For some reason, people envision what a healthy diet should look like in the worst way possible. The most common image is of an array of bland food, fibrous vegetables, and protein sources with no texture. While such a diet could certainly be deemed healthy in some regards, it is an absolutely unsustainable undertaking for most people.
Yet before you give up on a diet altogether, there is some great news. Many of the foods you eat on a daily basis are actually incredibly healthy. Others, including some that you would never expect, possess some amazingly beneficial properties. Discussed below are several foods that you should integrate into your diet for both flavor and nutrition.
The pineapple is often viewed as a tropical indulgence, most often used to adorn an exotic drink when relaxing beachside. Yet in reality, pineapples have high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and various enzymes. These combine to drastically reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Recent research has indicated that eating just half a cup of pineapple a day can help protect against colon cancer, macular degeneration, and arthritis. It is obviously healthiest when consumed independent of alcohol; look for the fresh, rather than canned, variety whenever possible.
This one should be a no-brainer. In fact, if you are cooking with anything other than Olive Oil these days (vegetable oil and palm oil come to mind), you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to make a meal significantly more healthy. Olive Oil is extremely high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are both good for you and prevent inflammation.
In fact, a single serving has been as effective as a handful of Advil. Use it whenever a recipe calls for vegetable oil, or simply drizzle it over some pasta to add nutritional value.
Bing Cherries taste great on practically everything. They can be added to yogurt, cereal, and even ice cream. While they are comparatively high in sugar, a recent study has found that eating them can lower your risk of tendinitis, gout, and arthritis as well. They also seem to be able to prevent some chronic illnesses and metabolic disease.
Next time you have a chocolate craving, abandon the milk chocolate for the dark variety. Dark chocolate is extremely high in flavonoids, which reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and various embolisms. Dark chocolate also seems to help reduce your cholesterol levels, even though it is comparatively high in saturated fat. Avoid eating too much; just the right amount will provide a nutritional boost without exceeding your caloric limitations.
A spice that adds only negligible calories to your food, turmeric is extremely high in one particular polyphenol (one that is also responsible for its flavor and color). Curcumin helps fight inflammation, arthritis, and a variety of other conditions. Recent research has also shown that it can help prevent the plaques that are so commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Add it to chicken, fish, or practically any other protein source for flavor and a litany of excellent health benefits.