If you allowed yourself to stray too far from eating habits that can be considered healthy this year, use the changing season as an excuse to add some healthy foods to your diet to improve your overall health and well-being. Of course, it can also be helpful if those foods just happen to be things you’ll actually like. Luckily, there are some healthy foods that taste pretty darn good, too. Here are five of them.
1. Dark Chocolate
Plan to explore your options with dark chocolate in the summer The cacao beans in dark chocolate are loaded with antioxidants that help keep cells healthy. In addition to upping your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, dark chocolate is also chock full of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, and other good stuff.
Offering a savory butter flavor, pistachios are an excellent source of antioxidants, protein, and fiber. The one drawback about eating nutrient-packed nuts is the high calorie count, but this isn’t the case with pistachios. They also have more essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein – than any other type of nut.
You can’t beat the taste of a ripe, juicy pineapple. You’ll also be comforted to know this particular delicious fruit has an enzyme called bromelain that can help keep you digestive system healthy. And there’s evidence suggesting pineapples may boost immune system efficiency and bone strength and reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration.
4. Greek Yogurt
If you’ve avoided the Greek yogurt craze in recent years, consider giving into it soon. This delicious snack has plenty of muscle-feeding protein. It also has potassium, which helps to balances out your sodium levels. Plus, the microorganisms in Greek yogurt get rid of bad bacteria in your digestive system. And if you’re a vegetarian and deficient in B12, Greek yogurt can help with that as well.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Consider sweet potatoes a gift from Mother Nature that can keep on giving if you make it part of your diet. Sweet potatoes get their color from an abundance of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s converted to vitamin A – which is good for your eye health and a possible cancer deterrent – in your body. Low in calories, sweet potatoes are also packed with potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, and a trace mineral called manganese that plays a role in connective tissue and bone formation.
From ginger, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon to oregano, peppermint, and garlic, there are just as many palate-pleasing spices with proven health benefits that can be a tasty part of your diet. Further reduce your odds of being sidelined by illness or various aches and pains by making an effort to combine wise food choices with regular exercise.