Salmon, kale, almonds, broccoli, and berries are among the most preferred foods in the dietary world. However, they are not the only foods offering an abundance of essential nutrients.
Amongst a long and ever-growing list of foods available out there, most of us only stick to eating five to ten foods, overlooking the others. There are several other foods that have not reached cult status but are also worth a try and deserve a place on your plate. Trying new foods does no harm. Not only they bring a distinct flavor to the table, but also offer you a variety of nutrients that may or may not be present in the selected list of foods you usually eat.
Start with these seven healthy foods and; rest assured, you will relish the distinctive flavor, aroma, variety, and nutritional value they bring to the table.
Fast Facts About Healthy Eating
|Eating healthy food is essential to maintain good health, build immunity, and prevent the risk of various diseases. Food is fantastic, and so are the facts about the foods we savor. As we see it, the more information and awareness we have about healthy eating, the more we tend to like it.
7 Healthy Foods You Don’t Know That Is Good for You
While most of us stick to just five to ten foods to choose from for our daily intake, there are many exciting and healthy food options that we do not eat. However, these foods can bring variety to the table along with a different taste and nutritional value.
Here are the top 7 healthy foods you do not know that is good for you:
Cauliflower’s close relative Broccoli gets the bulk of attention all the time, but this paler food is no wallflower. Cauliflower is a powerhouse of nutrients and offers excellent health benefits. Like most cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C.
Like broccoli, cauliflower has a natural plant-based chemical known as sulforaphane that can help fight cancer.
Also, cauliflower consists of unique, essential antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation along with decreasing your risks of several chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders and cancer.
What’s more, it is easy to add cauliflower to your daily diet. It’s easy to prepare, tasty, and can be used as a substitute to high-carb foods in many recipes.
Beets are bright colored root veggies that appear rough from the outside, but they get sweeter and softer upon cooking. Beets are an excellent source of essential antioxidants, which comes in handy to reduce the risk of cancer and several other chronic ailments(1).
Also, the juice of beets, which is an excellent source of nitrates, helps regulate blood pressure levels along with increasing the flow of blood to your brain. For athletes, regular consumption of beets in snacks may help improve performance, thanks to the pigments found in beets.
Beets offer some remarkable health benefits. Also, they are low in calories and rich in vitamin C, folate, and fiber. Lastly, they are versatile delicious and can fit well into a balanced and healthy diet.
You can bake it, grill it, and eat the heart or the leaves. A whole artichoke contains almost no fat and only 60 calories, excluding any sauce or dip you eat it with. Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber, and they will fill you up to the limitof other high-fat foods.
Regular intake of artichoke extracts can help regulate your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels, along with promoting digestion and liver health.
Kefir is the bubbly version of fermented milk and has been used as a dietary staple by the residents of Eastern Europe’s, the Caucasus Mountains for many years. Kefir has started gaining attention across the US of late, thanks to its excellent probiotic properties that provide the “good” bacteria to your gut. Therefore, Kefir proves useful in supporting digestion and promoting regular bowel movement.
Also, it is known to have exceptional anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Kefir is a fermented healthy food that has a consistency similar to edible yogurt. It is traditionally prepared from milk; however, plenty of non-dairy kefir options are also available.
Several studies have concluded that kefir boosts your immunity, promotes digestion, improves bone health to lower the risk of osteoporosis, and may even fight cancer.
5. Dried Plums (Prunes)
Prunes, or dried plums, help support your digestion and immunity. They are also rich in fiber and essential antioxidants. A quarter-cup of dried plums consists of 104 calories and 12 percent of your daily recommended intake of dietary fiber.
You can eat prunes as it is. As an alternative, you can finely chop the prunes and add them to baked goods such as muffins, or include them in sauces, stews, smoothies or cereals.
Prunes help reduce the risk of colon cancer, protect against emphysema, reduce appetite, regulate blood pressure, promote muscle health, maintain bone mineral density, and promote healthy digestion.
Here’s how you can include prunes to your diet:
- Add them to your oatmeal in breakfast.
- Eat them ‘as it is’ as a snack.
- Add prunes to baked goods such as muffins.
- Mix prunes with other nuts or dried fruits like apricots to create a healthy mix.
- Puree them and eat as jam or ‘prune butter.’
- Use prune juice or blend prunes for smoothies or drinks.
- Add prunes to a savory stew.
Popularly known as beans, lentils are the superstars amongst health foods. You do not need to soak lentils ahead of cooking them up. Use them as an alternative to meat in stews or soups, and you will get an excellent boost of fiber and protein for almost no fat.
Available in black, red, yellow, green, and brown, lentils are rich in folate and iron, low in calories, and rich in protein.
Also, they contain health-stimulating polyphenols and can decrease the risk of heart diseases, including stroke and heart attack. A lab test proved that the polyphenols found in lentils have the potential to stop the growth of cancer, particularly preventing the growth of cancerous skin cells.
To add lentils to your daily diet, you can search for lentil-based pasta, add them to your salad, or make a lentil stew.
Seaweed might have never touched your taste buds unless you are a big fan of sushi. However, seaweed, which belongs to the algae family, is undoubtedly worth a try. Seaweed is rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins, especially iron and calcium since it absorbs vital nutrients from the sea. Also, seaweed is low in fat and an excellent source of protein.
Seaweed is increasingly gaining fame as one of the most sought after ingredients in a wide range of cuisines worldwide. It is one of the best dietary sources of iodine, which comes handy in supporting your thyroid gland.
Also, seaweed contains several other minerals and vitamins, such as iron, zinc, B vitamins, and vitamin K, along with various essential antioxidants that help fight free radicals and protect cell damage. Seaweed also helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, provide polysaccharides to keep your gut healthy and help you lose weight by suppressing the urge to eat more.
Adding new foods to your diet not only brings a variety of flavor to your plate but also provides you a diversity of essential nutrients that help you stay healthy and fend off the risk of infections and diseases.
The top 7 foods listed in this article will help you pamper your taste buds, along with providing rich and distinctive nutritional value. If you are allergic to any of the foods listed above, consult your dietician to discuss your options.