Healthy food really can be like medicine. Consider these examples of foods that bring the one-two punch of providing good nutrition and health benefits:
- Not getting enough Zs? Switch to a different nighttime beverage. Kefir, a fermented milk drink, contains tryptophan (yes, the stuff in turkey that makes you nap on Thanksgiving!). Tryptophan increases serotonin, which leads to a calm feeling and better sleep.
- Is your doctor concerned about your cholesterol levels? Take action to lower them before medication is needed. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables help prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by your body’s cells, so consuming them regularly could lower your levels.
- Are you still struggling with a nasty cough following a cold? Sip cocoa–it’s known to help suppress the cough reflex.
- Concerned about heart health? Switch up what you put in your salads. Kale contains calcium and potassium, both of which are good for heart health. Added bonus? It also has folate, which helps with maintaining a healthy memory.
- Are you fighting the battle of the bulge? Yogurt is an excellent choice for getting lean protein and upping calcium without taking in too many calories. And protein helps curb appetite and aid weight loss. Choose Greek yogurt–it has twice the protein of other yogurts.
- Been feeling a little blue? Toss some snow peas into your salads or favorite recipes. They contain folate, which can help to boost your mood.
- Want to cut calories and help your heart? Switch from drinking orange juice to eating whole oranges. Not only are they lower in calories and more filling than juice, but the whole fruit also contains pectin fiber, which is known to lower cholesterol (reducing your risk of heart disease).