Healthy eating diets may seem daunting at first, but you should concentrate more on adding healthy foods to eat than on avoiding unhealthy foods. Not only will this help you psychologically by not feeling deprived and helping to eliminate cravings, but it also keeps you physically full.
These are the top 5 healthy foods to eat, and if you think that you will never be able to enjoy them, think again! With a little thought, they can be made into delicious meals you can’t get enough of.
1 – Leafy Greens
Lettuce may not look like much, but it is a powerhouse of vitamins and has virtually no calories. Healthy meal plans usually involve lots of salad, but that can get boring. Other ways to enjoy leafy greens is to puree them into a soup, sauce, fruit smoothie or cook them into a stew or curry.
For yummy salads, you need to start with a great dressing. Make your own to avoid excess fat, or salt which stimulates appetite. Use flavorful ingredients like balsamic vinegar and garlic, or soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Adding chopped fruits or vegetables, or something warm and cooked, to your salad can make it a fun part of your healthy eating plan. Try cooked vegetables, grains, beans or eggs.
2 – Dark Green Vegetables
Dark green vegetables, like broccoli and kale, are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and give you 20-50% of their calories from protein. A healthy meal plan with a ratio of 15-20% protein is ideal for achieving healthy weight loss.
Lightly steaming broccoli and other dark green vegetables goes a long way in reducing their bitterness, but doesn’t leave them limp and boring. Make a delicious orange sauce and toss them with mandarin pieces, or try a salty Teriyaki sauce to counter the slight bitterness.
3 – Whole Grains
Brown rice, whole wheat, millet and quinoa are whole grains. Whole grains are an important part of healthy eating plans for weight loss because they provide lots of energy, vitamins and minerals. They absorb water while they cook and have lots of fiber, so they add to your liquid intake and fill you up with bulk fairly easily.
There are so many delicious ways to use whole grains in healthy eating diets, like brown rice with tomato mushroom sauce.
4 – Spices
Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, cayenne and other spices are more than just a way to make other healthy foods to eat more delicious, but are healthy foods themselves!
Including them in a healthy eating diet plan adds valuable proteins and vitamins. They also help to stimulate digestion, working other foods through your system more efficiently.
5 – Sea Vegetables
With a slightly more appealing name than seaweed, sea vegetables include things like kelp, nori, wakame and hijiki. The have been part of a vegetarian recipes and vegan diet plans for a long time, but they are becoming more mainstream. All sea vegetables are rich in minerals, but kelp is the best source of iodine out there, a mineral that supports your thyroid gland. Since the thyroid is in charge of your metabolism, keeping it strong is crucial to healthy eating plans for weight loss.
An easy way to work kelp into a healthy diet plan is to add dried powder to your salt shaker. If you have a grinder, you can add the flakes. This is also handy to reduce the amount of salt you eat.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring, and should focus on increasing the proportion of healthy foods to eat. The ideas above are just the beginning – get creative and learn to love the foods that are the healthiest!
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Heather Nauta is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps women (and men) get on and stay on a healthy diet and healthy weight loss plan. She shows you how to make simple, fast, incredibly delicious, nutritionally-balanced meals that leave you and your family satisfied and full of energy.