Pineapple juice isn’t just a delicious way to add some tropical flavor to your day, it also offers an impressive array of health benefits:
🍍 Improve Digestion - One of the unique things about pineapple is it contains digestive enzymes called bromelain, which can help remedy many different digestive issues. Additionally, they help break down proteins so they can be digested and absorbed easier and can even help protect against bacteria like E. coli.
🍍 Heart Health - The combo of vitamin C and bromelain in pineapple juice help your cardiovascular system by reducing free radicals and minimizing the risk of blood clots.
🍍 Lower Blood Pressure - Since it’s high in potassium and low in sodium, pineapple juice may help lower your blood pressure. When you consume potassium, it causes you to pass sodium in your urine. It also helps relieve tension in the walls of your blood vessels.
🍍 Reduce Inflammation - Bromelain has been found to be one of the best anti-inflammatories you can get from food and has been used as a way to help with sports injuries and even osteoarthritis.
🍍 Immune Boosting - Pineapples are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can be a huge boost for your immune system.
🍍 Natural Antihistamine - Those suffering from allergy-based inflammation may get some relief from pineapple juice and its anti-inflammatory properties as it helps open pathways back up. Additionally, the bromelain can help break down mucus that may be irritating the respiratory tract.
🍍 Strengthen Bones - The bones and joints in our bodies do well when we’re getting good levels of manganese and one glass of pineapple juice contains 73% of your daily manganese requirement.
Vitamin C is important for healthy bones, collagen and skin, joints, and your immune system. Your body can’t produce or store vitamin C either, so it’s important that you consume it regularly. While oranges usually get the spotlight as a source of this vitamin, there are actually lots of other options - some with even more vitamin C than oranges. Ranked from highest to lowest, here are ten of the top vitamin C sources you can eat:
✴️ Guavas - 419% Daily Value (DV) per cup
🥝 Kiwifruit - 185% DV / cup
🫑 Bell Peppers - 169% / cup
🍓 Strawberries - 108% DV / cup
🍊 Oranges - 106% DV / cup
❇️ Papaya - 98% DV / cup
🥦 Broccoli - 90% DV / cup
🍅 Tomato - 61% DV / cup
🌱 Snow Peas - 42% DV / cup
🥬 Kale - 26% DV / cup
Fats in your diet shouldn’t be avoided, as your body needs them for hormone and brain function. They’ll also add flavor to your food and help you feel full. Here are some whole foods that’ll help make sure you’re getting enough fat in your diet:
➡️ Nut and Seed Butters
➡️ Whole Eggs
A quick and easy way to add some protein to your day is reaching for your favorite nut or seed butter. No matter the type, most contain some good fats and protein, but some have more than others. Here are some of the most popular nut and seed butters ranked by least protein to most in a 1 Tbsp serving:
🥜 Hazelnut Butter
🥜 Almond Butter
🥜 Walnut Butter
🥜 Sesame Butter (Tahini)
🥜 Cashew Butter
🥜 Pistachio Butter
🥜 Sunflower Seed Butter
🥜 Peanut Butter
If you’re looking strictly at protein, peanut butter comes out on top! As you can see, whichever kind you go for, each can add some protein into your diet in an easy way.
Your body needs salt - just not too much of it. So from time-to-time, a salty snack can be just what you need and the less refined, the better. Here are some ideas that can get you on the right track (provided your sodium levels can handle it):
🧂Nuts - Plenty of options here. Peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or mix ‘em all up! You’ll get fat, fiber, protein, and magnesium.
🧂String Cheese - Don’t let the kids have all the fun. String cheese is a good source of calcium and protein and you can usually find a low-sodium version if you’re trying to watch it.
🧂Vegetables and Hummus or Guac - You can always use more vegetables in your life and covering them in hummus can help get your salt craving under control while also adding some fiber and protein. Making a quick guacamole instead of hummus is an option too and can yield healthy fats, fiber, and potassium.
🧂Popcorn - Make it yourself and you can control everything about it: the oil you use, how much butter you add, and how much salt or other seasonings you add.
🧂Seeds - Sunflower seeds are a good choice but also try roasted pumpkin seeds if you haven’t yet. They have lots to offer nutritionally including fiber, protein, and minerals that are good for your heart.
🧂Fruit and Nut Butter - Another wide-open choice with a classic combo being apples and peanut butter or celery and peanut butter. For something different try strawberries and almond butter.
🧂Seasoned Hard Boiled Egg - Simple yet effective, a hard boiled egg sliced in half is just begging for some seasoned salt before enjoying.
Grapes are a wonderfully convenient and affordable snack, but they also have a wide variety of health benefits to offer:
🍇 Impressive Nutrients
Grapes are a great source of copper and vitamin K. The copper can be used for energy production while the vitamin K helps with bone health and proper blood clotting. They’re also a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C.
🍇 Heart Health
The combo of potassium and a plant compound called resveratrol in grapes may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
There are several different types of antioxidants found in grapes that can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
🍇 Eye Health
The previously mentioned resveratrol along with lutein and zeaxanthin that grapes contain have been shown to help maintain eye health and improve visual clarity. They may help prevent common age-related eye problems as well.
🍇 Brain Health
Research has found that compounds in grapes can help improve memory, mood, attention, and speech.
🌿 You'll hear the term “leafy greens” all the time, but what does that broad term encompass? There are actually six categories of leafy greens:
1. Cruciferous Greens - lots of options for these nutritional powerhouses:
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards
2. Taproot Greens - the leafy tops of root vegetables have lots to offer:
Radish greens, carrot tops, beet greens, turnip greens, celeriac greens
3. Lettuce Greens - mostly eaten raw with lots of varieties available:
Iceberg, romaine, butterhead, red leaf, Bibb, Boston, green leaf, oak
4. Chicory Family Greens - cousins to the lettuce varieties but more bitter and hearty:
Endive, frisee, radicchio
5. Amaranth Family Greens - the same family as quinoa, but focused on just the greens:
Spinach, Swiss chard, amaranth greens
6. Herb Greens - add a punch of flavor to any dish:
Parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, rosemary
❇ Folate is another name for the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9.
❇ You may have also heard of “folic acid” - this is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 that’s used in supplements and added to some processed foods.
❇ Folate offers the following health benefits:
• Helps creation of new cells in the body
• Supports proper creation of DNA and genetic material
• May lower blood pressure and reduce hardening of the arteries
• Especially helpful during pregnancy for proper development of the baby’s brain and spine
❇ Foods that are rich in folate include:
• Brussels sprouts
• Spinach, lettuce, and other leafy greens
• Bananas and oranges
• Black beans and lentils