With the busy holiday season just around the corner, it can be tempting to head to get fast food between jobs, holiday parties, volunteer opportunities, and other commitments. But now more than ever, you should be cooking at least some of your meals at home! Here are a handful of foods that are beneficial to your skin, your hair, and your mood that you should include in your diet to make this holiday season as stress-free as possible!
According to guidelines published by the American Heart Association, fish should be a dish that makes up the meat of your meat consumption. Researchers have linked seafood consumption to lower rates of cardiac arrest, sudden death, and other tragic illnesses (mainly when you eat seafood instead of different protein sources like pork or beef). They recommend that you have two servings of fish per week. Adults and children can have acute adverse reactions to the mercury content of some fish, like king mackerel, so be sure to be informed about the type of fish you are eating.
Have iron-deficiency anemia? Need protein to get through a killer workout? Try eggs! Eggs are a low-cost, protein-rich food that you can eat for meals, as a snack, or in other dishes. Besides being rich in protein, eggs also contain large quantities of materials and minerals like Vitamin B6, B12, and D. Vitamin D is perfect for developing healthy bones! Experts recommend that you eat at least one egg per day, especially for kids, to promote healthy growth!
Probably everyone’s favorite on this list–dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is high in flavanols that researchers have shown protect the heart. The T. Chan school of Public Health and Harvard recommends eating one to two squares per day, which they associate with lower rates of hypertension and heart disease. Dark chocolate is also rich in copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and other essential minerals, making it a perfect addition to your daily diet (in moderation!) While higher in calories, dark chocolate promotes a feeling of fullness. You should eat it at the end of a meal, which you already feel full, to avoid overeating.
While not technically food as much as it is a beverage, green tea is a healthy addition to any diet. Green teas are high in L-theanine and caffeine, which, when consumed together, can make you smarter and more creative. Green teas are also perfect for burning fat–making them ideal for anyone trying to lose weight. Green teas also contain bacteria that kill diseases in your mouth and increase dental health. The drink also lowers LDL cholesterol and can protect you from the risk of having a stroke. Having a cup or two a day of green tea can lead to long-term benefits in the future!
Added to salads and yogurts, as part of your breakfast, or just as a healthy snack: nuts are a great addition to your diet. They contain fiber, which emulates fullness, unsaturated fats, which are critical for heart health, and omega-3 fatty acids, which, as in fish, can promote brain health! Nuts also include Vitamin E, which can stem or stop the buildup of plaque in your arteries altogether. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of nuts per week–with a meal being approximately two ounces worth of nuts or nut butter.