Looking to get healthier by eating natural foods? In this article, we take a look at some of the best natural foods that you may not have heard of.
Lots of people say they want to get healthy and improve their diet. But actually doing so seems too big of a next step. For all the will in the world, they just can’t change their mindset, or they can’t lose their bad habits.
And in a world of TV dinners that are ready in just five minutes, it’s hard to blame them.
Especially when you throw in sodas that are just so addictive.
But if you want to get more vitamins, antioxidants and minerals into your body, you need to start eating more natural foods. These foods reduce your risk of developing scary diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, and they also make you feel good, both inside and out.
Let’s take a look at 10 little know natural foods that come with some seriously spectacular benefits.
You may be asking, “Eda-WHAT?”
Edamame is actually just a fancy word for soya beans, which is what these lush green beans are exactly.
You’ll find edamame beans listed on all the top muscle-building blogs because they’re a fantastic way of helping you to boost your muscle mass. All you do is boil them and away you go.
Just a single half-cup of edamame beans contains 9.5 grams of fibre and 11 grams of protein. If you find the taste a bit bland (although they really are yummy), spread them on toast with hummus. YUM.
Okay, everyone has heard of blueberries (we hope). But are you aware that you really should be eating more of them because they come with lots and lots and lots of benefits?
Blueberries are super easy to eat. You can add them to your morning bowl of oatmeal or just munch away on them by themselves as a healthy snack.
They’re really beneficial. They can reduce inflammation, and they also protect your cells from damage. Stuffed with all kinds of essential minerals and vitamins, they also boost your immune system and reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.
If you want to mix up your berries, add red berries. Red berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, are rich in a phyto-chemical that can lower your risk of developing some seriously nasty diseases, such as cancer. It also protects you from bad toxins that are swirling around the environment. Very cool.
Yes, yes. Everyone has heard of tea. Your mom probably drinks it by the gallon, and you yourself probably can’t get through a whole day without sipping on a cup of earl grey.
But there are many different types of tea, and each one comes with their own unique and powerful health benefits.
For example, chamomile tea is known for its soothing effects. It calms you down and reduces stress. Perfect for whenever a day is threatening to get on top of you.
Green tea, meanwhile, can boost brain function, help you to lose weight, and also reduce your risk of infection.
And then there is green tea, which looks after your digestive system and keeps things ticking over down there.
And how about the delicate, exotic jasmine tea? Jasmine tea has been shown to act as a deterrent to heart disease, and cancer. It can also boost your alertness in the same way that coffee can.
Cantaloupe doesn’t seem to be the most popular fruit, but we’re a bit miffed as to why. Okay, so it doesn’t look like the most comely of fruits. If anything, it looks like a small boulder that the builders have left behind in your garden. But crack one open and you’ll get a sweet taste that comes with a few health kicks.
Cantaloupe, like bananas, is rich in potassium. It’s also rich in vitamin A, and can reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.
Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it contains all the essential amino acids. This basically means that it’s absolutely cram-packed with protein. It contains double the amount of fibre that most other grains contains, and is rich in iron. It’s a must-have.
If the thought of dried fruit usually makes you feel a bit gross, it’s time to change your mindset. Far from being “eew”, dried fruit is tasty and stuffed with all kinds of health benefits.
Yes, dried fruit is high in sugars, but it’s the natural kind. Moreover, they’re generally a good source of carbs, which means they are ideal if you need a shot of energy. And since they’re fruits, you can always rely on them for potassium, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
The best ones include raisins, mangoes and apricots. Add them to your morning cereal or breakfast, or just chew on them throughout the afternoon as a snack.
Fancy an alternative to spinach? Try kale, which is smiler to spinach in colour and texture, but which has more health benefits. Kale has no fat, few calories, and can fight against asthma and arthritis.
All nuts are good for you. But while nuts are generally a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, brazil nuts go the extra yard by adding selenium.
Selenium is a key mineral that you’ll also find in tomatoes. It boosts your immune system, and can also minimise your risk of developing certain cancers and heart disease.
As a bonus, brazil nuts are a good source of health fats, which reduce your bad cholesterol levels.
Grapes come in many different colure – red, blue and even purple. All are good for you, and you should consider adding them all to your weekly shopping cart.
The darker ones carry the biggest benefits, as they are richer in antioxidants that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
Grapes are also a good source of selenium and vitamin C.