Let’s go for a quick walk through a local grocery store and see what we can find to help keep our hearts happy and healthy! Have you ever checked out a local fresh food market or farmers market instead of your local “big box” grocery store? A quick 5 minute stroll through a few small vegetable markets could bring to your attention some great items which you would normally not see at your regular grocery store. You should always strive for variety in the foods you eat in order to keep up the motivation to eat healthy, so finding new and interesting produce with vibrant colors, smells and additional health benefits can help elevate your regular meals to super tasty concoctions. By venturing out to new markets you are bound to find a few new food items to add to your healthy menus!
With the rise of popularity for in-home activities such as growing your own fresh foods and cooking meals at home, the demand for additional information about how to perform these activities soars. The other interest toward food and cooking is the wide variety of delicious and exotic foods from all around the world that are now accessible at your local markets.
The great thing is that you can now visit a market and not have to go to a specialty store to find unique foods such as purple potatoes, orange cauliflower and yellow tomatoes. New, cool and healthy produce is finding its way to your table much easier but you have to be willing to try something new every once in a while. Just as most parents would expect, or at least hope, their kids would be open to new foods, parents have to be willing to partake in this as well. Adults can be worse than children as they are usually set in their own ways and refuse to try new things.
Some items are very easy to add to meals and can really increase the taste and nutritional value such as parsley, garlic, chili, lemon and pepper. These are just a few very popular additions to kick up your meals. Don’t be shy and try to use these a few times per week as they are fat-free and fabulous to help regular foods taste even more exciting.
Try exploring unique items such as Inca or Goji berries which are very rich in antioxidants. Add these nutrient dense foods to your meals at your next healthy dinner party and see what your guests think. This is always the perfect way to test out new recipes because you will get instant feedback from your family and friends to whether or not they work well and taste great.
In regards to cooking methods, always try to eat your foods raw, steamed or lightly roasted. Avoid using too much heat to cook your foods since overcooking will cause you to lose some of the precious nutrients found in them. Raw veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery and cauliflower are perfect for dipping into some fresh made hummus or guacamole.
- Acai berries are pretty easy to find at your local market and they are an incredibly delicious addition to a protein smoothie because they help add thickness along with the benefits of their powerful nutrients.
- Mangosteen is a very popular and exotic tropical fruit that can be found at specialty food markets. It’s juicy, sweet and delicious and is about the same size of a tangerine. The health benefits of this tasty fruit include lots of vitamin C, low in calories and packed with antioxidants.
- Chia seeds have an power-packed array of nutrients with impressive amounts of omega-3 (healthy fats), protein and fiber.
- Maca is a small root (kind of like a turnip) that is very nutrient dense and contains important vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, B1, B2, E along with zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorous. Maca also has amino acids and is also a great source of potassium.
For a few normal food choices you’re probably familiar with, try picking up some yellow zucchini which is rich in nutrients and has a better taste than regular zucchini. Cauliflower now comes in an array of colors including purple which makes it kind of fun to include on your dinner plate. Take advantage of the vibrant colors of different fruits and vegetables as they are rich in phytochemicals which have healing properties that help cells that have been damaged by free radicals.
Try a few of the recommendations above and see how you like them. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone and normal routine when it comes to your diet. Venture out to a local farmers market on the weekend or go to a specialty market that carries exotic foods so you can find some new and interesting foods to add to your healthy nutritional plan.