Autumn casserole with sweet potato and kaleIn order to eat well, you need to eat foods that will give you many nutrients without adding many calories. That’s why you should consider adding as many nutrient-dense foods to your diet so that you can keep your body healthy and eat fewer calories at the same time.

Here are the top five nutrient dense foods you should consider adding to your diet so that you can eat well and maintain a healthy weight at the same time:

1 – Salmon

Salmon is one of the fatty fishes, such as tuna and mackerel. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which have been found to improve your health and decrease you risk of many different diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids aren’t made by the body and must be consumed in your food. Salmon is also a great source of animal proteins as well as minerals and vitamins you need to stay healthy. Try eating salmon or other fatty fishes at least 1-2 times per week to stave off heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness, and many other diseases. If you eat wild salmon instead of farmed salmon, you get added benefits.

2 – Kale

Kale is a dark leafy green that is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K1, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, fiber, manganese, and protein. As a dark leafy green, it can give you plenty of nutrients without adding a lot of calories to your diet. One serving contains only fifty calories so you can just about eat as much as you want. Kale contains antioxidants, which scavenge for oxygen free radicals in the body, preventing cell death and cancer. Kale and other dark leafy greens have been scientifically shown to fight cancer cells in animal studies and in vitro studies.

3 – Garlic

Garlic can be used in many recipes and has its own special blend of vitamins and minerals for good, nutrient dense eating. Garlic is great for spicing up other dishes and can be used in many different recipes. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, copper, selenium, and manganese. Garlic also contains allicin, which is garlic’s main ingredient. Allicin has been shown to reduce high blood pressure in those with hypertension and to lower LDL cholesterol, raising the good HDL cholesterol instead. This makes it a heart healthy food. Garlic has been shown to fight off cancers, particularly stomach cancer and colon cancer. Garlic kills pathogens in the gut, keeping your gut flora healthy and preventing gastrointestinal diseases and malabsorption syndromes.

4 – Potatoes

This includes regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, both of which are starches containing complex carbohydrates and loads of nutrients. One potato alone contains enough potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and coper for an entire day’s supply along with vitamin C and B vitamins. People can live on nothing except potatoes for many months without difficulty and with perfect health. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are high in “satiety value” meaning that they make you feel fuller longer so that you don’t eat too much. A whole potato can keep you full so you don’t stock up on unhealthy foods between meals. Whole potatoes are high in fiber so you can have the benefit of GI health and relief of constipation while the nutrients are easily absorbed into the system. Take caution with potatoes if you are trying to lose weight or have a weight problem as they are very high on the glycemic index and are fattening, and therefore should be eaten in moderation. By the way, French fries are not a healthy choice. Baked potatoes without gobs of butter and sour cream are your best choice. Add fresh garlic for flavor.

5 – Liver

Liver sounds like an odd thing to eat in today’s day and time of avoiding organ meats but a little bit of liver goes a long ways. Organ meats like liver are rich in nutrients and are good things to eat at least once per week. A single portion of liver from beef contain high amounts of vitamin B12, folate, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin B2, copper, animal protein, phosphorus, and zinc. Just a once weekly serving will give you the right amounts of these nutrients. Eat with onions and garlic for better flavor and more nutrients.