Okay, so it’s the day after Halloween, and chances the majority of us indulged in those “once a year” fun size sweets. But instead of dipping into the candy bowl for “just one more” from now until Christmas, here’s a list of every day foods from New York Times best-selling author and ABC News Nutrition and Wellness Editor David Zinczenko that will be true treats to your body:
It may be green and leafy, but spinach is no nutritional wallflower. This noted muscle builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect you against age-related sexual issues. And spinach is packed with lutein, a compound that fights macular degeneration (and may help your sex drive). Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or 1/2 cup cooked per day.
SUBSTITUTES: Kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce
FIT IT IN: Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an instant dip.
PINCH HITTER: Sesame Stir-Braised Kale > Heat 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger, and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a skillet. Add 2 Tbsp. water and 1 bunch kale (stemmed and chopped). Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain. Add 1 tsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds.
Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body. That helps boost your immune system and helps provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic, though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.” Aim for 1 cup of the calcium and protein-rich goop a day.
SUBSTITUTES: Kefir, soy yogurt
FIT IT IN: Yogurt topped with blueberries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey is the ultimate breakfast — or dessert. Plain low-fat yogurt is also a perfect base for creamy salad dressings and dips.
HOME RUN: Power Smoothie > Blend 1 cup low-fat yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 cup carrot juice, and 1 cup fresh baby spinach for a nutrient-rich blast.
There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: Red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene, and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for 22 mg of lycopene a day, which is about eight red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice. For the best picks in the produce aisle, click here.
SUBSTITUTES: Red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava
FIT IT IN: Pile on the ketchup and Ragú; guzzle low-sodium V8 and gazpacho; double the amount of tomato paste called for in a recipe.
PINCH HITTER: Red and Pink Fruit Bowl > Chop 1 small watermelon, 2 grapefruits, and 1 papaya. Garnish with mint. Continue reading “Eight Healthy Foods You Should Eat Every Day”