Most of us won’t be able to deny that, at one time or another, we’ve eaten more of the yummy (but downright sinful!) stuff than we should. While indulging in guilty pleasures every now and then is fine, we should also take conscious care of ourselves – cook well-balanced meals, eat in moderation, exercise at least three times a week, see the dentist at least twice a year, have an annual check-up, and regularly Compare the Market for life insurance to help us decide and plan for the future.
It seems like a lot, but one of the things you can certainly do now is to upgrade your diet to make it more nutritious. When doing your weekly meal planning and grocery shopping list, scratch off those high-cholesterol, carbo-loaded items and incorporate these ten ingredients in your menu instead.
Mushrooms are mostly water, but the compounds found in them help in boosting the immune system. They also help protect against breast and prostate cancer. Mushrooms also contain potassium that helps in lowering blood pressure, and an antioxidant called L-ergothioneine.
Apples make you feel full and have cancer-fighting properties. Quercetin, a compound found in apples, promotes healthy lungs and reduces the damage caused by cholesterol. The top antioxidant apple varieties are the Northern Spy, Cortland, and the Red Delicious.
Here’s a green vegetable that contains beta carotene, usually found in yellow and orange veggies. Aside from Vitamin A, broccoli is also a rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which helps in building strong bones. You can cook it however you like: roasted, steamed, grilled, stir-fried—you can even eat it raw! Aside from broccoli, you can go for other low-calorie greens such as spinach, arugula, and kale. Other foods high in Vitamin K are revealed in this article.
Eggs are packed with vitamins and minerals! They are a top source of quality protein, and they also contain choline, an essential nutrient for memory and brain development. They also have zeaxanthin and lutein that prevent macular degeneration that causes blindness.
- Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt
High in calcium and packed with other nutrients such as potassium and protein, plain yogurt can also be fortified with Vitamin D, which is essential in making bones strong. Add fresh fruit or use it as a vegetable dip.
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health. Salmon is high in protein, low in calories, and much lower in saturated fat. Canned tuna is a less expensive alternative.
Berries have everything you want in a fruit: water, fibre, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and of course, that sweet taste to satisfy your cravings. Add berries to your yogurt, oatmeal, cereals, and salads. There’s a berry for everyone: blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, boysenberries…even black currants are berries!
Soy products come in all forms: as whole soybeans or edamame, tofu, soy milk, and dry-roasted soybeans. Soy is a great source of fibre, protein, and antioxidants. Soy milk can also help dieters lose more weight than other dairy-based drinks; look for those fortified with Vitamin D. Edamame contain omega-3 fatty acids that keep the heart healthy.
Beans help in lowering cholesterol and ridding your body of waste. They also contain protein, potassium, carbohydrates, and magnesium. They are usually eaten as a side dish or as an ingredient in soups, but they can also sub for poultry and meat as a main dish.
Eat nuts in small doses and you’ll surely benefit from their fibre, heart-healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants. You can snack on them (an ounce a day is enough) or add ground nuts to side dishes, salads, cereals, and baked goods. This also means you can say yes to peanut butter—just mind your portions!
There you have it, a list of the food you can eat without feeling guilty afterwards. Just remember to make them part of a well-balanced meal, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to make the most out of your diet.