When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, we often hear all about what people are giving up. Instead, for 2019, we’d like to add a little something to our routines. We’ve come up with a list of foods that you can easily integrate into your current diet to help make 2019 a little bit healthier. Make sure to consult with your nutritionist to make sure these are congruent with your current health and fitness plans.
Aside from being a delicious fruit, blueberries are full of antioxidants and they’re high in Vitamin C C – which is probably how they made their way to the top of the superfood list for many nutritionists. It’s also been said that blueberries can help maintain brain function and improve memory. These are a great post-exercise snack because they can reduce muscle damage and minimize soreness.
Okay so when it comes to coffee, we’re definitely NOT talking about sugar-filled lattes or peppermint mochas, but black coffee can actually add a lot of health benefits to your lifestyle. Studies have shown that caffeine stimulates your nervous system, signaling fat cells to break down and improving physical performance. Also, coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
On the non-physical side of things, a Harvard study indicated that those who drank 4 cups of coffee or more per day were 53% less likely to die from suicide. Keep your brain healthy too!
Brown rice is high in fiber and gluten-free, and the best thing about it is that it’s super versatile. Brown rice can be incorporated into a variety of dishes and only has trace amounts of fat and sodium. Whole grains like this improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. This highly nutritious food is the perfect base or complement to any lunch or dinner.
We love Greek Yogurt because it makes the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. It’s filled with protein and can help you repair muscle after a tough workout and it also keeps your skin healthy as you get older. It’s also stacked with probiotics that help keep your digestive system on track. If the texture of Greek Yogurt keeps you from adding it to your diet, try incorporating it into a smoothie or substituting sour cream for greek yogurt in your next recipe.
A personal favorite? Add some fruit to your greek yogurt and freeze it for the perfect dessert.
While bananas are famous for their potassium, avocados actually have even more potassium than bananas! Having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk for heart attacks. Avocados are one of the fattiest plant foods, but the fat in this food can actually help you absorb the nutrients of the other foods you’re eating.
A lot of veggies need to be combined with a fat in order to be utilized, so add a little avocado to your salad to make sure you’re getting the full benefits of your healthy lunch!
A lack of iron in your diet can affect the way you use energy – which is why you should fill your diet with spinach. Spinach can help lower your blood pressure and it’s also good for your bone health. It can be a great base to a healthy salad for lunch, or a way to fill your smoothie with greens. (Pro tip: if you add enough flavorful fruit to your smoothie, you can’t even taste the spinach!)
Bananas are an instant energy booster. They’re high in fiber which can help keep you fuller for longer (and keep you from being hungry until your next meal). They’re a powerhouse of nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and more. And? Bananas are so easy to incorporate into your diet. Spread some peanut butter on them for a nice snack, add them to your breakfast cereal, or cook with them (we’re suckers for banana bread and banana muffins).
This easy snack-on-the-go can help assist you with blood sugar control. The perfect choice for those diagnosed with diabetes. They can also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce hunger, lowering your overall calorie intake. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. They require little to no preparation, which makes them the best snack for a busy lifestyle.
Cauliflower is super low in calories which means you can eat more of it without gaining weight. You can also use it to substitute for high calorie foods like rice or flour. Since it’s also full of fiber, it keeps you full for longer. You might eat it raw by dipping it some hummus or healthy vegetable dip, or combine it with bulkier meals like stir-fry or casseroles. Some people are using it to make a healthier pizza crust.
Kale is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin C (it has even more than an orange does). It can help lower your cholesterol and has numerous cancer-fighting substances. You can add Kale to your salads, or try it in your smoothies and soups if you’re not a fan of the texture.
A rich source of calcium, iron, fiber and Vitamin C, sweet potatoes help promote a healthy digestive system. They can be beneficial for your eyes as well. They’re an easy alternative to a traditional potato! Try having sweet potatoes as a side instead of fries or chips.
You heard us right. Dark chocolate can help improve your blood flow and lower blood pressure. It’s bioactive compounds even help protect you from the sun and increase skin hydration. There is also evidence that cocoa can provide health benefits like protection against heart disease.
Add this to your dessert menu!
Oats are incredibly nutritions – rich in both fiber and carbs. They also contain more protein and fat than most grains. They’re full with antioxidants and can help lower your cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control. Oatmeal is filling which helps keep you from too much snacking in between meals. They also help with skin care and help reduce childhood asthma.
Oatmeal can be the perfect breakfast. Add a little banana (or dark chocolate!) to the mix.
Quinoa has become massively popular among health-conscious people. It’s full with many nutrients and lots of fiber, and especially perfect for people with a gluten intolerance. It’s high in minerals like iron and magnesium and has beneficial effects on your metabolic health. The protein in quinoa helps increase your metabolism and reduce your appetite.
With the recent spike in quinoa popularity, finding ways to incorporate this into new recipes should be easy!