The food you eat plays a huge role in how the rest of your day pans out. If you feel unmotivated and sluggish at work, it might be because of the bad cookie habit you just can’t seem to break. When you eat right, you immediately start feeling happier, healthier and more energetic. While following a clean diet with whole foods in general immediately helps you feel better, there are certain foods which are particularly effective. Here are nine foods you should be eating for better health and vitality.
Mushrooms are one of the best sources of iron you can find. Often times, the reason why you’re always so tired is because your body is crying out for more iron. The best part about the iron found in mushrooms is that it’s bioavailable. Your body can utilize up to 90% of the total iron found in mushrooms. Mushrooms are especially important for diabetics. They contain a naturally occurring form of insulin which helps your body break down sugar.
2. Swiss Chard
If you’re tired of eating the same old greens, then add some Swiss chard into your rotation. Swiss chard is an excellent source of iron, it helps lower blood pressure, strengthens your bones, boosts your immunity and regulates your blood sugar levels. It also supports better cognitive function, which could help you stay alert through the day. Swiss chard is a strong tasting green, so it works better in stews and lentil soups instead as a standalone side.
No list of healthy foods is complete without mentioning avocados. Avocados are packed with nutrients which can help you have a great day. They’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids which give you a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Avocados also help you feel satiated, so you won’t be tempted to snack on unhealthy foods which can sabotage your productivity.
Blueberries are sweet, delicious little bites of goodness. These tiny berries do a lot more than make a great muffin. Blueberries are one of the highest sources of antioxidants known to us. Everyday we come across free radicals through pollution, contaminated foods and other factors. These molecules attach themselves to healthy cells in our body and weaken them. Everything from aging to cancer is caused by free radicals running through your body unchecked. The high antioxidant content of blueberries neutralizes free radicals and protects your health.
5. Fermented Foods
While fresh vegetables are wonderful for your health, you also need to eat vegetables that are a few weeks old-and technically partially decomposed. Fermented foods are full of bacteria which are essential for your good health. You might not be paying much attention to bacteria in your gut, but they can manipulate your mood, your weight and your overall health. Eating probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kimchi can help restore your gut balance.
6. Broccoli Sprouts
While fully grown broccoli gets all the limelight for being nutritious, baby broccoli sprouts might be even better for your health. Broccoli sprouts are 3-4 day old broccoli plants, that look like a mini version of broccoli. What makes them special is that they contain a compound called sulforaphane, one of the most potent cancer-fighting antioxidants we know. One study found that 3 day old broccoli plants had up to 100 times more sulforaphane than the adult vegetables. Including more broccoli sprouts into your diet can help keep you free from disease and fighting fit.
7. Cottage Cheese
A single cup of cottage cheese contains almost 25 grams of protein, which can help increase your strength and endurance. Cottage cheese also contains essential fats which can stave off hunger cravings for a long time. While we usually try to cut cheese out from our diet when we want to go healthy, this is one cheese that you definitely want to get more of. The best part about cottage cheese is that you can eat it straight out of the packet. This means you can use the energy it gives you to conquer the world, instead of wasting it on cooking.
8. Sweet Potato
When you need a burst of energy, there’s nothing better than a bowl of carbs. Sweet potato is a healthy carb which also includes essential beta-carotenes. Beta-carotenes which give sweet potato its signature orange color, maintain your cell integrity. They’re also a much better alternative to regular potatoes, which can give you an energy slump soon after you eat them. Cut sweet potato into wedges and roast them for a delicious, healthy snack.
If you ever feel like curling up and taking a nap in the middle of the day, peel a banana instead. Bananas are nature’s very own energy bars. They contain fruit sugars which are easily digested by your body, giving you an instant boost of energy. They also contain many essential vitamins, so if your tiredness stems from a deficiency, bananas can get to the root of it.