Too often, snacks that appear to be healthful are actually loaded with sugar, saturated fat, and carbohydrates. This is why we hand-picked the most nutritious, delectable, and simple-to-prepare foods. In fact, rule number one for adhering to a healthy diet is to avoid monotony, and these nutritious ingredients will keep you on your toes (promise)!
One thing that all of these nutritious foods have in common is that they all have a core component, such as a fruit, vegetable, grain, or dairy product. This is the common denominator. This means that there should be no prepackaged products that contain a big list of ingredients, some of which are peculiar sounding.
If the food you consume is uncomplicated, unprocessed, plant-based, and uses few additives or preservatives, you will enjoy exceptional health. (Literally.)
Oats are beneficial for controlling cholesterol levels, preventing heart disease, and keeping you feeling full until lunchtime because of the soluble fiber content they contain. Consider vintage or steel-cut variations.
For a savory breakfast, try this oatmeal recipe with spinach and poached eggs instead of the traditional toppings of sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle cooked oats with olive oil and top with grated Parmesan.
One-half cup of avocado contains nearly 20 percent of the daily value of fiber and cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated lipids.1
Try out: Cut an avocado in half, drizzle with soy sauce and fresh lime juice, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds for a side dish. Or consider avocado crostini.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, the fats that lower poor cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL).
Pack a fistful of walnuts, a handful of dried figs, and a few anise seeds for a nutritious on-the-go snack. (As the rest of the ingredients, anise emits its flavor.
As a substitute for beef, meaty mushrooms can reduce an entrée by up to 400 calories.
Try this: both the mushrooms and the scallions need to be cooked until they are soft. Add a splash of white wine, then continue to boil the mixture until all of the liquid has evaporated. Serve atop chicken or seafood that has been roasted. Alternatively, you might try the White Mushroom Pizza.
5. Greek Yogurt
Rich in probiotics (bacteria that may improve digestion and boost immunity), this extra-thick yogurt style may contain eight grams more protein per serving than unstrained yogurt.2
Try out: Combine with cumin powder, cucumber, garlic, and cilantro. Serve with poultry prepared on the grill. Alternatively, you can attempt Buffalo Cauliflower with Yogurt Ranch.
Egg whites are a good source of protein and have very few calories, as well as no fat or cholesterol. Although egg yolks have a poor image, they are an excellent source of vitamins B12 and A. Additionally, egg yolks contain choline, which is an important ingredient for women who are pregnant.3
Check out: To make a delicious sandwich, use bread made with whole grains, slices of hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, anchovies, and red onion, and drizzle it all with olive oil. You may also try some roasted Italian eggs.
Young soybeans are one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein and include more fiber per serving than shredded wheat cereal. Furthermore, young soybeans are one of the few forms of complete protein that contain all nine essential amino acids that our systems are unable to create themselves.
Try out: Blend cooked edamame with garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice to create a condiment similar to hummus. Or, try the Edamame, Lemon, and Tarragon Risotto.
This fruit is a fantastic source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, and each ounce of this fruit has more vitamin C than an orange does.
Try out: Slice thinly, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with desiccated, toasted coconut.
9. Sweet Potatoes
The darker these tubers are, the more antioxidant beta-carotene they contain.
Try out: Apples and sweet potatoes can be steamed as a side dish. Combine maple syrup and pulverized red pepper in a blender. Alternatively, try one of these 48 sweet potato recipes.
This verdant green is loaded with calcium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and numerous other antioxidants. Additionally, kale is an excellent source of lutein, an eye-healthy nutrient that may delay the progression of macular degeneration.4
Make kale crisps by shredding the leaves and tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp. Alternatively, try Quinoa With Mushrooms, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes.
Another item that is high in fiber and helps reduce cholesterol. On weeknights, opt for the pearl or quick-cooking variation of the dish. More time? You might like hulled barley better because of the additional cereal layer it contains.
Try cooking barley with sautéed mushrooms and sherry vinegar. Or try Barley and Peas with Chicken Thighs.
This winter squash contains antioxidants that promote healthy skin, and its potassium content helps reduce blood pressure.5
Try out: Peel, cut into pieces, and roast with olive oil and thyme sprigs. Try Pumpkin-Leek Soup as well.
13. Nut Butter
The monounsaturated fats found in peanut butter and almond butter, in particular, are great sources of monounsaturated fats, which are good to the health of the cardiovascular system. In any of the snacks that you select, the only ingredients that should be present are almonds and salt.
Try out: Mix with soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar to create a dipping sauce for chicken satay in the Asian style.
hard is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, B vitamins, and beta-carotene. This leafy green also provides your body with fiber.
Try out: Sauté chard and garlic, then combine with whole-grain pasta and raisins. Alternatively, try Swiss Chard with Chickpeas and Couscous.
Made from steamed, desiccated, and cracked wheat, bulgur provides more fiber than brown rice, in addition to potassium, B vitamins, and calcium.
Try out: Cook bulgur similarly to porridge. Breakfast or a scrumptious snack topped with honey and chopped almonds. Alternatively, try Salmon and Cucumber Bulgur Salad With Mint.
16. Whole-Grain Pasta
Whole-grain pasta contains three times as much fiber per serving as semolina-based pasta. Avoid pasta that is labeled “multigrain,” as it may contain grains that are not necessarily whole.
Try out: Toss pasta made from whole grains with pesto, arugula, and lemon essence. Or try Spaghetti Made With Whole Grains, Kale, and Tomatoes.