If your New Year’s resolution was healthy eating, you might be focused on what you’re removing from your diet (chocolate, chips, butter, joy). But it might be more fun to think about what you’re going to add to your menus instead. After all, the key to eating healthy is balance. You can indulge once in awhile (there really is no point to living a life without ice cream), but it’s also important to fill your diet with energy-boosting edibles that are good for your body.
Not sure where to start? These four foods are a smart addition to almost any diet.
This perfectly pink fish has been lauded for its many health benefits. It’s a prime source for Vitamin B, which boosts both energy and your immune system; as well as Vitamin D, which according to MSN.com, helps stave off cancer, depression, and heart disease.
Salmon’s biggest sell though, is its Omega-3 benefits. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, one 4-ounce serving of salmon contains around 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which is more than most adults consume from the rest of their diet over several days. Omega-3′s are vital to cardiovascular, eye and joint health.
Though chock-full of healthy goodness, salmon is also packed with calories. Shape reports that one serving of salmon filet has a whopping 734 calories. Keep your portions in check, don’t eat it everyday, and skip cooking it in butter to avoid adding to the calorie count.
Kale, though not quite as popular as its green leafy brethren, packs a major nutritional punch. One cup of kale provides 1,000 percent of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin K, which can help reduce cancer risk. It’s also rich in Vitamins A, C, and B6, which are essential for a healthy skeletal, nervous and immune system. It aids vision and digestion as well.
Kale can be boiled, sauteed or even thrown in a salad. Picky eaters who cringe at the sight of green vegetables can get their daily dose by adding it to a fresh juice or smoothie.
While cashews, peanuts, and pistachios get all the glory, almonds are actually the group’s nutritional superstar. These babies are packed with Vitamin E, which promotes brain and skin health. Not only that, almonds are also considered fat-blasters: According to Self, a study done at Loma Linda University in California found that dieters who chomped on almonds daily, “shed 62 percent more weight and 56 percent more fat than those who didn’t.” That’s as good a reason as any to skip the chips and grab a handful of roasted (not salted) nuts instead.
Almonds taste great as a garnish in salads, rice dishes, and even on oatmeal. You can also reap the health benefits of almonds by switching out cow’s milk for almond milk and peanut butter for an almond spread.
Don’t let this fruit’s size deceive you — the blueberry packs a mighty wallop when it comes to nutrition. According to the U.S. Blueberry Council, this delicious fruit is a great source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Blueberries are also rich in antioxidants that are needed to neutralize free-radicals linked to causing cancer, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases.
Eat them by the fistfull or sprinkle them on cold cereal, oatmeal, in your morning yogurt, or even use them as a salad topper. Blueberries also make a yummy addition to juices and smoothies.
Adding these food powerhouses to your diet will help you get the nutrition you need to lead a healthy, and delicious, life.
Please comment and tell us what’s on your healthy-dining menu this year.