We get it! You're trying to eat healthy and it seems like the healthy foods are bland and boring. Bare chicken breast, eggs whites, oatmeal, plain yogurt, undressed salad and other vegetables, bleh! It seems like all the good stuff you can put on healthier foods ruin its nutritional value. Well, fear no more, this article will give you 10 delicious, healthy toppings you can add to your food today!
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out chia seeds are a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.
The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.
Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.
Turmeric is the spice has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric around 3% by weight.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains peperine a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
3. Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts are without a doubt an excellent addition to your diet. These little seeds come from the hemp plant and are considered one of the most nutritious varieties of seeds available.
Most people have heard of hemp seeds before but not necessarily hemp hearts. Hemp hearts have had the hard outer shell removed.
Removing the shell increases the overall percentage of protein and essential fatty acids, making hemp hearts an even more concentrated source of nutrients. Also, removing the shell makes them easier to digest.
Full of vitamins A, C, and E, hemp hearts are bursting with antioxidants in addition to immune boosting minerals like potassium, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Hemp hearts contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is important for promoting digestive health, keeping blood sugar levels stable, and weight maintenance.
Finally, hemp hearts are one of the few plant-based complete sources of protein. This means that they contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for our body to support healthy growth and development.
4. Almond Butter
Peanut butter has been a staple in the American pantry for decades. So much so that you hardly find any other type of tree nut butters on the shelf of the grocery stores. When you don't have a variety of different nuts in your eating, the likelihood of your developing an allergy for the food increases dramatically, and so is the case with peanuts.
On the other hand, not only is almonds and almond butter a welcome departure from the ubiquitous peanuts, but almonds are healthier in almost every way.
Almonds contain 25% more monounsaturated fat, three times as much vitamin E, twice as much iron, and a whooping seven times as much calcium. Even in the fiber department, almond butter beats our peanut butter 3.3 grams to 1.6 grams per 2 tablespoons.
Basil is a common aromatic herb in the mint family. There are 35 different types of basil, but holy basil is the most researched type of basil thus far. Holy basil is the species of basil most known for its powerful healing qualities. Holy basil is known to be an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and powerful adaptogen.
Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic. This means they don’t dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin.
½ cup of fresh chopped basil contains: 56 mg vitamin A, 88 mg vitmain K, .24 mg manganese, and 4 mg vitamin C.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll give you 5 more healthy toppings you can add to your food.
Until next time - ENVISION, BELIEVE, EXECUTE and SUCCEED
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