You are probably aware of the importance of eating a balanced diet to ensure that you are getting all of the essential nutrients. However, eating a variety of foods is not just a healthy habit; it also makes your meals more exciting and enjoyable. Here are some tasty and nutrient-dense foods to incorporate into your meal plan.

Buttermilk

Many people overlook this thick beverage, which consists of cultured milk. However, buttermilk is rich in calcium and probiotics. Probiotics, which are found in some fermented foods and probiotic food supplements, support gut health.

Buttermilk can be enjoyed on its own, but for those who are not fans of its thick texture and tangy flavor, it can also be used for baking, as an ingredient in salad dressings or coleslaw, or as a marinade for chicken.

Calcium is essential for the normal functioning of the bone, including teeth. A low quantity of calcium in the organism can cause many health problems and the need for immediate dental care. In worst cases, it can lead to major restorative dental procedures.

Blueberries

When it comes to flavor and nutrient density, it’s hard to beat blueberries. There is a small amount of research that suggests the phytochemicals found in blueberries, which are the chemicals that give them their vivid colors, may have beneficial effects on heart and brain function. In any case, what can’t be denied is that blueberries are a tasty and nutritious snack.

Blueberries are high in fiber and low in calories, making them a healthy choice for a sweet treat. Blueberries can be enjoyed in a smoothie, mixed with oatmeal or yogurt or even as a sweet addition to a leafy salad. In the summer, they can also be used to make delicious frozen treats.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are another high-fiber choice. They are versatile, filling, and relatively cheap, making them a pantry staple for people wanting to eat healthily on a budget.

There are many ways to eat chickpeas. Popular in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, these legumes are featured in many soup, stew, salad and curry recipes. When roasted until they are crispy, they are an easy homemade crunchy snack. Hummus, a savory spread made from mashed chickpeas, can be added to sandwiches and wraps or served as a dip with sliced vegetables.

Chickpeas are also ground into chickpea flour, which can be very useful to people who need a gluten-free alternative for baking. Many traditional Indian recipes call for chickpea flour, but it can also be used as a substitute for wheat flour in many other recipes.

Oats

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, whole grains, such as oats, have many potential health benefits. In particular, they are high in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber, as well as antioxidants. Some studies suggest that whole grains may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, cholesterol and heart health.

Oats are another inexpensive, shelf-stable food that are great to keep in the pantry. The easiest way to eat oats is to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Because of its high fiber content, oatmeal is a filling and satisfying breakfast, and it takes very little time to prepare. Another benefit of oatmeal is that it makes an excellent vehicle for other healthy foods; you can add fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or a splash of buttermilk. Try adding something different to your oatmeal every morning, and breakfast will never be boring!

Salmon

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week, especially fatty fish like salmon. Fish is lower in saturated fats than beef, chicken or pork, making it a good lean protein choice.

Salmon can be cooked in several ways, including grilling, frying or baking. A benefit of salmon is that it does not require much preparation or take very long to cook, so it is a good choice for a quick and easy dinner. Salmon can also be brined and cured to make lox, a thin salmon fillet that is often served with bagels.

Variety is the key to a healthy diet. Healthy eating has an unfortunate reputation for being boring, but by incorporating many different foods into your routine, not only can you ensure a more balanced diet, but you can also discover new flavors, new recipes and a new love of food.

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By SARAH