A Healthier You In 2012: Foods You Should Be Eating

The holiday season is all about extravagance and indulgence. You have stuffed your face with endless amounts of honey-baked ham, mashed potatoes, and apple pie. I hope you enjoyed because now it is time to focus back on creating that healthier you 2012. Eating right is an essential piece in the puzzle that is life. Check out our list of healthy foods you should be eating below and get a jumpstart on your resolutions for 2012!

1) Apples: It is true what they say…”An apple a day will keep the doctor away”. Apples a great crunchy snacked loaded with nutritional value. One medium apple is packed with about 14% of your daily value of vitamin C, 4 grams of fiber, and is quite hydrating due to the high water content. The soluble fiber and antioxidants in apples has been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

2) Salmon: There is nothing fishy about it…salmon is GREAT for your heart! Oily fish like salmon and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3’s have been shown to lower triglyceride levels in the blood, as well as lower blood pressure levels. It is recommended that one should about two servings of omega-3 rich fish into their diet per week.

3) Chocolate: No, it is not a typo, I said chocolate! Unfortunately, this does not mean diving into a bag of M&M’s on a regular basis. Turn to dark chocolate options as a healthy alternative. Dark chocolate is chocked full of flavanols, which have been shown to support health blood vessel function. Stressed out? Dark chocolate can help you there too. Studies have also shown that the consumption of dark chocolate (cacao) may be linked to reduced cortisol levels.

4) Cinnamon: The spice that makes everything nice, right? Well, at a minimum consuming cinnamon has been shown in studies to help control blood sugar and reduce levels of LDL’s in the blood. The active polymers in cinnamon have been shown to increase cellular metabolism of sugar up to 20 percent! Sprinkle some of this “magic dust” on your oatmeal or mix some in your morning cup of Joe!

5) Sweet Potatoes: Carbs are bad right? Wrong! This super carbohydrate is loaded with vitamins and is the perfect fuel for your brain and body. It is a misconception that sweet potatoes are high in calories due to their sweetness, but they are actually have quite a low glycemic index. This “super vegetable” comes packed with vitamins C and A, potassium, and lycopene. Try slicing one up and baking it until golden brown to make delicious sweet potato fries. Drizzle on some heart-healthy olive oil before baking to add more flavor and omega-3’s.

CLICK HERE to find healthy salmon recipes from eatingwell.com

CLICK HERE for more sweet potato recipes from cookinglight.com

CLICK HERE for creative apple recipes from foodnetwork.com