Keep these six healthy alternatives at hand to curb your cravings for fat-laden, sugar-loaded treats!
When these cravings surface again, and you begin jonesing for sugar-laden, sodium-crammed foods, do not succumb to the temptation. Instead, keep these six more healthy picks at hand to satiate your palate, and keep your machine in check.
Avocados are versatile, aren’t they? They lend themselves to sandwiches, add a dash of nutrition to smoothies, and complement burrito bowls, salads, and appetizers. This fruit reigns supreme for its health-related advantages as well. It’s a known reality that it accounts for a remarkable proportion of heart-healthy fat and fiber. Apart from elevating an ordinary meal with its flavor, it sustains you for a longer duration, regulates your blood sugar levels, and lowers cardiovascular inflammation. In different words, you won’t experience the need to browse through your refrigerator inside an hour as you would after consuming an unhealthy snack.
Fun Fact: An avocado contains more potassium than a banana.
Oats are undeniably a superfood! They’re packed with fiber and protein – this particular duo contributes to the satiety potential of oats. Since they’re digested at a gradual pace, they preserve you satisfied for quite a while. Still not convinced? Oats are a fantastic supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, each offering a complete array of benefits. They’re also known to limit blood sugar ranges in individuals living with Type 2 diabetes and those struggling with obesity. Imagine tucking into a berry-packed, almond-dotted bowl of oatmeal sitting on your balcony as it rains. Oatmeal truly embodies the essence of a healthy breakfast. It’s so easy to prepare and asks the use of minimal ingredients solely to oomph it up. You can additionally use oats to make different dishes: oats upma, oats dosa, oats kheer, and oats pancakes are ideal for breakfast, while oats khichdi, oats soup, and oats Pongal work properly for lunch or dinner.
Fun Fact: Consuming oats extends the longevity of your life; this ingredient reduces your susceptibility to heart-related diseases, LDL cholesterol, autoimmune diseases, and weight gain!
Alongside other dark green leafy vegetables, spinach is packed with nutrients. It contains protein, fiber, and a slew of vitamins that offer multiple benefits. We know why the protein-fiber pair is crucial; apart from that, spinach offers vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus, contributing to bone health. It’s also brimming with vitamin A (promotes eye health and a resilient immune system), zinc (promotes a stress-free, relaxed lifestyle), iron (prevents anemia), antioxidants (offer natural anti-aging properties), and potassium (just like avocados), among other good-for-you minerals. Layer your salads and sandwiches with spinach, and consume more spinach-based meals like palak paneer, aloo palak, palak paratha, palak pulao to harness all its goodness.
Fun Fact: Spinach is low in calories, and a one-cup serving of cooked spinach contains 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
Peas are literal manifestations of ‘small but mighty. Don’t believe us? Here’s a fact: peas, though tiny, are packed with fiber and protein. They’re also loaded with vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc: these elements contribute to your immunity. Additionally, vitamins A and B, ferulic, coumestrol, and other nutrients lower the chances of inflammatory conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Half a cup of peas offers 4.4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, all at 62 calories. Try sprinkling peas over your salads, and incorporate them into the dishes you love, tweaking recipes if you need to.
Fun Fact: According to a study, a regular intake of peas – and legumes – lowers the risk of stomach cancer by 50 %.
Switch to nuts instead of bingeing on pre-packaged, calorie-saturated chips between meals. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts, in particular, are packed with a range of nutrients. Their anti-oxidative properties are linked to a decline in LDL cholesterol, thus minimizing your risk of heart-related diseases. Their monounsaturated (good) fats, too, maintain the health of your heart. Apart from fiber, nuts are also sources of vitamin E (prevents cancer and osteoporosis), magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. Nuts might also help you lose weight since they’re associated with high levels of satiety. And, if you have diabetes, regular consumption of nuts fosters the potential to mitigate the side effects and complications that the condition brings with it.
Fun Fact: Candied nuts, salted nuts, or nuts that have been flavored aren’t as healthy as their raw counterparts.
Are you pining for delivery of ice cream from your neighborhood parlor? Well, it’s time to ring the changes. Retrieve a pear from your refrigerator, and let it satiate your craving with its sweetness – apart from injecting a healthy amount of fiber into your system and satisfying you until your next meal. Just like the aforementioned recommendations, a pear is associated with anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to maintain the health of your gut and heart, exhibit anti-cancer tendencies, and lower diabetes-related risks. One little pear is just 85 calories and gives you 5 whole grams of fiber.
Fun Fact: Instead of eating it raw, add it to oatmeal! That way, you’re reaping the benefits intrinsic to both in one sitting.