5 Foods Your Body Needs

The right foods helps you and feel your best; the wrong ones can delay your progress. Whether you are an athlete or just trying to lose some weight, try to include these items in your diet!

Kefir

Yogurt is known to be a great source of probiotics – aka gut-friendly bacteria but the lactose, milk’s sugar, can be hard to digest and can cause bloating. Enter kefir, it’s a fermented milk drink that is slightly fizzy and, like yogurt, packs a good hit of calcium. What sets it apart: It’s lower in lactose meaning you can load up on probiotics without the bloat. Even more: Research finds drinking kefir can help improve your body’s ability to digest lactose in the first place, making this drink even easier on the stomach.

Sardines

“Most people are afraid to try sardines,” says Amari Thomsen, R.D., founder of Eat Chic Chicago. “But these little fish pack a big, nutritious punch.” One can (about 4 ounces) offers a whopping 26 grams of protein—30 percent of your daily calcium needs. Sardines are also a good source of energy-revving iron and vitamin D. Don’t worry about taste, either: You can find canned flavors like cayenne pepper, lemon olive oil, and tomato sauce.

Chocolate

Anyone who’s sugar-conscious has likely cut chocolate from their menu. But Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies recommends the sweet stuff to clients. “It’s packed full of plant compounds called flavonoids, which can help improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and even boost your mood,” she says. Reap the benefits with an ounce of chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. Know: The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content.

Beets

This vegetable has far more pros than cons. “It’s very low in calories and its natural sugar is released slowly into your system. That gives you a lot of energy,” says Keren Gilbert, R.D., author of The HD Diet. Plus, beets contain antioxidants known as betalain pigments. On of them, called betaine, can help boost metabolism and increase levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin in your brain, she says. If you want to incorporate more beets into your diet try out this dried beet powder! You can add a spoonful to your morning smoothie without affecting the flavor.

Pulses

Pulses refers to: Peas, lentils, chickpeas, and dried beans like kidney or navy beans. Full of plant protein, fiber, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, they may help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and decrease your risk for heart disease. Ample protein and fiber content also slow digestion, helping keep you fuller for longer. Toss them onto a salad, into a soup, or eat them as part of a rice bowl. Read: The Power of Pulses

Adapted from Furthermore

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