At the beginning of every new year, Americans make resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier. Dieting truly is cyclical in our society, starting in January; stopping around Valentine’s Day; frantically starting up again in the summertime, and stopping in the fall until the beginning of another new year.
So this year, try to quit riding this roller coaster and resolve to eat healthily and focus on smaller portion sizes instead of cycling through different fad diets all year long. On this list, you will find 9 healthy foods and drinks that will help you do just that, and you’ll be right on track to being healthier, not just thinner:
Salmon – I can’t say enough about this great fish. The omega 3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for those who are stressed out because the omega 3 oils help keep brain cells healthy and reduce inflammation in the brain and other parts of the body, which helps us deal with stress better and keep our minds healthy and sharp. It also helps reduce our chances of getting certain types of cancer.
Heart disease, and Alzheimer’s; decreases our chances of becoming obese; and protects against deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. It seems like a new health benefit for this fish is being found every day! I guess that’s why Madonna has stated she’s “detoxing” her diet with salmon this year instead of “detoxing”, and we should all resolve to try and eat this healthy fish at least twice a week.
These little beans don’t get the credit they deserve! They’re packed with a very wide variety of antioxidants (they have more than most fruits and vegetables), which protect our cells from harm. They also help prevent lower cholesterol, lower your risk of having a heart attack, and are packed with protein and fiber. If you’re a vegetarian, you really should try to eat plenty of black beans, because they’re a perfect replacement for meat.
We always hear about how healthy blueberries are due to their high antioxidant content. But prunes are actually just as packed, if not even more so, with antioxidants. They protect against oxygen-related damage to cells. Help keep collagen production going, which means they’re great for helping to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. They also contain potassium and plenty of Vitamin A. And, of course, they are the perfect cure for those with digestive problems.
Tomatoes are one of the easiest things to incorporate into our diets, and they are absolutely loaded with health benefits. The lycopene in tomatoes protects us against a growing list of cancers, and tomatoes are yet another fruit that protects against heart disease. More lycopene is actually found in tomato products like soups, sauces, and even kinds of ketchup, so just look for organic products like these to incorporate into your diet. Tomatoes are also full of Vitamin C, and they’ve been shown to protect skin from sun damage. My favorite way to enjoy tomatoes is a big glass of V8, which is also loaded with other healthy vegetable juices.
Yes, that’s right. This year, drink more alcohol! But hold on just a minute; you can’t down half of the bottle in just one night. One glass of red wine for a woman and two for a man is the limit on this delightful drink to help protect our hearts and to get an increased dose of antioxidants from the grapes the wine is made of. This is because mixing alcohol with fruit juices increases the levels of antioxidants from the fruits, which is why wine is better than grape juice. So give into this guilty pleasure every night; just don’t overdo it!
Green or white tea
And no, I don’t mean the pre-bottled stuff. To get the healthy dose of antioxidants and cancer-protective properties of tea, you need to make it yourself. These two teas taste great sweetened with just a touch of honey. But if you drink them plain, you’re actually enjoying a calorie-free healthy treat. There are plenty of flavored green and white teas available now. Celestial Seasonings makes some pretty tasty fruity ones. There’s no need to deceive yourself into thinking that the bottled stuff is healthy. Benefits from green and white teas include great protection against heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, gum disease, liver disease, and obesity. So why aren’t you drinking it?
Popeye knew what he was talking about. Baby spinach leaves are wonderful in a summer salad, and boiled spinach is delicious with a little hot sauce or added to a stew or soup. And this little leaf packs a powerful punch! It not only helps protect us against heart disease and cancers like the other foods on this list, but also keeps our eyes, bones, and colons healthy, aids in mental function, and prevents iron deficiency.
Rye bread isn’t very popular in the U.S., but it should be. It is packed with more fiber than wheat and other popular grain products. It may be the easiest way to get a healthy dose of something a majority of Americans don’t get enough of. It’s the best bread a diabetic or menopausal woman could eat because it helps keep insulin levels steady. It can reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes by normalizing estrogenic activity. As an added plus, it can help with many of the health problems. That fruits and vegetables are mainly given credit for, like cancer and heart disease.
We’ve all been told nuts make a great snack because of the protein they contain. But vegetarians especially need to incorporate walnuts into their diets. This is because, like salmon, walnuts contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. They also help prevent weight gain, cancer and heart disease, gallstones, and high blood pressure. Walnuts make a great snack for those who have sleeping problems. Because they contain melatonin, which helps you have a peaceful, natural night’s sleep.
So for better health, this year, have a salad with baked salmon, baby spinach, salsa. Black beans, and walnuts every once in awhile and make your sandwich for lunch with rye bread instead of white. When you’re craving something sweet, eat a prune or two instead of a piece of candy. Have a cup of green tea or a glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day. It’s really not as hard to incorporate a few extremely healthy items into your diet. As you would think, and by next year, you should be able to make a non-food related New Year’s resolution.