Chickpeas, cranberries, salmon…you already know these foods are great for you. But if you’re over basic hummus or ho-hum grilled salmon, check out some creative ways of preparing these and other ridiculously healthy foods.
Why they’re awesome These green orbs of goodness offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), vitamin E (an antioxidant that strengthens immunity), and folic acid (especially important for moms-to-be). Avocados are also packed with monounsaturated fat, a “healthy fat” that protects against heart disease.
How to enjoy Think beyond guacamole! Try the delicious but super simple avocado on toast. Just combine mashed avo, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Get creative with any additional toppings: goat cheese, pesto, a fried egg—your call.
Good to know Another great option: The ALT sandwich (avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mayo).
Why they’re awesome Chickpeas are packed with protein and a slew of nutrients like fiber, niacin, folate, and beta carotene. Research has shown that they may help lower cholesterol and the risk of diabetes.
How to enjoy Sure, you can always reach for a tub of hummus, but here’s another just-as-addictive snack: spicy roasted chickpeas. Simply toss chickpeas (rinsed and blotted dry) with salt, olive oil, and your favorite spices, like ground cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 450˚ until crisp, about 25 to 30 minutes. These will hit the spot when you’re craving salt and crunch!
Good to know If you’re in the mood for something sweet, switch out the salt and spices for cinnamon and sugar.
Why they’re awesome This amazing fruit is packed with vitamin C, fiber, and PACs, or proanthocyanidins, which are natural elements found in cranberries. Cranberries contain unique A-type PACs, which naturally cleanse and purify the body by preventing certain harmful bacteria from sticking to cells inside the body, allowing them to be naturally flushed away.
How to enjoy If you only think of cranberries at the holidays, think again! You can enjoy the flavor and reap the health benefits of cranberries year-round by drinking Ocean Spray® PACt®cranberry extract water. Even better, it’s available in four refreshing flavors! It’s a better water for a better you.
Good to know Ocean Spray® PACt® cranberry extract water is a great way to enjoy the health boost from cranberries without all the calories and sugar.
Why it’s awesome This mighty whole grain is a great source of fiber and protein and may help lower cholesterol, curb appetite, and boost beneficial bacteria in your gut. It’s also rich in minerals including iron and magnesium.
How to enjoy If a bowl of oatmeal isn’t your ideal morning meal, try using oat flour in your baking. In most recipes for muffins, quickbreads, and cookies, you can replace a quarter of the flour with an equal amount of oat flour.
Good to know You can find oat flour in stores, or prepare your own by blending oats in a food processor until finely ground.
Why it’s awesome It’s all about the omega-3s. Salmon is rich in these healthy fats, which may lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and depression, and may be helpful in infant brain development.
How to enjoy Grilling and baking fillets are great options, but how about opening up a can or pouch of salmon for an easy no-cook meal? Whip up a salmon salad sandwich (just mix with mayo or even mashed avocados) or toss into your regular green salad for a healthy dose of protein and omega-3s.
Good to know The American Heart Association recommends eating fish—especially fatty fish like salmon—twice a week.