If you are looking to improve your health, you can start by upping your nutrition game in varied and delicious ways. Getting more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and a range of natural nutrients into your diet can be easy as well as mouthwateringly delicious!
Here are some excellent foods that you can add to your existing menus that will delight your taste buds while improving your health.
11 Foods You Should Be Eating to Improve Your Health
Oats are a powerful source of fiber that binds with cholesterol, helping you keep your heart healthy. Use flattened oats (also called steel-cut or rolled) and make yourself quick overnight oatmeal. Simply soak your oats in your chosen type of milk overnight (in the refrigerator), and in the morning, heat gently.
Top with blueberries – another powerful food that is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
2. Oily fish
Oily fish like salmon, trout, sardines, herring, or mackerel, is packed with omega-3s that have many benefits, including lowering your cardiovascular disease risk.
Mushrooms are an excellent way to cut as many as 400 calories from meat-heavy meals. Try blitzing fresh mushrooms in a food processor and sautéing them in place of ground beef for pasta sauces or other dishes.
4. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a potent food, and they are simple to use. These small, black (or white) seeds contain all the essential amino acids, and when soaked in water, they become gelatinous (a bit like tapioca) and are very soothing to the digestive tract. Pop chia seeds into smoothies, soups, oatmeal, and puddings.
Kale is extremely tasty if prepared right, and is packed with calcium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. If you are not eating any dairy products and are concerned about calcium, know that 1 cup of kale leaves has 100g of calcium. Kale also contains lutein, a nutrient that may help slow down macular degeneration (in the eyes).
Saute your kale with other veggies for a delicious stir-fry, or make kale chips. Toss pieces of kale (removing the thick middle stem first) with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread your kale leaves evenly on a baking sheet and bake in the bottom of your oven at the lowest possible temperature (so the leaves don’t burn). They should become crispy and delicious in 10-20 minutes.
Edamame is young soybeans, and they are an excellent low-fat source of protein. One cup of edamame beans has about 18.5 grams of protein and all the essential amino acids. You can add edamame to stews, soups, and stir-fries. Or get inventive and pop some into your Moroccan tagine! If you’ve never made tagine, you can get yourself a tagine pot like this Uno Casa Tagine Pot and use it for all kinds of healthy savory stews.
7. Whole grain pasta
If you love pasta, you’ll get three times as much fiber by choosing whole grain pasta rather than the semolina variety. Don’t bother with ‘multigrain’ pasta, as it can contain a mixture of grains that aren’t necessarily whole grain.
Spinach provides you with plenty of iron, folate, and many antioxidants. You can put spinach in salads, stir-frys, and smoothies. If you don’t like spinach’s taste, toss two handfuls with the flesh of one mango into a blender. Add in a cup of water and blend for a delicious green smoothie that won’t taste green!
These small fruits contain double the amount of vitamin C as an orange and practically the same potassium as a banana. Slice kiwis over your oatmeal, or cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. Delicious!
Quinoa looks and acts like a grain (think rice), but it’s actually the seeds of a plant. Quinoa is another food that is a complete protein with all of the essential amino acids, so it’s a brilliant food to eat if you don’t eat a lot of meat or if you want a low-fat protein alternative.
Almonds help lower cholesterol and have lots of monounsaturated fatty acids to help keep your blood vessels healthy. You can eat almonds raw, toss them into stir-frys, or enjoy almond milk. To make your almond milk at home, soak one cup of raw almonds overnight in two cups water. Drain and blend with three cups of fresh water (you need a strong blender). You can strain the result through cheesecloth or muslin, or drink it as it is. Fresh almond milk will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
I hope these foods find their way into your diet to give you not only better health, but more delicious dishes!