Ever have a serious craving? Of course you have— you’re human. But you also are trying to keep yourself healthy, right?
If you’re sick of eating salad every night for dinner while trying to stay healthy, have no fear — there are other options you probably already have sitting in your kitchen right now. So put away the lettuce and try one of these surprisingly tasty, nutritious alternatives.
Dark chocolate is actually loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. In fact, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, having even more than blueberries and Acai berries, which are known for their powerful antioxidants. Studies also show dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, which improves cognitive function. Basically, chocolate makes you smarter, giving you even more of a reason to eat it.
For a long time, we were told coffee was bad for us and stunted our growth. Drinking black coffee, without all the fattening cream and sugar, can actually help you burn fat since the caffeine is a natural aid. Coffee also can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Let’s face it — everyone loves cheese. Cheese has always had a reputation for being fattening, but it actually has tons of calcium, which is lacking from many American diets. Cheese also contains zinc and biotin. The zinc in protects your skin and keeps your nails strong and the biotin is important for healthy hair. If you’re looking to buy one of the healthiest types of cheese, feta is low in calories and tastes great on a salad.
This is not a joke. Sometimes ketchup is overlooked because it is used on fatty foods like greasy burgers and hot dogs. In order to get the health benefits of the condiment, you have to consider the entire meal you’re putting it on. Ketchup is low in calories, low in fat, and low in carbs. Ketchup also contains a high amount of lycopene. Studies show lycopene lowers the risk of heart disease and protects your body’s cells.
Popcorn is a great snack option, as long as it isn’t smothered with butter and salt. Popcorn is loaded with protein and iron. It even has more iron than eggs or spinach! A serving of popcorn contains around 30 calories, which is significantly less than other snacks like potato chips. Popcorn also contains a lot of fiber. Fiber makes you feel full, therefore preventing overeating.
Disclaimer: You can’t eat a huge platter of dark chocolate and cheese cubes and expect to lose 20 pounds. But, in moderation, these five snacks are delicious, nutritious, easy alternatives that you probably never even realized were good for you.