As women we are genetically programmed to constantly obsess over ways that will make us thinner, prettier, happier, smoother, and so much more. We often opt for ways that are simple and produce fast results—and most of the time these are the most unhealthy and ineffective ways to have long lasting health benefits. Nowadays it’s hard to enjoy the foods you like because of the calories, fat, sodium, or sugar contents levels. Often the foods that are of extreme benefit are not up to par with our appetite, so the challenge comes in finding foods we actually enjoy that provide just as great benefit for our health.
Chocolate milk is no longer just a way to get your kids to drink the right amount of milk; it’s also beneficial for yourself as well. According to nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., basic whole milk provides the essential calcium, vitamins, and mineral intake we’re used to. However, by adding just a hint of cocoa you are providing your body with the perfect source of energy to help you and your muscles replenish and repair after a tough workout or long day at work.
Much in the same way chocolate milk is great for muscle repair, chocolate itself does wonders for our bone health. According to scientists at the University of Tennessee, nibbling on an ounce of dark chocolate each day produces the crystal lattice that provides structure for our bones. This magnesium rich indulgence will not only taste good but it will make you feel good as well.
Tossing a pack of pumpkin seeds into your cereal, or just popping a few in your mouth on the go, may be the very best thing for maintaining hair volume. Research shows that pumpkin seeds are full of zinc, which helps reduce the amount of hair you shed.
So often we are encouraged to stick to egg whites and forego the yolk due to its cholesterol. However, researchers from the University of Massachusetts conclude yolks are rich in antioxidants that fight cataracts along with muscular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. So instead of tossing half of your breakfast, opt for eating the entire egg—researchers say that a whole egg a day will not negatively impact your cholesterol fitness levels at all.
Though sometimes linked with the elderly population, dried plums (aka prunes) are actually beneficial when it comes down to shrinking one of the main problem areas for women: our gut. The amount of fiber in prunes provides the necessary tools to help keep your gastric system running smoothly, thus keeping a trim waist. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that showed women who consumed more fiber were less likely to suffer weight gain. While prunes don’t necessarily sound appealing on their own, they are actually very tasteful when mixed with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, bits of dark chocolate, peanuts and walnuts, and other dried fruits. Not only does this makeshift trail mix make a convenient snack, it also provides the best health advantages.