There are many benefits to living a healthy lifestyle. One of the biggest advantages of balancing regular exercise with healthy eating is that it helps you avoid common conditions like obesity, high cholesterol or diabetes. What you eat plays a very important role in keeping you strong and healthy.
The better you feel on the inside is sure to reflect on the outside. The right food can help keep weight in check and offers the body the right amount of antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients it needs. Here are seven healthy and delicious foods that you can incorporate into your everyday diet.
Salmon, sardines, trout and other oily fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that offer a boatload of advantages. Omega-3 fatty acids help combat heart disease and boost your skin's defense against UV radiation. Rich in vitamins A and D, these foods also are beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Tip: Try recipes like baked or roasted salmon with crispy potatoes and broccoli or citrus-glazed salmon for a light and easy dinner.
Leafy Green Vegetables
You might have cringed at the mention of "veggies" as a child, but just know that leafy greens are your best friends. Spinach, kale, broccoli and collard greens, among many others, are known to be rich in minerals and fiber. They not only help reduce you risk of Type 2 Diabetes, but green also keep your digestive track clean, detoxify the body, lower cholesterol. Not to mention, a healthy amount of these vegetables can even increase physical stamina and energy.
Tip: A broccoli stir fry with ginger or sautéed chard with parsnip does not involve a long cooking process. If you're on a juicing cleanse, try a green juice every night to make sure your receiving the proper nutrients for your body.
Yogurt is extremely beneficial for your health. Most types feature probiotics, which is a good form of bacteria that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in your stomach. As a result, yogurt helps fight off urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcers and more.
Tip: Aside from enjoying yogurt for breakfast or lunch, use it as part of a marinade when cooking meat. Your mixture will not only be delicious, but it will also help soften the texture of chicken, pork or fish.
Nuts are great sources of unsaturated fat and can be a vehicle for good heart health. For instance, walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid that is directly related to the heart health and improved mood. Almonds are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber and vitamin E and offer a bunch of benefits. The fatty acids in almonds and other nuts can help lower cholesterol, build strong bones and lower blood sugar levels.
Tip: Nuts are great with oatmeal, yogurt and fruit for breakfast. You also could grab a handful as a post-dinner treat or a snack after an intense workout.
All types of berries are a great source of fiber and help maintain a healthy digestive system. Raspberries also contain a compound called ellagic acid that has anti-cancer properties. Blueberries feature phytonutrients and antioxidants that promote cognitive function and heart health. Who doesn't love strawberries? The good news is that they're full of vitamin C, which works wonders for your body and skin.
Tip: Berries are a great snack in between meals or as a healthy dessert. However, they also make a delicious and filling salad topping.
Who said being healthy was hard? Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which have been proven to reduce cholesterol levels. Keep your blood pressure at bay with just 1/4th of an ounce of dark chocolate every day.
Tip: You don't have to say no to dark chocolate for dessert. When the temperature drops, consider drinking dark-chocolate hot cocoa on a cold winter day.
There's nothing like a hot cup of tea to calm your nerves and help you relax. The antioxidants that tea contains aid in the breakdown of bad cholesterol, which in turn helps to prevent blood clots and heart disease. A couple of mugs a day can also help to reduce the risk of developing narrow arteries.
Tip: Try out different flavors of tea like green tea, chamomile and lemon in between meals to help with digestion.