When you want to live a more healthful lifestyle, then your main goal should be to eat a balanced, whole-food diet made of a broad variety of different ingredients and dishes. However, there are also some foods that happen to be exceptionally great for nutrition and that you can add to your diet for better health.

These options tend to give you a boost in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and or many other nutrients. They help you to diet for better health by giving your body what it needs to function at its very best.

Instead of looking for single-ingredient solutions to help you to diet for better health, try to focus on categories. That way, you’re not just trying to fit the exact same substance into your meals every day. That’s a quick way to get tired of a perfectly good ingredient.

Instead, consider the following foods that can help you to achieve a more healthful eating strategy:

1. Dark leafy greens – These are absolutely fantastic for your health and are avoided all too frequently. Among the main problems with these foods is that people don’t know how to prepare them in a way that they will enjoy them. Just because it’s made of leaves, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat it as a bitter salad. While some are delicious when eaten fresh and raw, others are best sautéed, tossed into a soup, or even blitzed into a smoothie. Before you sit down to eat a new leafy green for the first time, learn about some options for preparing it. That will help you to fit it into your meals and your taste preferences.

2. Seeds and nuts – Flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds and walnuts are fantastic additions to your diet. These can be added in small amounts for a big improvement in your nutrition. In fact, with these options, a little goes a long way. Just be sure you’re choosing natural, unsalted varieties and when it comes to flaxseeds, buy them ground. The body cannot digest whole flaxseeds. So all those breads and granolas you’ve been buying with whole flaxseeds likely haven’t done anything for you as the seeds would have travelled right through your body without ever being digested.

3. Oatmeal – This may sound far too simple to be true, but it is. Oatmeal is good for you as long as you choose the right options. Quick oats and flavored oatmeal likely won’t give you much of a health boost. They’ve had a great deal of the nutrition cooked out of them and the flavored varieties are packed with sugar and salt. However, plain steel cut oats and other similar slow-cook forms are amazing for weight loss and lowering cholesterol among other things. Add some cinnamon, fresh or frozen berries and other healthful toppings and you’ll feel like you’re having a treat, not a healthy breakfast.