1. Protect Your Heart: Replace Pretzels with Pistachios
If you’re in the mood for a salty snack that is both crunchy and delicious, there’s no need to reach for those pretzels, which are full of empty calories. Instead, opt for a small bowl of pistachios. Studies have found that daily consumption of 1.4oz (40g) of pistachios reduces the risk of a heart attack thanks to their healthy levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Pistachios are beneficial for diabetics, they boost the immune system, and, with their high levels of Vitamin E, do wonders for your skin.
2. Watching Your Weight: Substitute Diet Coke with Ice Tea
Do you think drinking diet sodas will help you lose weight? A recent study held at the University of Texas found that people who drank Diet Coke regularly for ten years experienced a 70% increase in waist size. The researchers concluded that Diet Coke makes people want to eat more and that the average consumer of Diet Coke has worse eating habits when compared to people who avoid sodas altogether. If you still crave a sweet beverage, pour yourself a cup of iced green tea. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which help you stay younger and protect you from cancer.
3. Stronger Bones: Substitute Spinach for Kale
If you’re in the mood for some healthy greens, forget spinach and grab a box of kale. You can substitute them 1:1, but kale is richer in antioxidants, as well as bone-building vitamin K. Kale also contains phytochemicals that aid in the fight against colon, breast, and cervical cancer.
4. Prevent Stomach-ache Illnesses: Replace Sour Cream with Greek Yogurt
Whether you want a delicious topping for your baked potato, or you’re simply a sour-cream lover, try substituting it with Greek Yogurt. Both products enjoy that delicious tartness. However, one cup of Greek yogurt contains 20% of your daily dosage of calcium, compared to 1% in sour cream. The yogurt also contains 20 grams of protein, while the cream contains only 8 grams. Furthermore, Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which help your body fight diseases and aid in the digestion process.
5. Better Nutritional Values: Choose Chicken Drumsticks over Breasts
Chicken breasts are lower in calories and fat, but the drumsticks have a higher nutritional value. The drumsticks contain much more iron, which helps your red blood cells distribute oxygen throughout your body; zinc, which helps the immune system; and vitamin A, which is essential for the health of your eyes.
6. Cancer Protection: Choose Red Bell Peppers
When compared to its green and yellow counterparts, red bell pepper contains three times as much nutritional fiber, eight times more vitamin A, and 60% more vitamin C. In addition, red bell peppers contain a pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin. Studies show that regular consumption of beta-cryptoxanthin reduces the risk of developing lung cancer by 27%.
7. Balance Your Cholesterol: Choose Avocado Over Mayonnaise
Avocado has a creamy texture that is similar to mayo, but unlike mayo, it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which boosts brain functions, lowers “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and helps prevent heart diseases.
8. Breast Cancer Prevention: Use Quinoa as a Starch
Half a cup of quinoa contains eight grams of iron, more than any other grain, as well as magnesium and fibers. Studies indicate that a fiber-rich diet lowers excess levels of estrogen in women, thus reducing the risk of developing breast cancer.
9. Preventing Alzheimer’s: Go for the Trout, Not the Cod
While salmon gets all the credit when it comes to Omega 3, trout, which is from the same family, is just as rich in Omega 3. In fact, one serving of trout contains as much as 200% of your daily Omega 3 needs. Omega 3 was shown to be beneficial to the heart, memory, and brain functions, as well as slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
10. Dealing with Diabetes: Use Real Maple Syrup
It is true that the maple-flavored syrups are sweeter, cheaper, and thus more tempting, but they also contain an extensive list of industrial additives, high levels of processed sugar or corn syrup, and various other chemicals. In comparison, pure maple syrup is a natural substance, produced from the sap of the maple tree, and contains more than 20 kinds of antioxidants, and helps reduce the risk of diabetes.
11. Breast Cancer Prevention: Substitute Chewing Gum with Parsley
If you like to end your meal with the fresh taste of gum, you will do better to chew on a little bit of parsley instead. Parsley is one of the most effective breath fresheners, and has many other benefits, such as the ability to stop the development of breast cancer, according to a study from Missouri University.
12. Maintain a Healthy Liver: Eat the Whole Egg, Not Just the White
Many people abstain from eating egg yolk, fearing that it is too high in cholesterol, but the yolk is actually rich in choline – a water-soluble nutrient that the body requires for the production of various compounds. Additionally, choline can also prevent the accumulation of cholesterol and fat in the liver.
Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15