Ice cream sundae or sugar-free jelly? Chocolate brownie or granola bar? Kettle chips or green salad?
It's often very difficult to stick to choices from your healthy foods list, since junk food, snacks and sweet treats invariably look and taste better than a healthier low-calorie option. But just to prove that wrong, here are 10 foods that somehow manage to taste even better than junk foods—plus they help teach your body how to reduce food cravings.
Brimming with antioxidants and phytochemicals, it’s hard to beat the taste of a fresh sun-ripened strawberry. These lush summer fruits are high in vitamin C, carotenes, calcium, fiber and minerals yet are low in calories. Eating three or more servings a week of strawberries and blueberries is certainly no hardship, yet they provide a 32% lowered risk of heart attack.
Lycopene is normally associated with tomatoes, but it's present in watermelon, too. On a hot day there's nothing more refreshing than biting into a crisp triangle of juicy water melon—and that's a great tip for how to reduce food cravings too!
Mangoes are so versatile. Add them to fruit salads, eat fresh in slivers or make a delicious sugar-free dessert with them. They contain calcium, iron and lots of trace minerals as well as 17 of the 20 amino acids in the human body.
Did you know that almonds are an excellent source of protein? The skins are high in antioxidants that are normally associated with fruits and vegetables. In fact, a one-ounce serving of almonds has the equivalent quantity of polyphenols as a cup of broccoli, but their calorie content is five times higher, so portion-size is the watchword!
Another food where a little goes a long way is avocado. Low in fructose and high in healthy monounsaturated fats for energy, avocadoes are particularly high in potassium and B-vitamins.
Packed with fiber and antioxidants, blueberries contain high levels of nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure safely and naturally. What better fruit to add to your healthy foods list?
Related: Healthy Eating Habits
7. Sweet Potatoes
It’s the beta-carotene antioxidant that gives sweet potatoes their healthy color. As well as countering the aging effects of free radicals, sweet potatoes also support the immune system.
Sweet cherries are high in quercetin, the most potent type of antioxidant, along with fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins which are important for cancer prevention. These glossy fruits should be top of your healthy foods list when they are in season.
Containing the same healthy oleic acid found in olive oil, pistachios are known to naturally help lower blood pressure. High in lutein and beta-carotene (both good for ophthalmic health), pistachios are a good snack for dieters as they take time to shell and nibble slowly.
10. Dark Chocolate
Eating high-quality dark chocolate in small portions (1-2 squares per day) can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. It helps control hypertension and fasting glucose levels and is a great snack choice for those looking for how to reduce food cravings.
So maybe it’s not so difficult after all to stick to choices from your healthy foods list! Choose a delicious and healthier low-calorie option from this tasty list of 10 foods that really do taste even better than junk foods!