5 Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet

With obesity rates steadily increasing it’s no surprise that we need to take a collective look back at our diets and change some things up. But sometimes it’s easy to get bored eating the traditional health foods, which can be an easy way to slip off the bandwagon. But a better solution to trading our blueberries for candy is to add in some variety. Here are some commonly overlooked foods that pack a nutritional punch:

1.     Black Rice

At this point it’s pretty common knowledge that brown rice should be eaten over white rice when it comes to being healthy. However, black rice is a nutritional powerhouse that is often overlooked. Black rice is high in fiber and is a good source of iron and amino acids. It also boasts higher protein content than brown rice.

2.     Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is one of the few vegetables that really can replace pasta. It is also one of the few vegetables that contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which work to promote and improve brain function. One cup contains only 31 calories, which means that high volume eaters can indulge in this pasta-like veggie nearly guilt free.

3.     Sweet Potatoes

This vegetable can get a pretty bad rap sometimes because the only time most of us see it is covered in cinnamon, butter, and marshmallows at Thanksgiving. However this versatile vegetable can be served both sweet and savory with very few add-ons. They also are a good source of vitamin E and, unlike nuts and avocados, are almost completely fat-free.

4.     Pumpkin

It’s easy to disregard pumpkin as only a pie filling, but you can also mix pumpkin into oatmeal or blend it into smoothies for a healthy fall treat. 1 cup of pureed pumpkin gives you a whopping 7 grams of fiber. It’s also rich in alpha and beta-carotene, and contributes to improved overall health.

5.     Figs

While dried figs are plentiful in grocery stores, fresh figs are available almost exclusively to the summer months. However when they are available, you shouldn’t hesitate to pick some up and try them; figs are packed with fiber, delivering 30% of your daily values, and potassium, which helps to control your blood pressure.

There are countless different ways to shake up your traditional diet and add in new fruits, vegetables, and grains. For every fruit or vegetable you don’t like, there’s bound to be another one out there that you do like. So many are overlooked, but are so versatile that once you pick them up you won’t run out of different ways to eat them!

Laura Backes

This is a guest post from Laura Backes, she enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to health and fitness.

3 thoughts on “5 Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet

  • October 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I am making Spaghetti-Squash pasta for dinner tonight.

  • September 30, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Great article Laura. All the foods you mentioned are available to me but, I do not consume them regularly. Obesity is so common and diet modification is only long term solution to obesity. Exercise, one may not continue for long, but dietary habit change will last lifelong.


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