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10 Healthy, Under-the-Radar Foods

Dec 19, 2011 07:54PM ● Published by Arden Haley

We all know about the foods we are supposed to eat like apples, broccoli, salmon, and whole-grain bread, but eating the same foods day after day can often leave you unmotivated to continue choosing healthy meals and snacks. So why not switch up the healthy diet with these slightly out-of-the-ordinary selections:

Pumpkin seeds:


Although traditionally popular around Halloween, people can benefit from the magnesium, iron, and other nutrients these snacks provide on a day-to-day basis.

Cinnamon:


Don’t feel guilty about adding flavor to your holiday foods with the sweet taste of cinnamon! It has been found to improve digestion, control blood sugar, and lower cholesterol levels.

Young Coconut:


The water found in these coconuts contains very high levels of electrolytes and is pure and sterile, thanks to the nine months it takes one liter to filter through the shell.

 

Star Fruit:


When cut crosswise, this high fiber fruit exposes the shape of a star. The unique sweet and sour taste, paired with the fruit’s richness in vitamin A and antioxidants, allows star fruit to be an exciting and beneficial choice any time of day.

Sauerkraut:


Be sure to leave room for this dish during your holiday meals. Sauerkraut offers a boost to your immune system and contains lactic acid, which aids in maintaining healthy levels of acid in the stomach.

Cocoa Nibs:


These broken up pieces of roasted cocoa beans have a raw chocolate taste and contain many disease-fighting antioxidants. They can be eaten as a snack, added to a cookie recipe, or ground up with coffee beans.

 

Purple Asparagus:


This vegetable contains the majority of our daily intake of vitamin B9 (folate) which can prevent future heart problems. Purple asparagus also has the benefit of managing blood sugar levels.

Turkey:


You might connect this hearty bird with holiday overindulgence, but this meat deserves to be the center of festive feasts this winter! It contains high levels of protein, helps lower LDL cholesterol levels, and boosts the immune system. Eating turkey also raises serotonin levels. This leads to improvements in your mood to help you beat the stress of the holidays.

 

Popcorn:


When not doused in butter and coated in salt, popcorn can benefit you with its inclusion of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin B. This whole-grain snack is healthiest when air-popped and sprinkled with light amounts of toppings.

Kale:


A form of cabbage, kale takes the lead in healthy greens as a source of fiber, vitamin A, antioxidants, and calcium. In addition, kale contains anti-inflammatory benefits and provides glucosinolates, which may aid in the prevention of various forms of cancer.

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