From the Inside Out: 11 Healthy Foods That Keep Your Body Fit and Fabulous

From the Inside Out 11 Healthy Foods That Keep Your Body Fit and FabulousPeople believe that you are what you eat. If you constantly eat junk foods and sugar, it will show in your skin and your overall health. On the other hand, those who eat healthy live longer, are less sick and have a better disposition in life. Admit it. As much as you want to say no to sweets and processed foods, it’s just hard to say no to them. In case you find yourself torn in a food situation, keep in mind that nutrition helps your body in two ways:
  1. It keeps you feel fuller and your weight at bay without having to worry about calories.
  2. Healthy foods are rich in antioxidants, which gives you body a boost.
In other words, what you eat plays an important role in keeping your body fit and fabulous. To guide you better, here are 11 healthy foods that must be included in your daily diet:

1. Salmon

SalmonEvery time you look for the ultimate healthy foods, salmon will always be part of the list – and there’s a valid reason why. Salmon is an excellent source of protein without being heavy on the belly. At the same time, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which could act as your skin’s first line of defense against UV damage and free radicals. It also reduces your risk of heart disease, depression and cancer. It also contains niacin, which could protect you against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat five ounces of salmon every week have a lesser risk of developing precancerous skin lesions by almost 30 percent. Not bad, don’t you think?

2. Dark Chocolate

Finally, some good news for chocolate lovers. If you love munching on chocolate, you now have a good reason to do so. According to health experts, one-fourth ounce of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, could reduce blood pressure. At the same time, it contains flavonoids or antioxidants that reduces bad cholesterol levels and increases the good cholesterol levels.
However, it’s not just any kind of chocolate. It should be dark chocolate with 60 to 70 percent cocoa content. One bar contains 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids, while the milk chocolate variation only has 14. Even if you can eat chocolate, make sure to choose the kind of chocolate wisely and eat it with your health in mind.

3. Blueberries

BlueberryBlueberry cheesecake, blueberry-flavored ice cream, blueberry gum, blueberry jam – these are only some of the variety of ways you could eat blueberries. Here’s the truth: blueberries are good for you. Health and nutrition advocates do not encourage eating artificially-flavored blueberry foods,but this tiny dark blue fruit has tons of benefits. In fact, eating one cup of blueberries, together with other berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, could lover your blood pressure levels and increase good cholesterol levels. This is the reason why the humble little blueberry is among the biggest heart-friendly foods. That’s not all. Research shows that blueberries contain a diverse range of polyphenols or health-promoting plant compounds such as ellagic acid and anthocyanins. This is the reason why blueberries are also among the best foods to keep you fit, healthy and fabulous.

4. Lemons

One of the most popular natural remedies you could find at home are lemons. If you have issues with your face and skin, lemons should always be part of your best home remedies. Why do you think lemon is so good for you? It turns out that one lemon could give you more than 100 percent of your need for vitamin C for the day. When there is enough supply of vitamin C, this could strengthen your bones and help increase HDL or good cholesterol. At the same time, the citrus flavonoids in lemons prevent the growth of cancer cells and activates it anti-inflammatory properties. Add a slice of lemon to your water or green tea for added flavor. You could make fresh lemonade, too.

5. Watermelon

WatermelonThis giant fruit is a favorite in most tropical countries. Aside from its sweet flavor and its ability to be an excellent thirst quencher, watermelon keeps you satisfied without you needing to worry too much about the calories. In fact, it is very low in calories. Here’s the big surprise: watermelon is 92 percent water, yet an excellent source of vitamin C. the red watermelon also contains lycopene, a type of antioxidant that protects you against heart disease and certain types of cancer. Eat it as it is after meals, make a watermelon shake or add bits of it on salads. The important thing is to include this fruit in your diet.

6. Avocado

Have you heard that one of Britney Spears’ diet foods is avocado? Contrary to popular belief, avocado contains the right amount of fat without being too much on your belly. At the same time, these healthy and satisfying fats could lower your cholesterol levels by up to 22 percent. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, avocado is the perfect choice of food too, thanks to its rich folate content. It also contains a good amount of fiber, which could reduce your risk of heart disease. The good thing about avocado is that you could easily add it in your diet. You could eat it as is, add it to sandwiches, or make guacamole or an avocado drink.

7. Tomatoes

TomatoesCan you still remember the time when you and your friends are debating on whether tomato is a fruit or vegetable? To answer that question, it is a fruit – and it is good for you. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tomatoes and other vitamin C-rich foods is the secret to a smoother and more youthful skin. Based on the said study, the more vitamin C you take, the lower the risk of having age-related skin dryness and wrinkled skin. Tomatoes also contain antioxidant properties, which could keep your skin firm and protects you against the harmful UV rays. Add it on eggs, pasta dishes and salads. That would give you ample supply of vitamin C from this fruit.

8. Garlic

One of the staple ingredients in your kitchen is garlic. Almost all of the best tasting foods in this planet have garlic. Aside from making mealtime more delicious, garlic is among the healthiest foods, which must be part of your daily diet. Garlic is a powerful fighter against diseases and inhibits the growth of many bacteria, including E. coli. However, the reason why garlic is part of this list is because of allicin. This compound found in garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, which could lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In using garlic, make sure not to overcook it. Exposing garlic to high heat for more than 10 minutes would mean loss of important nutrients. To enjoy its benefits, simply crush the garlic. Crushed fresh garlic has more allicin than cooked version, which means better health benefits, too.

9. Green beans

Green beansHow much do you love beans? Did you know that it is among the healthiest foods that should be included in your diet? According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, filling up on green beans could stop weight gain or even promote weight loss without going on an actual diet. This is because green beans are high-fiber foods, which makes you feel fuller longer. The next time you go to the grocery, make sure you’ll reach for those green beans on the vegetable aisle. Sprinkle some olive oil, cook it for a few minutes then eat it alongside your favorite dish. You will surely enjoy the health benefits.

10. Spinach

You might associate spinach with Popeye. More than being Popeye’s booster, spinach is among the foods that will surely keep your body fit and fabulous. Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, immune-boosting antioxidants, which are crucial for eye health. At the same time, research shows that spinach is among those effective in fighting cancer. Not a fan of spinach? Then don’t worry. This veggie is flavorless and a perfect addition to your morning smoothie. Simply blend a cup of spinach, banana, grated carrots, apple juice and ice and you are good to go. It’s the perfect pick-me-upper.

11. Walnuts

walnutsWhat is your favorite snack? Admit it. During downtime or while watching your favorite TV series, you tend to munch on chips and soda and not even notice you finished the entire bag. Then you regret eating it all and pressure yourself to work out to make sure you’ll get rid of the calories. Now is the right time to change your snack choices. This is where walnuts come in. Walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids, thereby reducing bad cholesterol. At the same time, they offer protection against sun damage, improves your mood and helps you fight cancer. In case you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, try a handful of walnuts for dessert. It has melatonin or an antioxidant that helps regulate sleep. What are you waiting for? Add these foods on your grocery checklist and you will surely get that fit and fabulous body in no time.
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