Sometimes the hardest part of dieting is cutting down on certain foods that you are used to eating regularly. With the amount of opportunities of things to eat that we have out there it is usually easier than you think to find substitutes and healthier alternatives to your regulars. Sometimes we are just too set in our own ways to find them! Swapping an item in your diet for another which is better for you could even mean cutting out the original from your diet all together as opposed to cutting down so in the long run it could really do you a world of good. You just need the willpower to try!
- Quinoa is a great source of protein containing all the essential amino acids which means you can eat it alone with vegetables and no meat/ seafood if you are are going for a quick fix. It also contains roughly twice the amount of fibre than most other grains, this helps with digestion and reduces high blood pressure. There is a high content of manganese in quinoa which helps protect red blood cells, meaning you will heal better and faster.
- One cup of shirataki noodles contains a mind boggling 20 calories against pastas 220 (roughly)! This wonder food is made mostly from a type of yam and is completely gluten free. They also contain zero net carbohydrates… you’d be daft not to indulge!
Soba noodles are another Japanese miracle! Coming mostly from buckwheat they contain a lot of health benefits. Buckwheat promotes bowel movement, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces the accumulation of fat.
- Experiment with low calorie recipes that use unsweetened raw cocoa powder.
Raw cocoa used in the right ways can be one of the most beneficial things you can consume. Cocoa powder aids with the dilation of blood vessels. This increases circulation helping to prevent blood clots, regulates heart rate and blood pressure and lowers cholesterol levels. Other than these health benefits cocoa powder can also make you feel good as it contains seratonin and dopamine. This gives cocoa an almost anti-depressing property and helps increase in alertness.
For an exemplar recipe, here is an alternative healthy take on a chocolate pudding. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
What you will need: 1 ripe avocado, 1 ripe banana, 2 tbs agave nectar/ honey, 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder. All you have to do is blend them all together until smooth and you will have a low cal healthy chocolate dessert!
- Agave nectar has an extremely low glycemic index which means that unlike sugar it doesn’t cause a sharp rise or fall in your blood sugar levels. It is also good for the immune system and has anti-inflammitory properties.
When honey is being produced, the bees add an enzyme which makes hydrogen peroxide. This makes it anti-bacterial. Honey’s anti-bacterial property means it has a lot of health benefits, some of which are reducing gastrointestinal problems and even preventing cancer and heart disease… problems which too much normal sugar can, in fact, cause!