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10 Natural Foods That Should Be Included in Your Diet

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As we prepare to say goodbye to 2015 and approach 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear – healthy eating shouldn’t be complicated.

When health is your desire, there is no getting around your diet. Remember that your physical health is a direct reflection of what you eat and how you live your life in general. Prepackaged and processed foods may be easy to cook, but preparing a nutritious and balanced meal from natural ingredients is an absolute must if you want to achieve optimal health. So why wait? Stock your kitchen with these natural foods, which provide a range of essential nutrients for a balanced diet, and add them to your diet daily to fuel your life in a healthy way:

  1. Lemon (Nimbus)
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In addition to being a good flavor enhancer, lemon is packed with antioxidants and other health benefits that rejuvenate the body and mind. A daily dose of lemon as lemonade or raw squeezed in meals boosts immunity, cleanses the body and aids in overall health. To get even more nutrients out of this tart fruit, combine it with tasty recipes for a refreshing taste and balanced nutrition.

  1. Almonds (Badam)

There are quite a number of benefits in a handful of almonds, popularly known as badam in India. With energy-boosting protein, hunger-fighting fiber, and many essential nutrients, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin. They are also one of the highest sources of elusive magnesium. Consuming these nuts daily has several benefits, including aiding in weight management, fighting diabetes and keeping your heart healthy. Luckily, these flavorful and versatile nuts are available year-round to make a healthy and tasty addition to your meals. Try these incredibly delicious badam recipes for an easy, filling, and healthy snack.

  1. organic eggs

As a source of quality protein, organic eggs are relatively inexpensive and a good source of quality nutrients that many people lack. Eggs are easy to cook and are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try Andae ka Halwa or Badam Cutlet for an eggilicious snack.

  1. broccoli

“Eat your broccoli” was a common phrase and your parents knew what was going on when they told you that. This humble green vegetable is a source of several nutrients like fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, and polynutrients that help fight the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other similar diseases. Broccoli can be eaten as stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles.

  1. oatmeal

What better way to start the day than with a bowl of oatmeal mixed with dried fruit. Regarded as one of the healthiest whole foods, oats are not only balanced, they taste great too. It’s packed with fiber and minerals like manganese, magnesium, thiamine, and phosphorus. Incorporate oats into your regular diet along with dried fruits for multiple health benefits.

  1. garlic

With its unique combination of flavonoids and nutrients, garlic is an essential part of your daily diet. It is a good seasoning to add aroma and flavor as well as extra nutrients to your dishes. Try these delicious garlic recipes: Taimuri Shorba, Murg Badam Korma, and Badami Murg Kheema

  1. beans

High in fiber and antioxidants, beans are more than just meat substitutes. They offer myriad health benefits and are readily available. Beans can be incorporated into a main course (Rajma/Dal), a side dish (Baked Beans), an appetizer (Soup – Moong Dal Badami) or a snack (Dip). You can be creative with your meal planning when you have kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, split peas and lentils in your kitchen.

  1. spinach

The green spinach leaves should be an essential part of your daily diet. Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which boost immunity while improving eye health. Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza or cook up the incredibly delicious palak badam ki subzi.

  1. Indian gooseberry

Deliciously sour and tart, Amla or Indian Gooseberry is a superfood that is the most commonly used ingredient in most Ayurvedic preparations. Amla is a rich source of vitamin C and contains many vital minerals that are essential for good metabolic health. To reap the benefits of amla in your diet, add a pinch of amla powder to sweet and sour dishes, eat fresh amla fruit, or drink its juice to boost your overall wellness.

  1. yogurt

It’s no coincidence that the yogurt aisle has practically taken over the dairy aisle in most grocery stores. Yogurt provides a healthy dose of bacteria that boost your immune system and protect against cancer. Yogurt with blueberries, almonds, flaxseed and honey is the ultimate breakfast or dessert. Yogurt is also a good base for salad dressings and dips.

Thanks to Anurup A

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