Healthy additions to include in your diet

Healthy additions to include in your diet
Posted by on Mar 12, 2015

Exercising is actually the easy part of living a healthier lifestyle. The real challenge is modifying your diet from unhealthy to mostly healthy. A few years ago my fitness coach once told me that diet modification is a necessary step to achieve your goal. So I decided to turn over a new leaf and got rid of the unhealthy food stashed in my pantry. I read some books on what food to avoid and what food to incorporate in my diet. I was pleasantly surprised that there is a wide array of healthy food available. Healthy and at the same time affordable, you don’t have to worry about making a dent in your pocket. Here are some of the delicious super foods that you can include in your diet.
#1. Dark Chocolate – A 100 grams bar of high quality dark chocolate that contains about 70% cocoa is a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese. Dark Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins. Antioxidants eliminate the free radicals from your body. Without free radicals, oxidation does not occur. Thus your cells remain healthy. Remember that a bar of dark chocolate has about 600 calories, so don’t go overboard. Consume in moderation.
#2. Green Tea – Studies show that green tea can help lower bad cholesterol levels and promote blood flow because it contains catechins. Studies show that drinking green tea regularly can keep your heart hale and healthy. Green tea is also an excellent source of antioxidants. Swap a can of soda for a cup of green tea instead. For your afternoon snack, drink green tea and nibble on a few pieces of dark chocolate. Perfect combination.
#3. Honey – Honey promotes weight loss and lowers cholesterol level. Honey promotes the mobilization of the stored fats in the body. These stored fats are used as a source of energy. Mix a teaspoon of honey with the juice from half a lemon in a glass of warm water. Drink this upon waking up in the morning while your stomach is still empty. You can also drink this after a heavy meal to aid digestion.
#4. Eggs – Eggs are a good source of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Eggs are low in calories. A medium sized hard boiled contains about 80 calories. You can include eggs as part of your low fat and low calorie diet. Include eggs as part of your post workout meal.
#5. Bananas – There is more to Bananas than meets the eye. Bananas are nutritionally dense and don’t need a lot of preparation. It is an excellent source of fiber, potassium and B vitamins. When you are craving for something sweet, grab a banana. A medium sized banana has only 110 calories. You can add bananas to your oatmeal make banana smoothies or eat it as it is. Snack on a banana between meals to curb your hunger pangs as bananas leave you feeling satiated.
#6. Sweet Potatoes – Low in calories and glycemic index, sweet potatoes are your new best friend. The sugar found in sweet potatoes are slowly released into the blood stream. This provides your body with a steady stream of energy without elevating your blood sugar level. I bet you did not know that sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamin A and antioxidants as well. There a lot of creative ways of preparing sweet potatoes. You can try making oven baked sweet potato fries. Delicious.
#7. Avocados – The good kind of fat. Avocados contain monosaturated fats like beta-sitosterol. These fats lower blood cholesterol levels, keeping your heart healthy. Folate is also found in avocados. Studies show that having a folate rich diet keeps your heart healthy and reduces the likelihood of stroke. Try making baked avocado eggs for breakfast. Slice an avocado and remove the pit. Crack open 2 small eggs and pour them on each half. Sprinkle it with some salt and pepper and pop it in the oven. Breakfast is served.
#8. Green leafy vegetables – Leafy vegetables are high in fiber and low in calories. Greens are packed with vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy. Eating greens will keep you satiated as well. Include leafy vegetables as part of your low calorie diet. Start stashing spinach, broccoli, bok choy and lettuce in your fridge. You can make green smoothies as well. Grab a handful of baby spinach, one banana, a glass of chilled non fat milk and blend it together. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
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