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It is easy to get confused with all the healthy diets and super ingredients you need to incorporate into your diet today. From Keto diets to protein shakes, it can overwhelm the best of us. But eating healthy is more about consistently eating foods that are good for you, than what diet you’re on. Aim for the right ratio of vitamins, minerals, and food groups.
There is a notion that healthy food is bland and unpalatable, leading many people to prefer takeouts and eating at restaurants. However, the truth is you can make your food healthy, delicious, and fun by using different cooking techniques and incorporating unique spices from around the world.
What to Incorporate in Your Diet to Stay Healthy
Core food categories must be present in every meal to ensure your food is healthy and delicious. Most of these food categories can be catered for by eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and protein. But what is actually in these food groups that help you stay healthy?
Fiber helps you feel fuller, which can help you lose or maintain weight. It helps with digestion and reduces the chances of indigestion and bloating. Fiber also helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Foods that are high in fiber include:
- Fresh vegetables
- Whole grains
- A salad with fresh vegetables such as carrots and lettuce is an excellent way to increase the fiber content in your diet if you are not a fan of cooked veggies. Fruits like mangos and pineapples with a bit of chili pepper give an amazingly tangy twist to your salad side while adding fiber and nutrients at the same time to your diet.
- An oatmeal breakfast is a quick and affordable way to increase fiber in your diet, and it pairs well with a mug of whole bean coffee.
Potassium is an electrolyte that has many benefits for the body. It helps with muscle contraction. Therefore a potassium deficiency can make you feel fatigued and lead to cramping. Potassium also helps with the PH level of the body and fluid balance to ensure cells are healthy. Foods that are high in potassium include:
- To ensure you have enough potassium in your diet, try eating non-processed food, preferably cooked at home. Most foods are naturally high in potassium, but processing can lead to lower potassium concentrations.
- Incorporate avocados(or guacamole) and yogurt into your salads. They offer an amazing taste and have high levels of potassium.
Magnesium is one of the most overlooked minerals in many people’s diets. However, a deficiency in magnesium can cause both social and health problems. Lack of magnesium has been linked to depression, anxiety, headaches, lack of sleep, and fatigue. It can lead to mood swings and even nervous system problems. Foods that are high in magnesium include:
- Dark Chocolate
- Cashew nuts
- Even though it can be expensive, try to consume and cook with mineral water. Mineral water usually has a higher concentration of essential minerals, particularly magnesium.
- Make a green smoothie by blending spinach and kale. Throw in cashew nuts and peanuts for additional taste, fiber, and minerals.
- Make tasty curries with either blended peanut butter or cashew to give it a nutritious and creamy thick sauce high in magnesium.
- Coffee can help you by providing both magnesium and potassium in your diet. If you are not a fan of coffee, try this cold coffee homemade recipe.
Here Are a Few Foods You Should Avoid in Your Diet
Limit sugars: excess sugars can cause weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Since sugar is still important for a healthy lifestyle, try to get most of your sugar from fruits.
Reduce saturated fats: Fats in your diet are an alternative source of energy. However, saturated fats are often stored in the body leading to weight gain. Consume healthy fats by eating avocados, nuts, and seeds. Avoid fatty meat, whole milk, and full-fat cheese.
Reduce sodium: table salt is a leading cause of high blood pressure and heart disease. Great healthy table salt alternatives include lemon juice and vinegar.
An affordable, convenient way to ensure that you consume less sodium and saturated fats and limit the sugar you take is by buying healthy frozen meals.
Spices and Their Benefits
|Spice||Popular Regions||Common Foods||Health benefits|
|– Rice dishes|
|– It contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that helps with heart diseases, brain diseases, and arthritis.|
|Cinnamon||– South Asia|
– North Africa
– North and South America
|– Hot beverages |
– Baked foods like cakes and muffins
|– Regulating blood pressure |
– Lowering cholesterol
– Reducing heart disease risk
|Garlic||– Worldwide||– Stir-fries|
– Meat dishes
– Roasted veggies
|– Garlic is an antioxidant that can help control blood pressure and better your immune system.|
|Cayenne pepper||– Central and South America|
– The Caribbean
– West Africa
|– Boosts the immune system|
– Helps regulate blood pressure
|– Meaty foods|
– Pasta Soups
– Helps fight bacteria
– Supports the immune system
Evidently, many ethically viable ways exist to cook tasty, nutritious, and healthy food. Almost every region in the world has its unique blend of spices that helps them create a flavor distinct to them.
For example, Thai chicken with satay is a peanut butter sauce-infused meal. The chicken is cooked with peanut butter and chilies to give it a sweet and sour taste. It is a healthy meal common in many Thai homes yet sounds exotic in other regions. It contains garlic, turmeric, lime, and other spices we have mentioned above.
Coconut curry is another exciting and simple dish that originates in India and is common in that region of the world. It contains ginger, and garlic coconut cream, making it high in fiber.
The best part about cooking with ethnic flavors and spices is that you can experiment and develop a recipe you enjoy. In the end, it will still be healthy and nutritious.