Summer is nearly here, which means more people are looking for ways to slim down and lighten up. Whether you’re trying to achieve a flawless physique or simply better health, the following foods can help you do it. So whip out your recipe books and start incorporating these nutritious items into your diet today to reap the benefits.
Most people don’t think to make clams when preparing a seafood dinner. However, these little guys are chock full of vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of protein. They also have cancer-preventing properties and could even help more couples conceive, although scientists still aren’t sure how.
Prepare your clams by grilling or steaming them. Then, toss them in soups, salads or on top of a pizza. You may also eat clams raw. However, cooking them beforehand is the best way to kill any bacteria growth and prevent illness.
Most vegetarians and vegans already know about tofu, but their meat-loving friends may be less familiar with this soy product. Tofu has quite a few hidden health benefits because it contains several anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and all nin essential amino acids. It’s also a valuable source of plant protein, making it an excellent alternative to meat.
Add tofu to any dish by frying, baking, sauteing or even mashing it. You can even eat it raw if you prefer. However, most people prefer it to have a crispy outer layer and at least some seasoning or sauce.
Mushrooms don’t seem like much, and many people don’t care for their earthy flavor. However, if you can get past the fact that you’re eating fungi, mushrooms will do your brain and body a world of good. Mitigate your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease by adding a handful of mushrooms to your diet every day.
Saute some shrooms and add them to avocado toast, burgers, stir-fries and other dishes to add umami flavor and a dash or vitamin D. Sprinkling a few slices on a salad can also support pancreas health as they’re brimming with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Pineapple may be popular, but many people don’t realize just how healthy this fruit can be. Since they’re low in calories and high in nutrients, pineapple can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy immune system. It also contains disease-fighting antioxidants and digestive enzymes called bromelain, which can ease digestion.
Add pineapple to fruit salads, smoothies and even pizza to get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. Otherwise, you may choose to drink a glass of all-natural pineapple juice to receive many of the same benefits.
Eating kelp and seaweed is an excellent way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake without boosting calories. These foods may also protect your heart and promote gut health because they contain high levels of fiber and antioxidants.
Luckily there are multiple types of seaweed, making it easy to incorporate them into your diet, regardless of which flavors your tastebuds prefer. Enjoy seaweed by using large sheets as bread or wrap substitutions. You can also add them to soups or enjoy them on their own as a snack.
6. Ancient Grains
Most people haven’t heard of ancient grains. Yet, this category of superfood is packed with nutritious options like farro, millet and amaranth, all of which are rather simple to prepare and eat. They also contain high amounts of protein, fiber, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
The most common way to prepare ancient grains is to boil them. Use them as a substitute for rice or quinoa and add them to southwest bowls, salads and soups if you’re feeling adventurous.
7. Pickle Juice
Anyone who’s ever used pickle juice to cure a hangover knows just how powerful the stuff can be. That leftover juice at the bottom of the jar contains electrolytes, which help you rehydrate after exercise — or enjoying one too many. So, while pickle juice isn’t necessarily a food, it can do wonders for your health.
For best results, choose a vinegar-based pickle without dye or preservatives. Then, add it to smoothies, salad dressings or other juices. Pickle lovers can also drink it straight from the jar. However, you’ll do best to only drink a few ounces as each one contains a whopping 300mg of sodium.
Finding The Most Beneficial Foods
If you weren’t aware of the health benefits of pickle juice and pineapple, you may be at a loss when making your grocery list. How many other items are brimming with hidden nutrients? Well, luckily it doesn’t take much research to realize that fresh, whole foods are the most nutrient-dense and, therefore, the best choice for your mind and body.
So hit the fruit and vegetable aisle and try to avoid packaged foods. Doing so will limit your shopping to the most healthful sections of the grocery store so you make better dietary choices overall.