Unless you’re a screaming toddler trying to down your chicken nuggets and macaroni off a restaurant’s kid’s menu, most of us try to add more greens to our diet. Eating healthy and being food conscious is always a more nutritious and beneficial way to live. Watching what you put into your body can better your health and disease prevention as well as give you more energy and help your metabolism and nutrition absorption. There are plenty of dietary routes to take to achieve a more healthy eating habit.
We’ve all been taught to stray away from processed foods that contain nothing but fats and sugars. These preserved and freeze-dried, packaged and ‘enhanced’ foods lack a lot of nutrients that many scientists and nutritionists feel are important for a person’s daily intake. As a substitute it is promoted that healthier, all natural foods be consumed to make up for what we are losing during greasy fast food and microwave dinner consumption. Things like vegetables and salads, lean soups and many alternate grains are always heard to be the ‘go to’ health foods. Although they may be better for you, many of our fast paced and hectic lives don’t permit the time to prepare healthier meals. Time constraints keep us from having a prepared meal with washed and cooked vegetables and hearty quinoa.
While this inner struggle between what is better for you and what is convenient takes place, you may be overlooking some very great alternatives that are both healthy and convenient. Here is a list of 5 health foods that are best eaten uncooked, uncut, and just plain raw:
I know what you’re thinking, raw broccoli has got to be worse than the childhood punishment of eating cooked broccoli. No matter what it’s concealed in, whether its a veggie mix or covered in cheese, many people find steamed broccoli to be slimy and gross. However, eating raw cuts of broccoli is actually very good tasting and good for you. Studies suggest that this tiny brusseled green is linked to cancer prevention and possess chemicals and proteins that aid your liver in performing it’s every day duties of detoxification.
You like it in your candy, you love the shavings on your cake, and pretty much every health-conscious person has a carton of it’s ‘milk’ or water in their fridge. Coconuts are one of the best foods that allow the best of both worlds; great tasting flavor and great for your shape. Its arrangement of low-fat lipids and ability to lower cholesterol makes raw coconut meat a shoe in for those looking to eat better without eating bitter. Next time you’re looking for a fun food to crack open and go to town on, pick up a coconut at your local grocer. Your heart and brain will thank you later with the energy they get from it’s natural electrolytes.
Don’t let the pucker face scare you off; naturally squeezed citrus juices are actually good for more than just testing the limits of your salivary glands. The juices that come naturally in a grapefruit or blood orange are jam packed full of vitamins. Their abilities to increase energy and white blood cell function are sure to make your healthy living skyrocket with every glass of fresh squeezed juice. No need to add syrups or sugars, just drinking it straight out of the fruit can give your body all the support and vitamin C it needs. However you probably already knew that from seeing countless cartons of orange juice with artificial sweeteners added.
Hear me out… spinach has a better rep than you might give it credit for. Although the thought of spinach, or salad in general, seems unappealing unless it’s covered in dressing and cheese, give it a shot all on it’s own. And that does not mean reach for a can of processed and packaged spinach Popeye. Eating raw leaves of spinach as a snack can provide your body with all the essential enzymes and fiber needed to an on-track digestive system. The leafy green route is commonly taken be health conscious snackers in order to get a quick fill up and benefit from the energy without being bogged down.
Thats right, you read this correct. Rejoice in your discovery that is actually healthy to eat chocolate. However, not just any chocolate will do. All natural and raw chocolate, or ‘cacao’, is great for vitamins that help aid your body’s neurotransmitters. Without all the oils and sugars added to give it the milk chocolate look and taste, this raw powdery cocao seed can be a great benefit to your daily diet that helps your brain as well as your taste buds. Just remember to keep a toothbrush on hand so you don’t jeopardize your smile for a little bit of indulgence.
There you have it, 5 foods that are surprisingly better to eat raw. Healthy dieting, accompanied by great oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing, can leave your body and inner self feeling confident and energized. It’s important to make changes for the better, and a lot of your bodies future plans are based off of what you do with it now. Next time you’re at the store, take a peek at some of these healthy foods that can be eaten without preparation.
Zach C. writes for Lifetime Smiles, an Austin dental office.