With obesity rates steadily increasing itâ€™s no surprise that we need to take a collective look back at our diets and change some things up. But sometimes itâ€™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.Â Â Â Â Black Rice
At this point itâ€™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.Â Â Â Â 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.Â Â Â Â 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.Â Â Â Â Pumpkin
Itâ€™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. Itâ€™s also rich in alpha and beta-carotene, and contributes to improved overall health.
5.Â Â Â Â 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 shouldnâ€™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 donâ€™t like, thereâ€™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 wonâ€™t run out of different ways to eat them!