The summer heat seems to intensify cravings for foods that are good for the soul, but not necessarily great for your body. It’s hard to make healthy choices when you can practically taste a juicy burger with fries or a decadent, creamy milkshake as you drive by the local diner. In comparison to these heavenly treats, most healthy options don’t sound satisfying in the slightest – but there are some diamonds in the rough! Read on for twelve satisfying gems.
The rumors are true! One of our universal guilty pleasures is chock full of antioxidants. It also improves blood flow, which promotes more efficient circulation, a stronger mind, and a healthier body. To take advantage of all of the awesome benefits that dark chocolate has to offer, munch on bars with a cocoa content of 70% or higher.
Pour yourself a glass, gather your friends to watch the latest episode of ‘The Bachelorette’, and celebrate! There have been a ton of studies done regarding all the benefits that wine has to offer. One study states that “light drinkers who consumed wine cut their risk of dying prematurely by almost one third, and wine drinkers as a group had significantly lower mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer”. Raise a glass!
I’m utterly thrilled that one of my biggest vices could turn out to be one of my best virtues. Caffeine is great – it perks us up and improves brain function. If you drink it straight, it can help you burn fat, although I’m a fan of sugary, blended coffee drinks myself. Coffee also has the potential to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neurodegenerative diseases, allowing us to live longer, fuller lives. Brew some over ice early in the morning to strengthen your mind and tackle your day!
Dark, leafy greens have always been good for you, and spinach is no exception. Use it as a base for a tasty salad or toss it with some pasta. Not only is spinach super vibrant, low in calories, and refreshing, it’s insanely good for you. It can help manage diabetes, prevent cancer, and promote healthy skin and hair. It’s also very nutrient dense, full of essentials like potassium, magnesium, and folate.
Revamp your morning routine by starting off your day with a cup of hot lemon water! It’s hard for me to keep up with my water because it’s a very neutral flavor. While refreshing, it’s not super exciting – but adding in some lemon jazzes things up a bit. Not only that but it kick starts your digestive system and promotes weight loss.
These things are amazing. Not only do they help you live longer, but they also promote the tightening of skin tissue, which can make you look younger – bonus! Blackberries have anti-inflammatory properties and a ton of Vitamin K – which helps blood to clot and works as a muscle relaxer. A new, healthy, all-natural period remedy? Check!
B is for bananas! And, their benefits. The nutrients in bananas moderate blood sugar levels, and at about 90-110 calories a piece, bananas are a great snack to keep your metabolism revved up in between larger meals. They’re full of potassium and taste amazing. Chop them up in a bowl with some other fresh fruit or make a killer smoothie to beat the heat!
Want to be healthier? Want to live longer? Then you need catechins, friend. Catechins are chemical compounds that fight and prevent cell damage, and green tea is full of these bad boys. Drink up!
These are super yummy and crazy good for you. Almonds are great to eat raw, thrown into some salad, or even baked into some cookies. Almonds curb hunger and promote weight loss because of their healthy fat, fiber, and protein content.
These delicious berries contain tons of Vitamin C, which is key for boosting immunity. A stellar immune system is essential for living healthier, stronger, and longer. Eat them as they are, chop them up and throw them in a bowl with blackberries and bananas, or blend them up with some other super foods to create a yummy smoothie. Strawberries are low calorie, fat-free…what more can you ask for?
If you can find a brand that you like, this is definitely something that you should incorporate into your diet. It’s a fantastic source of protein and helps to keep you regular. It’s also full of iodine, which contributes to proper thyroid and metabolism function.
Kiwis are nutrient dense, meaning that they are high in nutrients but low in calories. Amazing! Enjoying some kiwi fruit in the summer can help maintain healthy skin, reduce blood pressure, and even prevent heart disease. And, they taste incredible.
What are you waiting for, ladies? Perk up and chow down!