While many of us think we eat pretty well, most of us could use a little kick in the pants when it comes to actually eating nutritiously. You know – getting in a legit amount of quality nutrients that actually help our body live longer, and grow stronger. Yes, you could go get a personal trainer or even become a personal trainer to grow stronger. But, even with all of the wonderful exercise in the world, what you put in your body counts – big time! If you’re looking to up your game in the eating department, start by squeezing the following items to your days.
Native to Central America, avocados are a great addition to any sandwich, salad, or dip. They contain high levels of healthy fats that help to improve your cholesterol levels by counteracting your consumption of bad fats (animal fat and cooking oil). Rather than using mayo or mustard, spread avocado over your sandwich for a healthy tist and delicious flavor.
2. Dark Chocolate
It doesn’t have to feel like splurging if eating dessert or snacking on dark chocolate is healthy for you. With higher levels of cocoa than any other chocolate, dark chocolate also contains higher levels of flavonols. Flavonols can help with inflammatory problems and are also rich in antioxidants. Although dark chocolate is better than any other sweets, remember to eat this in moderation.
The phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was created for a reason. Aples are an elite low-calorie snack that will keep you fuller for a longer time than a bag of potato chips would. Make sure you’re not throwing away the skin, since it contains valuable fiber and has less calories per nutrient than the sugary inside.
Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? Most dietitians suggest around 25 grams for women and 35 for men. Pears, similar to apples, are full of dietary fiber which is extremely important to people trying to be healthy and lose weight. Pears create the sensation of satiation and helps to cut cravings. Pears have around six grams of fiber depending on size.
Fight off heart disease with a handful of almonds everyday. Similar to fish oil and avocados, almonds are high in healthy fats that help to improve your cholesterol levels. Just don’t go overboard. Nuts are packed with calories!
Without a doubt the easiest and healthiest on-the-go snack, bananas contain a respectable three grams of dietary fiber with only 100 calories. Bananas have also been known to reduce the deterioration of your eye-sight. Not only are they delicious, but they also provide amazing benefits.
Have you had joint discomfort lately? It’s probably due to too much texting and typing at your computer all day. Asparagus is great for relieving this type of pain because of its rich deposits of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
8. Brown Rice
Pay the extra dollar next time you get some sushi and feel good about what it’s doing for your body. In contrast to white rice, brown rice still contains it’s bran and germ layers which increases the amount of nutrients and fiber you’re absorbing. Always to try consume things the way Mother Nature produces them and eat the entire fruit, vegetable, or grain; eating the entire apple or pear instead of cutting off the skin will significantly impact the way foods interact with your body.
9. Sweet Potato
While there are a few contradicting reports, most scientists agree that sweet potatoes are healthier than their rival baked potatoes. Most Americans consume white potatoes after processing, such as chips or french fries; sweet potatoes are usually consumed whole after being baked in the oven, which makes it much healthier and keeps more nutrients intact.
It’s doubtful that Americans are eating enough legumes, especially knowing how great they are for your body. Legumes are rich in almost every nutritional category and contain a lot of fiber which helps to keep you satiated much longer than most foods. Half a cup of beans at dinner might be the difference between eating 1 or eating 5 cookies after dinner.
Focus on getting more of the above 10 items in to your hot list of foods you lean towards. Take great liberty with the apples and pears, but the other items should be consumed in moderation as they’re significantly higher in calories. Nuts, dark chocolate and beans are great additions, but will add to weight gain if you get over-zealous.