5 Foods You Probably Aren’t Eating, But Should Be

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Nutrition, Vegan
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are literally hundreds of foods that I could have included in this post, but the ones I chose fit my lifestyle very well. The foods I eat must fit into many categories. Mainly they must be nutritionally dense, raw, and easy to find in any grocery store. These 5 foods fit every category to a “T”.

Dates 

These tiny fruits are packed with minerals iron and potassium, rich in B vitamins, full of fiber, and an energy powerhouse since they are full of glucose and fructose. I use dates in energy bars, cereals, or by themselves as a mid-day energy boost.

Coconut oil

This oil, which is actually solid at room temperature, has long gotten a bad wrap for being an unhealthy fat. Since 90% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, many “health professionals” have dubbed this a bad fat. The majority of the the fat in coconut oil is medium chain triglycerides, which are easily used by the body for energy. There are also many health benefits to adding this to your diet. Coconut oil boosts immune function, regulates hormone output, can prevent heart disease, and much more. I use coconut oil as a substitute for butter or other oils in cooking, I also include it in bars as a source of quick energy.

Flax seed

Flax seeds have been gaining in popularity lately, and for good reason. These tiny seeds, which closely resemble a grain, are loaded with good stuff. Two tablespoons include almost 200% the daily value we need for omega-3 fatty acids with very few calories added. Flax seeds are very high in dietary fiber and loaded with phytonutrients to boost immune function. You will need to grind the flax seeds to ensure that you get the full effects of the nutrients. I use flax seeds in pancakes, cereal, my morning power smoothie, toppings for salads, and added to many other recipes.

Cacao nibs

Chocolate has gotten the reputation for being bad for you, and for good reason. Most of the chocolate consumers buy is processed and combined with sugar, which is what makes the chocolate bars unhealthy. Cacao is the bean from which all chocolate products are made and is hands down the most anti-oxidant rich food known to man, four times the anti-oxidant count of green tea. These anti-oxidants help boost immune function and reduce environmental stresses. Cacao also has all the “happy feeling” benefits that chocolate has, by raising serotonin and endorphin levels in your body. Cacao beans are also rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, and heart healthy fats. I sprinkle the nibs on cereal and use in cooking to give a chocolate flavor.

Quinoa

Long thought to have been a grain, quinoa is actually a seed. This seed, unlike most other grains, is extremely high in protein content. It contains all eight essential amino acids which are necessary for tissue repair. This is a rarity in the veggie world. Quinoa is also a low calorie source of slow digesting carbohydrates and loads of fiber. I use quinoa as a base for cereals, added to baking to add substance, in pancakes, or as a side dish.

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