Doing my weekly grocery shopping at one of my favorite stores, Trader Joe’s, I realized there are some amazingly healthy foods I need to start eating as often as possible. If we all included these 10 ingredients to our diets, I’m certain we would lose weight, have more energy, fight off colds, and who knows maybe even live longer. I for one haven’t been sick or had so much as a cold in years and I really think my diet has contributed to my bodies immune system. I think we should all keep these 10 ingredients in our homes at all times and start using them often!
130 calories 5g Fiber 10g Protein
Can you say wow, we all eat so much pasta, potatoes, refined carbs, these lentels make a great replacement and are so easy to make. I buy Red Lentels from Trader Joes and they cook in 10 minutes. I can just add salt and pepper or get fancy and add some diced veggies. I can’t tell you how yummy they are and they go great with so many dishes from salmon to baked chicken. They can also be a great vegetarian meal on their own or the perfect side dish. If even once a week you replaced Lentels with the typical rice and potatoes you would certainly start losing weight!
1/2 cup Serving, 270 calories, 10g Fiber, 7g Protein
Oh Barley where have you been all my life and why haven’t I been using you? I always loved Beef & Barley soup and just recently I found out how easy it is to make. In fact all soup is really easy to make. I’m becoming a firm believer in not wasting food and this was a perfect way for me to recycle my left over pot roast into a brand new meal. Next I plan on making wild mushroom and barley soup and finding out everything else I can make with barley. What I love best about this wheat is its texture, it doesn’t taste grainy or wheaty at all, but boy do those nutritional facts pack a punch! Trader Joes also makes a Barley that cooks in 10 minutes. In fact when I make soup I just pour it in with the veggies, simmer for 30-40minutes and they cook perfectly.
1 cup cooked, 36 calories, 3g fiber, 2g protein,
Daily Vitamin Requirements 180% Vitamin A, 200% Vitamin C, 1,020% Vitamin K
Ok now lets talk about why this vegetable is so important and popular! Check out those vitamins, especially Vitamin K which is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health. It’s been known to fight illnesses from cancer to Ahlzheimerz and per calorie Kale has more Calcium than Milk! Kale is so easy to make just saute with some olive oil, salt, pepper, onions, garlic. Or crisp them up for Kale chips, they go great in any soup, or cream them with your spinach.
4. Flax Seed or Chia Seeds
2tbls ground 55 Calories, 3g Fiber, 2g Protein, 2338mg Omega 3 Fatt Acids, 606mg Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Both Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds are all about their Omega 3 Fatty Acids. So lets talk about why Omega 3′s are so important for our diet. Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can boost heart health and lower triglycerides. And there are studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids may help with other conditions — rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and not to mention the benefits for our skin, hair, and nails! For more information on Omega 3 Fatty Acids visit http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet The most important factor is that essential fatty acids (ALA,DHA,EPA) are not made in the body or are inefficiently converted from ALA to EPA and DHA, we need to get them from our diet.
I prefer Flax seeds because frankly they are much cheaper and have almost the same nutritonal content. In fact I get my seeds pictures above from the 99 Cent Store!! And grind them in my magic bullet. When added to oatmeal, waffles, pancake, baking ect they are completely undetectable so why not add them? If you’re making pancakes add a big scoop and make those pancakes healthy!
What a simple and underrated ingredient that most of us don’t use nearly enough. And make sure its real cinnamon. Start sprinkling it on your food, in your baking, on your coffee, its even great in some soups and super easy to incorperate in many of the foods you already eat. There are in fact so many great benefits please read here for just a few http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html
These include butternut, acorn, pumpkin, spaghetti. Not only are they delicious but rich in B Vitamins and Carotene which has been proven to be beneficial at preventing cancer and lung disease. The carotene from squash can also help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Read more here http://www.livestrong.com/article/2701-facts-health-benefits-squash/ Squash is so easy to make why don’t most of us eat it more? Simply bake in the oven until soft with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and done. Squash makes great soups, spaghetti squash is a great substitute for you guessed it, and we all know the many many uses of pumpkin but get creative. Make pumpkin butter, icecream, use the puree in your pancakes, breads, waffles, pasta sauce, you name it get creative! When Tis the Season, take advantage and eat winter squash once a week!
7. Sweet Potatoes
Are 10x healthier than regular potatoes, so why don’t we make them more? In fact why don’t we always substitute sweet potatoes instead of regular? First they contain twice as much fiber as any other potato, contains your complete daily value of Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), and are high in vitamin B6, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and contain Iron. Simply put they are full of vitamins which white potatoes are not, they are also lower on the glycemic index and actually help lower your insulin levels instead of spiking them. If you switched to sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes you would experience permanent weight loss. Its a very healthy habit to start getting into and one I highly recommend instead of mashed potatoes or rice as a side dish.
8. Onions & Garlic
Not only do they make everything you cook taste better they are full of health benefits. Everyone who cooks should first add chopped onions and garlic into every meal. I add it to my sauteed vegetables, soups, sauces, pretty much everything and I truly think it has kept me healthy.These natural foods are full of chemicals that can help protect a person from a variety of infections, diseases and illnesses. Garlic and onions help to protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes, and a variety of cancers.
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9. Brussell Sprouts
Now some people don’t like them but I just don’t know why I LOVE them and they’re so good for you. There are 4 vegetables I cook regularly squash, broccoli, kale, & Brussell Sprouts. For a quick list of benefits visit here http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/11-health-benefits-of-brussels-sprouts.html they are full of fiber, vitamins, and are even said to help lower cholesterol. I love to jazz mine up by adding dried cranberries and chopped pistachios.
Did you know a little Kiwi actually has 2x the Vitamin C of an orange and contains more potassium than a banana? They are so yummy I am not sure why I don’t eat them more often. They go great in salads or just eaten by themselves. They are also full of minerals and folic acid, check out some more health benefits here http://www.ingredientsinc.net/2012/05/10-health-benefits-of-kiwifruit/#.URKwd6VJOAg they are truly a super fruit!
These 10 ingredients are so healthy for us, but not used nearly enough. I picked these 10 because I decided to make an extra effort to include all of these constantly available in my home to cook with, enjoy, and I hope you will too!