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Try These 12 Good-For-You Foods To Add Diversity To Your Diet

Even if you think you have a pretty healthy diet compared to people you know, there are more than likely some foods you’re overlooking. Below, we’ll look at some foods that are packed with nutritional content, plus easy to get in your favorite grocery store.

1. Red Cabbage

Simple to find in a produce section, this choice contains vitamins C, A and K. Shred it to put in a salad and you’ll be adding something that’s high in fiber, but has a low caloric content.

2. Pumpkin Seeds 

You may have noticed these seeds as a garnish or perhaps are just familiar with them because you scooped them out of a pumpkin while carving one for Halloween. However, they deserve much more attention than that. They have protein, zinc and magnesium and are rich in antioxidants.

These are usually easy to find in a health food store, and you may be able to find them in a traditional grocery store in the same section where the nuts are located. Consider making these seeds your snacking staples.

3. Radishes

Radishes are characterized by a distinctive flavor that helps make previously bland foods more memorable. They also work to detoxify the body and clear free radicals from it.

Even though you might not be very accustomed to eating radishes yet, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to incorporate them into your diet, whether raw or cooked. When sliced, they make a good topping that adds texture and flavor to whatever you’re eating.

4. Swiss Chard

Also known as silver beet, Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that offers up to three times the recommended amount of vitamin K for a person to have each day. It also contains things like vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.

Swiss chard also contains carotenoids, which protect your eyes as you age. Since the sense of sight is arguably one you want to retain as you age, it’s smart to do what you can throughout all phases of life to pay attention to your eyes and treat them well.

5. Sardines

Despite their small size, sardines have a lot of nutritional value. You’d struggle to find other foods that are as high in B12, and sardines also have vitamin D, which contributes to healthy bones. Furthermore, these fishes are virtually mercury-free, and they have a lot of calcium. Because you can often find sardines canned, they’re easy to have on hand in your pantry.

Before long, you might view them as convenient lunchtime snacks, and it’s always good to have a few go-to foods for lunch. Without healthy choices, it can become increasingly tempting to either gravitate towards fast food or head to the nearest vending machine for a sugary snack.

6. Tempeh

Similar to tofu, tempeh is also made from soybeans. It’s high in potassium and calcium. Since it’s also rich in protein, it’s often used when cooking vegetarian fare. You may want to try it if you’re already cooking a lot with tofu, but want to shake things up a bit.

You can even use tempeh as a meat substitute when making a Reuben sandwich or a sauce for spaghetti that tastes similar to toppings made with ground beef.

7. Kefir

Already widely enjoyed in Eastern Europe, kefir is fermented and has a consistency similar to drinkable yogurt. Since it’s so high in probiotics, kefir should be kind to your digestive system.

You will also probably be more able to consume kefir than conventional dairy drinks if you have an intolerance to lactose. That’s because kefir contains an enzyme called lactase that absorbs most of the lactose during the culturing process. Because kefir has both yeast and healthy bacteria, it’s believed to have long-term good effects on health when consumed regularly.

The tartness of the flavor also makes kefir a good thing to enjoy early in the morning when you’re trying to wake up and feel more alert at the start of a busy day.

8. Artichoke

Although you may already be somewhat familiar with the taste of and uses for artichoke, chances are you’re not yet fully aware of how versatile it is. You can eat the whole artichoke, including the leaves, and only consume about 60 calories.

The fat content is also very low. According to a USDA study regarding the nutritional value of 1,000 foods, artichoke was ranked seventh as far as antioxidant content.

9. Prunes

Some people are initially averse to adding prunes to their diets because they have unfavorable associations, specifically related to prune juice. Indeed, prune juice is often recommended as a stool softener and certainly not known for having a taste that appeals to the masses on its own.

However, you’ll probably find prunes more appetizing than their juice, especially when baked. Prunes are packed with antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to a meal. Prunes can also act as safeguards against common health concerns such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity. They have a high soluble fiber content, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

Soluble fiber also aids in helping people feel full. If you often struggle with continuing to eat when you should already be satisfied, prunes may help you make healthier dietary choices in terms of portion size.

10. Beets

Beets are root vegetables with tough outer skin. That appearance may initially turn off some people who think the beets won’t have a good texture. However, once you cook the beets, you should notice they have a soft texture, which makes them easy to eat and cook with.

Even better, the juice from beets is thought to lower blood pressure. If possible, try to consume as much of the juice as possible when eating beets, rather than draining it away and discarding it.

11. Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit is often seen as a flavor for tropical candy mixes, but many people haven’t actually consumed the actual fruit. The good news about this one is that both the inner pulp and seeds are edible.

The tart taste should awaken your taste buds, and you can simply scoop out the insides with a spoon after slicing the fruit open. This fruit may also be helpful in normalizing blood cholesterol levels.

12. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are good accompaniments to yogurt or cereal, and they provide over two grams of fiber per tablespoon. In addition, flaxseeds have lignans, which mimic estrogen in the body and may help prevent certain types of cancers, including breast cancer.

Pin ItHopefully, this list offers a source of inspiration if you’re feeling a little listless every time it’s necessary to go grocery shopping. Eating the same things time and time again can quickly get boring and make you stop looking forward to meals, let alone cooking.

Keep in mind the items above represent just a small segment of foods that are very good for you that you’re probably not eating. Consider shopping for a few of them and adding them into your diet as soon as possible. Before you know it, the assortment of things you eat regularly could become much more diverse.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Michael Richardson
Passionate about sharing the latest scientifically sound health, fitness and nutrition advice and information, Dr Richardson received his Master of Science in Nutrition from New York University, and a Bachelor Degree from New Jersey University. He has since gone on to specialize in sports nutrition, weight management and helping his patients to heal physical ailments by making changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

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