You must have heard about how you should strictly limit your intake of sugar, white bread, junk, processed, deep fried and excessively fatty foods, among other things. Every other day we hear about how some commonly available edible foods are not safe for our consumption, thanks to excessive industrialization and rigorous treatment of food items. With all the options that you should steer clear of, it seems like healthy foods are limited and rare. One cannot just survive on fruits and vegetables, after all!
However, here is a list of some common superfoods around you that nature has blessed us with. Get rid of junk food packets with their artificial trans-fat and harmful preservatives! There are great healthy natural options that will surely benefit you instead.
A whole grain by nature, this all-time favorite food in its plainest version is one of the best foods you can ever have for a low calorie yet nutritious snack. Rich in vitamins E and B, popcorns provide an abundance of disease-fighting polyphenols, according to the University of Scranton report. Healthy oils, protein and dietary fibers are also part of this healthy snack.
However, we’re talking about the non-caramelized, stove-popped version. Avoid microwave popcorn since its steam can be harmful, and go easy on the salt, sugar and flavorings, since those will make it junk food!
Eat It Like This: Use whole kernels, air popped or popped in a bit of oil. Lightly drizzle with some sea salt or Himalayan Pink Salt for more nutritious value.
This sunset-yellow Indian spice has long been used as a medicinal herb. Its key active ingredient is curcumin, which has highly potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Since normal turmeric has only 3% curcumin by weight, supplements are available to avail its maximal benefits which include prevention of degenerative age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer and heart disease. It is also said to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of depression.
Eat It Like This: Add a pinch to gravy with whatever food you are having, make turmeric tea, or get a turmeric/curcumin supplement.
Himalayan Pink Salt
This increasingly popular salt is becoming a staple in many households, thanks to the plethora of health benefits it is said to offer. Many have gone as far as replacing regular table salt with Himalayan Pink Salt in their daily cooking. Even many industries are using pink salt in bulk quantities to make different Himalayan salt products.
This salt originates from ancient sea deposits in Khewra Salt Mines, Pakistan, and is known for its remedial properties in cases of respiratory disorders, allergies, low energy levels, high blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance etc. Topically or in the form of salt lamps, its uses seem endless. This salt is extracted by hands from its natural deposits and supplied without undergoing any chemical treatment or addition of preservatives, unlike regular table salt.
Eat It Like This: Grill your steak on Himalayan Salt blocks next time, use it as an alternative to regular table salt in cooking, have a diluted solution of Himalayan salt (sole) early in the morning, or sprinkle it over your favorite food for a gourmet feel.
We aren’t talking about regular yeast, this one is plant-derived and dehydrated! A rich source of the essential vitamins B-12 and folic acid, it also contains the nutritional equivalent of vitamins and minerals found in meat and dairy, making it a great source of healthy food for vegans. With its light salty/cheesy flavor, it can prove to be a great addition to any recipe!
Eat It Like This: Nutritional yeast can be added to anything and everything! Sprinkle it over homemade popcorn for an extra healthy snack.
In ancient Mayan language, the word ‘Chia’ literally means ‘strength’. They may seem tiny, but these are some power-packed seeds which are prized by fitness freaks worldwide for all the superior health benefits they have to offer.
A rich source of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2 and B3, a 2-tablespoon serving of chia seeds delivers 137 calories, with digestible carbohydrate content being only one gram.
These whole-grain, gluten-free and organically grown seeds are great for weight loss, bone health, reduction of blood sugar levels, boosting energy levels and treatment of inflammation along with the plethora of health benefits that come with their high antioxidant content.
Eat It Like This: 3 tablespoons full of chia seeds daily can do wonders for your health. Their bland flavor makes them easy to consume with any food – eat them raw, soaked in juice, or as an addition to cereal, pudding, baked goods, or rice dishes. Thicken sauces with chia seeds, or use them instead of eggs in recipes. The possibilities are endless!
It certainly is common knowledge that green leafy vegetables are good for you. But spinach deserves an exclusive mention due to its rich content of essential nutrients. Along with vitamins A, B6, 6, K, folate and niacin, other vitamins are also present in trace amounts in this healthy vegetable. It is also a good source of minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium.
Spinach owes its health benefits to all these nutrients. This is a great food option for eye health, bone health, strong muscles, fetal development, cancer prevention, hemophilia, maintenance of blood pressure and to provide an anti-inflammatory effect among other things and a variety of pigments.
Eat It Like This: Raw, as a salad, as a side dish or cooked with gravy, spinach is a versatile vegetable that will give you endless options for a meal.
With all the above said, it is also necessary to remember that you must take 8 to 12 glasses of water daily, and combine a healthy diet with an active lifestyle. Another thing to keep in check is your overall calorie intake, since even the healthiest of foods can sometimes be harmful in excess.
Now you know what to have for dinner next – cook some steak over a Himalayan Salt block, have some spinach salad on the side, and a chia-infused juice to top it all off. You can have popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast later as a snack if you feel hungry again. Delicious meals don’t always have to be unhealthy!
Hi, I am a blogger at ittefaqco.com. I like to share different aspects of my life. My aim is to create a beautiful, thriving life around me and helping others to do the same. I love writing about nature, health, beauty and home décor related topics.