The pandemic has made many people rethink how healthy their lifestyles actually are. In fact, New Food Magazine shares that 73% of consumers around the world plan to eat and drink healthier to help boost their immunity and lower their vulnerability to illnesses. However, aside from knowing what to eat, we at Women Fitness recommend that you also switch out some foods you currently consume with healthier options.
Below are a few swaps you can make for a much better overall diet:
Oatmeal instead of breakfast cereal
Cereals are convenient, especially if you’re in a rush in the morning. Some cereals, like Kellogg’s and Life Cinnamon, may even be marketed as healthy, with brands claiming they are low-fat and whole grain. However, they all contain a lot of sugar and refined carbs. Both of these cereals can put you at risk of problems like heart disease and diabetes.
A great alternative to breakfast would be oatmeal, which helps you manage your sugar levels and weight. Oatmeal is nutrient-rich, containing vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc. Oats also have a type of antioxidant that can lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Oatmeal is extremely easy to make too — just boil oats in milk or water until they’re soft. Then add fruits or berries for more flavor and nutrients.
Herbs and spices instead of salt
Salt has become an important ingredient to flavor dishes. Unfortunately, too much salt can increase your blood pressure to the point that it can also result in heart problems and kidney disease.
To prevent this, you can switch your salt to herbs and spices to add flavor to your dishes. The health benefits you get depends on which herb and spice you cook with. For instance, clinical nutritionist Sneha Sadhwani talks about cinnamon and ginger are good for diabetes prevention. Meanwhile, parsley is extremely rich in vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting and bone metabolism. Herbs and spices can go with anything, so feel free to experiment with what you put and where you put them.
Brown rice instead of white rice
White rice is a versatile ingredient — and one that’s easy to prepare, making it a popular source of carbohydrates in many dishes. However SymptomFind talks about rice in one of its many nutrition articles, revealing that white rice is actually an unhealthy grain. This is mainly because it’s highly processed, so the vitamins and minerals are stripped from it. A high intake of white rice can increase your risk of getting diabetes and high blood pressure.
Brown rice, on the other hand, is a lot less processed. As such, the amount of nutrients it contains is a lot higher than white rice. The nutrients include selenium and magnesium. Brown rice can help manage weight and blood pressure while also reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes, too.
Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
When you were young, you were probably told not to eat too much chocolate because excess sugar is bad for you — which is partially true. Eating a lot of milk chocolate is bad as it contains a lot of added sugar. They’re also high in calories and don’t contain a lot of cocoa.
On the other hand, an article on Insider discusses that dark chocolate is much healthier. This is because it has a high percentage of cacao, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent heart disease.
You don’t have to give up any of your favorite dishes and recipes, even though they contain unhealthy ingredients. You just need to know the right alternatives.