It is a common misconception that in order to adopt a healthier diet, you need to give up on the foods you love. Yes, it’s important to watch out for processed junk, but there is no need to shun your favorite foods from your plate. By swapping out unhealthy ingredients for any of these super foods while you’re cooking or out to eat with friends, you will be taking charge of your health while still treating your body to some delicious eats.
Kick your salad up a notch without having to add fattening dressings by using spinach as your base. Not only does it have more texture and taste than lettuce, but it also blends with almost any salad combo and fills you with healthy nutrients, like fiber, vitamin A, and iron.
Though it may not be your most nutrient dense option for a salad, it is definitely a great upgrade for burgers and wraps. By replacing a bun or tortilla with large lettuce leaves such as romaine, you are not only cutting out some major empty carbs, but also adding vitamin K, which is essential for bone and blood health.
This truly is the super food to rule all super foods. Avocados first gained popularity among nutritionists thanks to their great taste and health benefits like vitamins C,E,K, and B-6, omega-3s, and magnesium. Take advantage of the many health perks of avocado by mixing it into smoothies, baked goods, or sandwiches as a replacement for mayonnaise or butter. You can even swap an avocado with the butter required for your favorite cookie recipes, and you will get a healthier, gooier cookie!
Utilize this cruciferous vegetable as a replacement for some of your favorite carb-filled meal ingredients, like pizza crusts and mashed potatoes. Rich in vitamins and minerals, cauliflower has many great health benefits, like dietary fibers and cancer-fighting sulforaphanes -which are way better than the food coma caused by those empty calorie carbs!
Coconut is the health food of the moment, but some critics say that it is too high in sugar to warrant such a foodie frenzy. However, coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and antimicrobial lipids, which are great for the immune system and kick starting weight loss. Opt for coconut oil instead of canola and vegetable oil the next time you are cooking or baking.
You finally have a guilt-free way to enjoy your favorite potato-fueled side dishes without the bloat! Loaded with vitamin A and potassium, they have fewer calories and a more natural taste than regular potatoes, so that you can fight cancer and keep your blood pressure low without having to give up your side of fries.
Greek yogurt is a great stand-alone breakfast, but it can also help keep you full and energized by replacing butter, sour cream, and cream cheese in your recipes. Turn to Greek yogurt before other yogurts, creams, and cheeses to get your daily recommended probiotics and potassium, which helps to balance out your sodium intake and keep your digestive system healthy.
While most of us haven’t eaten applesauce since our elementary school days, this blast from the past snack can be a great sugar replacement. Applesauce is chock full of natural sweeteners, and surpasses sugar in the health department with tons of fiber and vitamin C. Using this childhood favorite takes all of the guilt out of your favorite desserts and give a healthful boost to bakery favorites that typically have no benefits at all.
Another staple from our youth is milk, and it was hammered into our brains how essential it milk for healthy bones. But, for those of us who are lactose intolerant or don’t eat dairy, almond milk is a better option. Almond milk is high in protein and fiber and contains numerous vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect swap for cooking, baking, or drinking.
photo courtesy of Time.com