6 easy to prepare healthy foods

I was doing some research to write about the best “diets” out there to lose weight. I say diets in quotations because most people associate a diet with eating less, while most of the time it’s just eating differently. What really blew me away were the sheer number of diets out there; The DASH Diet, The Mediterranean Diet and even The Fertility Diet, among a sea of others.  
To help navigate all that information, here are six healthy foods you could eat on a consistent basis that are oh-so easy to prepare and perfect for you New Year’s (and year round, for that matter) fitness goals.

Almonds

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Also known as the super nut, almonds are quite good for you and they taste good as well. Do they taste better covered in salt? Sure, but most things do. However, almonds on their own are full of nutrients like: magnesium, vitamin E, iron, calcium, fiber and riboflavin. They're also a heart healthy snack and can help with healthy cholesterol levels. 23 almonds is considered one serving so it's a small yet substantial amount. Toss some in a Ziploc bag and take them to work for a healthy snack.

Oatmeal

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A simple and easy breakfast option, the original oat craze began in 1980's when people discovered all the fibre in oatmeal helps lower cholesterol levels.  Oatmeal found resurgence again in 1997, when the FDA approved that oatmeal could advertise the cardiovascular heart benefits of oatmeal when combined with a low fat diet. The Oatmeal Trilogy (the second best trilogy of all time thanks to Lord of The Rings) continues with the latest installment, "overnight Oats.", which are oats mixed ahead of time and left in the fridge! The bottom line is oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option for you; it has fibre that will help slow digestion and help stabilize your blood-glucose levels. It's also rich in B-vitamins, omega3 fatty acids, folate and potassium. Steel cut oats are the best option but if you’re in a pinch, instant oatmeal works as well.

Broccoli

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Be still my heart, for broccoli is my favourite green! Aside from its delicious taste and the plethora of ways to cook it’s also incredibly healthy. This super green is loaded with fibre, calcium, potassium, folate and phytonutrients. Those phyto’s come in handy as they reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Let’s not forget that one serving (100 grams) of broccoli contains over 150 percent of your daily vitamin C. Broccoli is easy to add to any meal, keep in mind that overcooking broccoli destroys many of its nutrients; raw or steamed are your healthiest options.

Blueberries

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Growing up, my family would always go blueberry picking because, well, blueberries are delicious! They can also be used in everything from smoothies, to oatmeal and especially dessert. One thing that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle is the fact that blueberries are a stellar healthy option for you. They contain the same phytonutrients as broccoli, with the added bonus of fibre and antioxidants. Blueberries are also shown to help reduce cognitive decline and curb obesity. The berries contain plant polyphenols, which are shown to reduce the development of fat cells while helping you break down lipids and fat.
ast but certainly not least for all you high blood pressure sufferers, blueberries, when consumed on a regular basis, can help reduce high blood pressure by 10 percent.
So grab some blueberries and throw them in whatever you wish!
Personally I usually go with smoothies and a side of pie. Mmmmmm pie.

Avocado

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I list this for one reason and on reason only; guacamole. Well realistically, guac and the fact that avocados are rich in: healthy fats, B vitamins, vitamin K, Vitamin E, and fiber. Eat it in guacamole, smashed on toast, in a salad or on a burger because regular avocado consumption can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Those millennials and their avocado toast might actually be on to something here.
Wait, I'M a millenial!

Chicken (no, not the fast food & fried kind)

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I decided to save the protein for last to keep the vegans reading. Realistically, you do not need to meat to reach your required daily intake of protein. Sorry folks, science says it’s true.
That being said, I do indeed eat meat, I find it delicious and I’ve made my peace with it.
For the sake of this article, we are going to talk about the benefits of chicken.
As a broke writer, I love chicken because it’s cheap. (I should ask for a raise!)
Chicken can also be consumed on a regular basis without the potential damaging long term effects that some red meat can have on your overall health. The one thing to remember is how you prepare the chicken is what affects how healthy it is, so deep fried chicken isn't quite the best option. You can grab skinless/boneless chicken breasts at the grocery store, flavour with some low sodium seasoning (check out Flavor God) and bake in the oven or cook on the BBQ. Chicken is delicious and a great source of protein.

If you’re looking to eat a bit healthier but cringe at the idea of a diet, see if you can work these foods into your routine.  If you end up enjoying it you can always take incremental steps forward until you find yourself writing an article just like this.