5 Foods to Jumpstart a Healthy Diet
It’s probably safe to assume that most of us want to eat healthier, yet things like time and money often prevent us from doing so. While certain foods may be hard to give up cold turkey,, there are some amazing foods and herbs you can eat each day to build a healthy diet.
Blueberries are considered a superfood, meaning they are rich in nutrients that make them beneficial to overall health. Blueberries are considered one of the most nutrient dense berries, with a cup containing about 4 grams of fiber, 24% the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, 25% the daily recommended intake of Manganese, and 36% the daily recommended intake of Vitamin K. Additionally, blueberries are packed with antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. And if that’s not enough to excite you, blueberries are about 85% water and only have 84 calories per cup. So you can basically binge eat a batch of blueberries with no shame.
Ginger has easily become one of my favorite kitchen ingredients. I literally try to incorporate ginger (preferably fresh) into every meal I cook. Gingerol, the primary bioactive compound in ginger, gives it powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is also great for digestion because it speeds up the emptying of the stomach, which combats chronic indigestion. Many people also rely on ginger for its effectiveness in easing nausea.
Kale is another one of those superfoods that is among the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Just a single cup of raw kale contains more than 100% the recommended daily intake of Vitamins A, C, and K, 26% the recommended daily intake of Manganese, and between 6-10% the daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium. Many people don’t know that kale also contains antioxidants such as Quercetin and Kaempferol, which have powerful anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and even antidepressant properties.A cup of raw kale only has 33 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.
Turmeric is comprised of compounds called curcuminoids, with the most notable being curcumin, which is the primary ingredient in tumeric. Curcumin has been linked to improved brain function, decreased risk of brain disease, and decreased risk of heart disease. Curcumin is also praised for its anti-inflammatory benefits, which makes is a powerful aid for chronic pain conditions like arthritis.
Quinoa is one of very few foods that contains all nine of the essential amino acids. It carries 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and more than 15% the recommended daily intake of Iron, Folate, Magnesium, and Manganese. Quinoa has some of the same anti-inflammatory properties as kale because of the Quercetin and Kaempferol. An added benefit for people who deal with gluten allergies or intolerance, since quinoa is gluten-free.
Start with just one item on this list and substitute it for something you currently eat. A great way to start is by substituting quinoa for white rice or swapping potato chips for kale chips. You may not be ready to give up the sweets and salt cravings, but adding these foods, herbs, and spices to your diet one day at a time are sure to boost your energy and overall well-being.
Your body will thank you!