As you're running from class to class and squeezing in study sessions at the library, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet. These tasty superfoods will give you the energy and nutrition needed to tackle that mountain of assignments and tests and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine.
A nutritional powerhouse with loads of antioxidants, heart-healthy benefits and detoxifying nutrients, kale is an insanely healthy vegetable to add to any meal. Grill, sautee, have it as a side dish or add into pasta. Kale certaintly has versatility. Pick kale, go green!
2. Dark Chocolate
The darker, the better - so break off a piece of that chocolate bar. Cocoa is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, and it can lower blood pressure. Select bars with a 70% or higher cocoa content.
3. Coconut Oil
You probably know about olive oil, but I bet you didn't know that coconut oil is also a healthy alternative to butter and margarine or that it has so many functions in your body. It helps trim your waistline, strengthen your immune system, absorb important bone-strengthening minerals, raise good cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
Need a boost? Blueberries boost your metabolism and your immune system. Pair them with yogurt, cereal or granola for a quick and tasty snack, or put them in a fruit smoothie to take with you on-the-go.
5. Edemame Beans
Salt them up or keep them plain - either way, edemame beans are delicious and help build strong muscles because they contain little fat and a lot of protein. They're also antioxidant-rich and contain a lot of fiber to make you feel full longer.
Even when it's not cold out, you can embrace cinnamon's health benefits. Just the smell of this spice boosts brain activity. It also reduces headaches and migraines. During finals week, try adding a bit of cinnamon to your coffee or tea.
Vampires aren't the only things that garlic wards off. Garlic helps to lower the risk of heart disease and reduces the risk of prostate, stomach, colon, and breast cancers. Garlic can be sprinkled on fish, vegetables, bread and many other foods.
Feeling old? Add some mushrooms to your meal. The selenium and Vitamin E found in them work together to help protect cells and keep your skin looking young. They also contain potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient and can be mixed into all kinds of recipes like salads, soups and sauces.
Next time you go out to eat, ask for a lemon with your glass of water. Just a few drops of lemon juice can do wonders for your immune system. Its high Vitamin C content makes it good for fighting infections and relieving illnesses like asthma, fever and tonsillitis. Lemon is also a detoxifer and aids digestion.
Sink your teeth into one of these! Use it as a spread on a sandwich or throw slices into a salad. This heart-healthy food helps improve eyesight and is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, avocado oil is often an ingredient in mouthwash because it's good for your teeth and helps prevent gum disease.
A healthy substitute for sugar, honey can pacify your sweet tooth. Try adding honey to a salad or even as a glaze. While honey is a yummy sweetener, it's also one of the oldest-known medicines. It increases your immune system and helps to keep away coughs and sore throats.
Tips to Live Healthy and Stay Fit:
- Ingredients matter. Look at the nutrition label on your food - if the list contains a bunch of words you can't pronounce, and you aren't sure what they mean, it's best to steer clear. The less processed, the better.
-Eat when you wake up to boost your metabolism after a night's rest. Pack snacks to munch on between classes to fufill your body's daily nutritional needs throughout the day and ward off any hunger attacks that might end at the vending machine.
- Cook at home. Controlling how your meals are prepared and which ingredients are used allows you to get the maximum health benefits. Boiling, grilling, steaming and baking are all healthy ways to cook.
- Cut down on portions. When out at a restaurant, splitting a meal with a friend is an easy way to make an ovesized meal more manageable.
- Carry a re-fillable water bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the day. The USDA recommends drinking around 64-ounces a day. Water boosts your metabolism and is 100% healthy.
- Burn off the day's food as you snooze. Your body re-sets its metabolism while you're asleep, so the more you sleep, the more you'll burn.
Gone are the days when our mothers bribed us with dessert after dinner if we ate our vegetables. Lately, USC students have actually become more concerned about their dieting habits and want to eat more nutritious items. Just look at Russell House food venues: Freshens, Horseshoe Deli and the salad bar are popular stops for health-conscious Gamecocks. There’s only one problem: these attempts at eating healthier fail due to unnecessary additions to the food.
The word "salad" has become seemingly synonymous with the term healthy, and has hundreds of recipes to choose from. Generally, salads consist of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and so on. This doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong. People usually don’t stop there; they add meats, croutons, cheese and enough dressing to sink a ship. A salad with all of these additives could total close to 1100 calories with 65 grams of fat. Considering most daily nutrition values are measured by a 2,000-calorie diet, this is less than ideal. So how do you change your salad for the better? Change what you put in it!
Instead of lettuce as the base for the salad, try dark green vegetables like kale or spinach. As far as salad dressings go, they all have potential to be high in calorie content, so ease your pouring hand. Nutritionists recommend one tablespoon per salad. Add some fresh fruit and veggies for a sweet, crunchy burst to your meal. For better weight-loss results, try to limit croutons, fatty meats or high-sodium condiments.
Another food favorite amongst wellness watchers is yogurt. With selections like parfaits, smoothies and frozen desserts, what’s not to love? Yogurt’s calcium, Vitamin D and probiotics make it a health-food staple, but all of those “fixins” at the yogurt bar could be detrimental to your health goal. Adding fruit is one thing, but dishing out whipped cream, gummy bears and sprinkles is another. Keep your yogurt simple and nutritious.
Last but not least, the sandwich. Bread, meat and vegetables are all you need. Condiments like mayo, mustard, oils and cheese may be tasty, but they increase calorie content. Adding vegetables is one way to make the sandwich nutritious, but I don’t mean lettuce and tomato. Throw on peppers, spinach or even cucumbers to spruce up your meal.
The key thing to remember is: make your meals simple. A little preparation and focused mindset will keep those urges for extra toppings at bay. Healthy habits take time, but every step will put you on the right path.
Here are some fun and helpful links for healthy eating: