We all know that nutrition is important for our overall health. Having said that, what if you don’t like the foods that you normally eat? Is there any substitute for favorite comfort food? There can be, if you know where to look. There are several excellent alternatives, some of which are very similar to your favorites but substitutes without compromising your nutrition. What are some of these foods that you should add to your diet?
For starters, one excellent replacement for your favorites is raw sweet potatoes. Raw sweet potatoes have been recently promoted by numerous health experts for their glycemic index (GI) value. A low GI means it will take less energy to raise your blood sugar level after you eat compared to the same meal cooked in refined flour. A high GI means the opposite, more energy to raise your blood sugar level after you eat. According to many experts, raw sweet potatoes are a high quality source of fiber, including vitamin A, potassium, and several other important vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Next on the list is bananas. As mentioned before, bananas are loaded with potassium, an essential mineral that helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Bananas are also a major source of vitamin A, although this nutrient is lost during the cooking process. However, consuming only half of a Banana is still an excellent source of this vitamin. This is because the banana contains only 42 calories per serving, considerably less than many other fruits.
Another wonderful option is brown rice. Brown rice has been called the “gold standard” for starchy carbohydrates because it is very low in fat and cholesterol, as well as contains none of the unhealthy polyunsaturated fats that you find in processed carbohydrates. For this reason, it is often recommended as a main dish for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia. Aside from being a great starch source, brown rice has many other beneficial characteristics, such as high phytochemical content, potassium, fiber, and potassium-binding protein, which prevent kidney stones and other urinary tract problems.
Many vegetables and fruits, especially dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus contain lots of potassium. Kale, in particular, is a great source of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, while also being high in fiber. In fact, studies have shown that kale is even healthier than spinach and beets because it contains no trans-fats. Spinach and other leafy vegetables are also excellent sources of fiber. Whether you choose cabbage, cauliflower, or any other vegetable, your intake of fiber is important to your overall nutrition.
Even though sweet potatoes are laden with vitamins A, C, and E, sweet potatoes themselves are extremely low in nutrition, despite their high antioxidant value. Sweet potatoes are actually extremely poor sources of vitamin c – less than one tenth of one teaspoon of vitamin c is present in a one ounce serving of sweet potato. Clearly, if you want to boost your immune system or improve your cell function, adding sweet potatoes to your diet is not a good idea.
If you really want to boost your vitamin c intake, mash up some sweet potatoes and sprinkle them with some cinnamon. Not only will your body to benefit from the boost in vitamin C, but the spices in the mixture will also help with your digestion. As a major source of essential fiber, the combination of sweet potatoes and cinnamon should aid your digestive system. If you don’t like mashed potatoes, substitute your sweet potato with another vegetable, such as zucchini.
Baked potato is another excellent choice for increasing your vitamin intake. While slightly sweeter than sweet potatoes, baked potato is still a solid source of vitamin A, helping to fight free radicals and supporting cell formation. Be sure to choose a sweet potato that has been steamed, rather than roasted, in order to retain more of the vitamin A. In addition to sweet potato salads, baked potato is also a great alternative to chips on your salad.
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