Improving your diet can seem so hard, people often think it requires rigid self-discipline and sacrifice. Cupcakes out, pizza out, treats out, sigh. But it doesn’t really have to be that way.
Sometimes making better decisions for your body can be about adding and not taking away. This may create a more flexible option for those looking for a health boost that feels like a bonus, not a burden.
Here are some foods you can add to your meal daily:
This oily fish, known for its bright pink color, is rich not only in healthy protein but also in omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit both your heart and your brain. It also provides you with bone-building vitamin D. Still, serving up salmon every day would be a stretch for most people. Aim instead to eat it at least once a week to reap the health benefits.
2. Brussels sprouts
These crunchy little green balls, which look like mini-cabbages, are nutrient-dense and low in calories — only 28 in half a cup. According to reports, they offer up a well-rounded group of vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, and Folate. Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts feature bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants, which are chemicals that help prevent cell damage inside your body.
Taste-wise, Brussels sprouts may be a controversial pick, because while they are certainly cute, some people find them bitter. If you are firmly in the ‘dislike’ camp, you can substitute other green vegetables for Brussels sprouts to get a similar nutritional boost. But keep an open mind. You can reduce the bitterness of Brussels sprouts by roasting them with a spritz of olive oil. Add some chopped nuts to the top for a little extra crunch and flavor.
Nuts are not only filling, but also provide an infusion of healthy oils, protein, and Vitamin E. Choose any type of nuts almonds, walnuts, even peanuts (technically a legume), or grab a handful of mixed nuts. Just make sure they are unsalted. But keep in mind these are a high-calorie treat. Depending on the type of nuts you choose, an ounce can ring in at least 200 calories or more, so limit daily intake to get the benefits without packing on any extra pounds.
4. Plain yogurt
This creamy treat gives you a dose of probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that help keep your gut working properly and contribute to better overall health. Yogurt is a nutrient-rich food that fuels your body with protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, and some key fatty acids that your body needs to stay healthy. And if you choose a high-protein yogurt, it can keep you feeling full, which may help you trim your waistline.
While you may prefer flavored yogurts, it’s better to stick with plain. The problem with flavored yogurt is some of the brands out there have way too much sugar. Is plain yogurt too plain for your taste? Toss in some blueberries for added sweetness, or add nuts for some crunch.