There are tons of companies claiming to have great health foods, but sometimes, it's hard to see the difference between healthy and hype. Healthy does not have to taste bad, and health foods should not break the budget. Here are some great health foods that have withstood the test of time, and our wallets.
1. Flax Seed
I have used flax seed in those reheat-able muscle relaxing baggies for years, but just recently found out how great they are for our health. New research is showing that flax seeds help fight diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer! Flax seed has also been helping us (and our diets) indirectly by increasing the Omega-3 levels of chicken eggs when the chickens are fed flax. Besides that, flax seeds are high in antioxidants and fiber; talk about some great health foods!
2. Chia Seeds
Just like flax seeds, this seed is extremely high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia also has all nine of the necessary amino acids that our bodies cannot synthesize. These seeds sure do pack a punch; they are filled with the needed amino acids, protein, and overflowing with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Chia seeds can be eaten raw, or soaked in your preferred liquid to form tapioca-like pearls. My favorite way to use these is mixed into a morning smoothie or added to overnight oats!
Crazy that a filtering animal can make it on our list of great health foods, but is has. Oysters are one of the only ways to get vitamin D from our diet. They are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Better yet, these guys are just as good for the environment as they are for us. Oysters are one of the most sustainably farmed animals in the world!
Cup-of-Joe lovers rejoice, there is proof that your coffee is not so bad! Studies have shown that coffee can help fight diabetes and liver disease. Coffee is also one of the best sources of antioxidants in most people’s diets. Do not let this fool you though, all the sugars and flavored creamers added to your favorite frappe or venti latte are just as bad for you as dietitians have always thought.
Kale has been a buzz word in most health food circles over the past decade. This leafy green does more than taste great, over time it can lower our cholesterol levels, decrease the risks of cancer, and increase our eye health. One cup of kale has over 100% of our daily vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, along with having high percentages of magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, and fiber. Kale is just as good for us cooked as it is raw. So, make a smoothie, heat up some kale chips, or use this as a dinner side - any way you do it, kale is a great health food!
6. Black Beans
Black beans are a staple of most people’s diets, especially vegetarians. These dark legumes are inexpensive and pack high amounts of protein in a little package. Black beans are also high in the same antioxidants found in blueberries. Some of my favorite ways to eat these are with some cinnamon or chilled and mixed into a salad.
Bulgur is a Middle Eastern whole grain that has been getting some extra attention as of late. This grain has high amounts of fiber and vitamin B. It also has a low glycemic index, which is good for insulin and blood-glucose levels. As far as grain goes, this guy is pretty great, one cup has higher-than-normal amounts of protein and manganese.
There is a stigma about health foods that, if something is healthy, it tastes terrible and empties our wallets. All of these great health foods are pretty inexpensive and most are in some part of our diets already. What are some of your favorite tasty and healthy foods?