There are a few things that I try to incorporate into my diet each day, with various methods of consumption. None of these foods were recommended by a doctor or nutritionist, but simply backed by my own personal reading and guinea pigging.
This spice is said to boost your metabolism, regulate blood sugar levels, reduce food spoilage with its antibacterial properties, and incorporates well into both sweet and savory dishes. Studies have even shown that just smelling cinnamon can improve memory brain function.
-It’s safe to consume 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp a day. I sprinkle cinnamon onto my coffee throughout the day, into my protein shakes, and over my Greek yogurt.
Blackberries & Blueberries
High in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, these berries are a powerful addition to your diet. They contain essential phytonutrients that help rid your body of free radicals and environmental toxins linked to aging and disease. The catechins in blueberries are said to aid in fat loss, especially in the abdominal area. Like cinnamon, these fruits also help to improve brain functions and memory.
-I can pretty much eat these little yummies by the handful. Blackberries are my absolute favorite. They’re also great in smoothies, protein shakes, over yogurt, and even muddled into cocktails or spritzers.
Omega-3s! While wild salmon (and other fish) is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, I wouldn’t want to eat it every day. The tiny seeds from a chia plant have lots of nutrients in just a single tablespoon serving. An increase of omega-3s in your diet is said to improve mental health, cardiovascular issues, reduce blood pressure, stiffness, and joint pain, and more.
-Chia seeds are super easy to add into your diet. I scoop a tablespoon into my protein shakes, over granola (notice a pattern here?!), and into soups as a thickener (the seeds turn bloated and gelatinous when wet). Disclaimer: some people experience allergic reactions to chia seeds. Try a small amount at first and proceed with caution. Always contact your physician first if you have any concerns.
Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy. These veggies are packed with vitamins, fiber, and disease-fighting phytonutrients. They are said to reduce the risk of cancer, help scavenge free radicals, and reduce inflammation. According to WebMD, kale has the highest content of vitamin A, broccoli vitamin C, Brussels sprouts & broccoli tied for folic acid & plant omega-3s, and Brussels sprouts have the most of vitamins E and B-1.
-I love eating my veggies raw and crisp, but lightly steamed or blanched works too. Salads, side dishes, and additions to soups the easiest ways to consume your veggies. I really enjoy using cauliflower to make healthy mock-versions of steamed rice and mashed potatoes. The right seasoning goes a long way.
I know this one is pretty much a given, right? Well much of the time when I’m super busy I will forget to drink my water. How much is enough? I go with the “half your body weight in ounces” rule. If you weigh 150lbs you should shoot for 75oz, 100lbs drinks 50oz, etc. Keep in mind that any added diuretics (coffee, alcohol…) should be counteracted with more water. If you have two cups of coffee per day, add another two cups of water. Check out the article I posted last summer regarding the benefits of hydration.
All of these items either travel easily or can be found pretty much anywhere. Since I am often on the road for work, I’m not always sure what I’ll be able to find in each city. Besides tossing a little bag of chia seeds in my luggage, the rest of the list has been rather attainable throughout the country.
Eat clean and be well, beauties.