With the arrival of each new year, people everywhere decide upon resolutions that can help improve their lives over the next 12 months. If this year’s resolution involves eating healthier, part of the process will be trying new foods, some of which you’ve possibly never considered picking up off the shelves of the grocery store.
The good news is that the desire for healthy foods is increasing. According to a 2015 Nielson survey of more than 30,000, people are becoming much more healthy minded, and many of them are prepared to devote more money to following a healthy diet. This means food manufacturers, farmers and corporations will all be working together to bring more healthy and delicious products to our stores. The specialty items that used to only be available in health food shops can now be found in mainstream stores, making it easier for the average consumer to access good nutrition.
This starchy seed behaves more like a grain, making it a great alternative to traditional rice. It has been becoming more popular in western health circles in the past decade or two, but you might be surprised to learn that it has been a popular crop in many Southeast Asian countries for centuries.
Despite its name, buckwheat doesn’t contain wheat, so it’s therefore a safe choice for those with celiac disease or others who choose to follow a gluten-free diet. It’s a wonderful source of nutrition and an excellent choice for your 2019 diet. Buckwheat contains B vitamins, dietary fiber, protein and several important minerals that can support your health and wellness in the coming year.
Perhaps one of the most notable health foods, kale provides a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. This popular leafy green can be enjoyed raw, blended into green smoothies, fried in a skillet, steamed or added to soups. Along with being delicious and filling, it offers many vitamins and other nutrients. One cup of cooked kale contains nearly 100 percent of your daily recommendation for vitamin C and A. You’ll also get plenty of dietary fiber, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids and a large amount of antioxidants, which can fight against damaging free radicals. Kale is such a nutritional powerhouse that you’ll be able to feel a difference in your body and mind when eating it regularly.
3. Alternative Milks
If you’re looking to cut down on dairy products this year, then you might want to consider checking out some of the newer alternative milks on the market today. Those who are lactose intolerant or those who choose to follow a plant-based diet used to only have a few milks to choose from, such as rice, soy, oat and hemp. Now, stores are adding new milks to their shelves, such as walnut or flaxseed milk. Banana milk is another excellent option, offering plenty of potassium and other nutritional benefits. Be sure to check the label information to find a milk that’s properly aligned with your nutritional needs.
4. Chia Seeds
These seeds are the same as those used in the popular novelty plant kits, but many people who owned such kits never realized that the seeds they were growing were also excellent for human nutrition. A tablespoon of chia seeds contains 1.75 grams of alpha-linolenic acid, an important essential nutrient. You’ll also get a couple grams of protein and plenty of heart-healthy fiber.
Much like buckwheat, chia seeds have been used in some cultures for centuries, but they’ve only recently become a mainstream health food in the western world. Unlike some other seeds and grains, chia seeds develop a gel-like consistency when exposed to liquids. This makes it easier for your stomach acids to break them down and help your digestive track absorb the nutrients within.
The key to sticking to a healthy eating plan for 2019 is commitment. Healthy foods can be an acquired taste. Don’t give up if you struggle with using these foods at first. It can take a little experimenting with cooking styles and spices before you discover how to prepare these foods in a way you love.