chops or steak; baked into an apple pie; cooked down to make applesauce or jam.
There are also plenty of nutritious benefits from eating this food!
Apples contain antioxidants called polyphenols which help protect your cells from free radical damage. Eating one serving per day may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 20%! So an apple a day really does keep the doctor away! They’re also high in fiber and low on calories so they will fill you up but not out-right give you weight gain (which we all know happens when people overeat).
If you are a person with diabetes, apples will slightly raise your blood sugar level, but the fiber helps stabilize it. The sugar found is fructose and is naturally occurring, unlike added sugars in most foods.
The next health food that starts with the letter A is almonds! Almonds are good for your heart and immune system. They can reduce bad cholesterol in your body, lower blood pressure, have a strong antioxidant content to help fight off cancer cells, prevent diabetes by balancing sugar levels, improve memory function (especially as people age), regulate bowel movements which will make you feel more regular after eating them, and even increase bone density if eaten daily over time. Plus they taste great when sprinkled on food or enjoyed plain.
If you’re having trouble adding almonds to your diet, try my below suggestions:
- Add some almond butter to their morning toast instead of peanut butter
- Sprinkle almond slices on your salad
- Add a handful of almonds to Greek Yogurt
An apricot is a fruit that is a member of the stone fruit family. Its texture is very smooth and soft when ripe, so it’s perfect to eat on its own or as food for baking with other fruits. Apricots can be eaten raw but are more frequently used in food items like jams, pies, tarts and cakes
The skin color of an apricot often ranges from deep orange to pinkish orange while the inside flesh is yellow mixed with red streaks
This means that you will only find these colors together on one piece which may not look appetizing at first glance…but after tasting this delicious fruit I promise it’ll keep your attention!
Eating apricots can be great for you because they have antioxidants which help prevent cancer. Apricot seeds also make an excellent natural remedy and detoxifier for your liver, kidneys, lungs, bladder or stomach. They are delicious eaten raw but if you want to try them in recipes there are lots of ways to use them: baked goods like cake, muffins or breads; smoothies; sauces such as jam and butter sauce. You might even find some marmalade at the store too!
The acai berry is an exotic fruit native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. It is a small round purple berry with an edible pulp inside that has been grown and consumed by natives for centuries
Acai berries can be eaten or made into food like acai bowls, pureed frozen yogurt, smoothies, sorbets, juice blends and more!
The health benefits of acai are numerous! They are a superfood for a reason.
- Acai berries are rich in antioxidants, and help fight free radical damage that can lead to cancer.
- They have a high concentration of amino acids which promotes bone growth and helps muscles recover after exercise!
- The fiber content will keep your digestion moving smoothly throughout the day.
- Acai food also has more potassium than bananas do! Potassium is important because it balances sodium levels in the body. This prevents cramps when you’re exercising or running for long periods of time.
There’s even evidence suggesting acai berry consumption may improve brain function by reducing symptoms of mental fatigue without any negative side effects like caffeine does!
Avocados have steadily become my favorite food that starts with A! They are so delicious and good for you! They have a very mild flavor with a buttery texture. Avocados are great additions to food like tacos, salads, or sandwiches.
- Avocado is high in fiber which helps maintain digestive health
- If you are looking for some Vitamin C, oranges aren’t the only fruit good for that! Eat an avocado!
- They also contain potassium which can help lower blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease
You can eat avocados in so many ways!!
- Add avocado to your breakfast with a slice of toast, an egg and some spinach
- Make avocado toast by topping two slices of bread with mashed avocados, sliced tomatoes, onions or peppers
- Put together an easy guacamole recipe by mashing up one ripe avocado with the juice from half a lime (or lemon), chopped fresh cilantro leaves and salt to taste
- Slice open the avocado and fill it with tuna salad for a healthy lunch on-the-go
- Mix diced cooked chicken breast in a bowl with mashed avocados until creamy then add salsa or hot sauce as desired
- Add sliced pieces of chilled cucumber and tomato to make an appetizing side dish that goes well alongside any meal
Or you can try my personal recipe, a cucumber tuna surprise!
Asparagus is a tasty vegetable and the first one I really started eating! It’s a green vegetable that is grown as a crop in some places. It usually has white, purple or red berries as well as thick and thin stems! One of the most noticeable things about it are the little spikes on each end which can be tough to eat sometimes but I love them!
Asparagus is part of what we call “the big three.” Asparagus, beans, and broccoli are considered staples for many people because they provide great nutrients such as vitamin A and C. In addition asparagus also contains folate as well as potassium. Folate helps us make new cells so this may help protect against cancer while potassium helps improve blood pressure levels.
Asparagus is a great source of ascorbic acid, as well as vitamin K. It has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Asparagus also contains minerals like potassium, calcium, folate, iron, zinc and phosphorus which are all important for the body’s normal functions.
- Add asparagus to a sandwich for an extra veggie boost
- Add asparagus to your morning smoothie for some extra nutrients
- Roast your asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a healthy side dish
- Grill them up in the summertime with chicken or fish for a delicious dinner option
- Make an easy soup by blending together carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes and broth then adding in chopped up asparagus stalks when you’re ready to serve it
- Eat it for breakfast with eggs or in an omelet
Almond butter is a tasty and healthy spread that’s made from almonds. It has a similar consistency to peanut butter. It’s rich in vitamin E as well as other vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. You can find it as an ingredient in many dishes such as toast with avocado or apple pie topped with almond flakes.
Almond butter is made from real almonds, so you’ll be reaping the same health benefits!
The Journal of the American Heart Association did a study found eating just one serving of almonds a day significantly reduced the amount of “bad cholesterol” in a person’s body.
How can yo add almond butter to your diet? Easy!
- Add a spoonful of almond butter to your oatmeal or yogurt
- Make an almond butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast
- Mix some in with your favorite smoothie recipe
- Add it to a salad dressing, vinaigrette, or marinade
- Spread some on toast for a quick snack
- Use it as the base for any dessert you want!
An artichoke is a type of vegetable. It has long, spiny leaves on a tall stem and can be green or purple in color. Artichokes are typically eaten raw, though they may also be cooked as well.
Artichokes have high levels of iron along with fiber and Vitamin C, making them an excellent food for those who want to support their immune system. They’re also great at improving digestion since artichoke contains both soluble and insoluble fiber which will help you feel fuller faster due to its low calorie content (around 50 calories per artichoke).
Try eating them in the ways I list below!
- Roasted artichokes with olive oil and garlic
- Artichoke dip
- Grilled artichoke hearts
- Pan-fried artichokes with lemon and parmesan cheese
- Roasted asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, topped with an artichoke heart or two, drizzled with balsamic vinegar reduction and finished under the broiler until crispy
Arugula is a lesser known leafy green vegetable that can be used in salads, sandwiches and soups. It is also a key ingredient in a popular Italian dish called arugula salad. It is best known for it’s unique peppery taste, and that’s before adding in a dessing!
Arugula is an annual plant that grows well with other cool-season greens such as lettuce, spinach and kale. It thrives in light clay or sandy soil. Arugula requires about six weeks for its seedlings to reach maturity of the time from when seeds are planted until they are ready to be harvested. However arugula can also be grown by planting arugala cuttings directly into rows during late summer through early autumn months before frost settles in on your region’s garden area.
there are many health benefits as well!
- High in folate which has been shown to lowers risk of stroke due to high blood pressure, according to Harvard Health
- Aids in weight loss
- Promotes healthier skin and hair
- Increased immunity against diseases like cancer.
- Like other greens arugula has many health benefits for your body such as being loaded with vitamins A, K, C and folate plus containing more iron than spinach or any other salad green.
Here are some ways you can add this superfood to your diet!
- Arugula is a great addition to any salad
- Add arugula to your tacos for a new twist on the classic dish
- Create an arugula pesto and serve it with pasta or crackers
- Make some roasted veggies by adding chopped up arugula at the end of cooking time
- Mix cooked arugula into scrambled eggs for a healthy breakfast option
- Put together an easy green smoothie that includes fresh, frozen fruit and ice cubes
Amaranth is a very tasty and healthy grain. It is gluten free and high in protein, amaranth has a slightly sweet taste that goes well with almost any kind of food! Amaranth flour makes for great muffins because it’s so fluffy and delicious.
Amaranth also contains many vitamins such as vitamin B-12 which helps you to stay alert and awake by supporting your nervous system functions. There are many health benefits from amaranth including aiding digestion, providing energy, lowering blood pressure levels, reducing cholesterol levels, helping the heart muscles work more efficiently (by providing dietary fiber), preventing cancer cells from spreading through the body and much more!
You can enjoy amaranth on a daily basis!
- Make a simple amaranth porridge for breakfast
- Add amaranth flour to your favorite bread recipe
- Use amaranth in place of some white rice when cooking dinner
- Enjoy an old-fashioned bowl of cereal – but try it with amaranth instead of oatmeal
- Amaranth is also great as a sweetener for baked goods or granola bars
- Try adding dried, uncooked amaranths to soups and stews – they’ll cook up quickly in the broth and have a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with other flavors like curry and ginger
Aloe Vera is a plant that grows in the hot climates. Typically applied to the body after a sunburn, did you also know you can consume it? It can be drunk in juice form. You can make your own o buy aloe vera juice. This is what I drink.
Aloe Vera is great for overall gut health and healing the gut lining. A healthy gut is a healthy body. It also allow better absorption of vitamins and minerals! Simply add a tablespoon to a smoothe or do as I do and drink it straight!
Acorn squash is a type of winter squash. It has a hard rind and acorn-shaped fruits. Acord squashes are usually harvested in the fall, but can be left on the vine for later harvest as long as it is not exposed to frost or freezes.
The acorn squash tastes like sweet potatoes and pumpkin; its flesh ranges from orangey gold to dark greenish-brown color depending upon how mature it is when picked out of the ground. Acord squashes contain large seed cavities that may need to be filled with
- Roast the acorn squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a sweet and savory side dish
- Make an easy soup by combining roasted acorn squash with vegetable broth, onions, garlic cloves, thyme leaves, and chopped tomatoes
- Use acorn squash in place of noodles to create a healthy pasta dish that is high in vitamins A and C
- Add diced pieces of cooked acorn squash to your favorite salad recipe for added texture
- Create a healthier version of lasagna by layering sliced zucchini instead of pasta sheets or noodles on top of tomato sauce 6. Bake cubes of cooked acorn squash until they are crispy then toss them with sesame seeds and serve as an appetizer or snack food
See? Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. I hope you enjoyed reading about my picks for healthy foods that start with a!