Incorporating healthy foods into your daily diet isn’t always easy. It often takes time to prepare and sometimes costs a little extra cash, either of which we don’t always have in abundance. However, the health benefits of adding fruits and vegetables to your meal are so great I encourage you to try to squeeze them in.
Below is a list of some of my favorite go-to snacks and sides:
Artichoke stems from the bud of variety of thistle, which if not harvested will blossom into an inedible flower. They are generally prepared by slicing off the top of the stem and steaming.
It is low in calories, high in dietary fiber and rich in antioxidants. It has been shown to inhibit cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, promote bone health, boost immune health, protect against heart disease, provide indigestion and upset stomach relief and improve liver function.
Most everybody has some sort of bad childhood memory involving brussels sprouts, but you may just want to give these little green leafy balls another chance. If you’ve had a bad experience, chances are your chef didn’t know how to properly prepare them. When overcooked they not only loose a lot of their nutritional value but become mushy and emit a sulfur scent.
Brussels sprouts are a nutrient rich, low-calorie cruciferous vegetable. They are said to decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease while increasing bone and eye health as well as energy level. Just one serving meets the suggested daily Vitamin C and K requirements.
Inside the thick round, inedible skin of a pomegranate are sweet little edible seeds called arils. Although they can be a bit of work to eat, they should not be overlooked as they are an excellent source of antioxidants. If you want to avoid the hassle of eating them consider turning them into juice.
Pomegranates have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties helping to reduce arthritis and joint pain. They help ward off cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, help prevent obesity, fight bacterial and fungal infections as well as reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
If you can get over the odd appearance of this red, spiky, sea-urchin looking fruit, you’re in for a real treat. Simply slice it open to pop out the white oval shaped fruit flesh. The taste is sweet and juicy similar to that of a grape. Be weary of the seed inside which is inedible.
Rambutan has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. It helps fight infection, lessen body fat, hydrate skin and promotes healthy hair and bones.
Sweet potatoes are an easy switch for classic potatoes as a side dish with a slew of greater health benefits. They are very versatile and are easily prepared in a variety of ways including baked, mashed and fried.
The powerful antioxidants in sweet potatoes help protect against cancer and heart disease and decrease stress levels. It also boosts the immune system warding off viral infections, accelerates wound healing and prevent the effects of aging by promoting healthy bones, heart and skin.