2. Oatmeal – Steel cut oats are best. The longer it takes to cook the oats the better. Oatmeal provides a lot of fiber and minerals. In studies, consuming oatmeal daily can normalize cholesterol. Avoid the instant and sweetened varieties. They contain sugar and are lower in fiber.
3. Spinach – One cup of cooked spinach has only 42 calories. Packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene and lutein, spinach helps reduce the risk of heart disease. I love mine wilted and topped with balsamic vinegar.
4. Pinto Beans – A half-cup of canned pinto beans has 105 calories, 1 gram of fat, 6 grams of fiber and plenty of folate, which protects your body from heart disease. I use pinto beans, along with black beans, stewed tomatoes and spices like cumin and chili powder to make a delicious vegetarian chili.
5. Garlic – Garlic lowers “bad” cholesterol and is a natural antibiotic/anti-viral. But whether you have a cold or not, I recommend eating it. Chop off the top of a clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and roast it in the oven for a sweet spread to top whole grain crackers. Roast it until it feels soft.
6. Onions – Onions contain a powerful plant anti-oxidant, quercetin, that protects your body from cancer. A cup (chopped) has 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Eating them chopped, and raw, is best because this releases the quercetin. When I’m not in the mood for raw onions I sauté them in olive oil to top veggie dishes.
7. Cayenne- Cayenne proved in studies to contain an ingredient that boosts your metabolism. I always add it to my vegetarian chili. If you can’t handle the heat it is available in pill form.
8. Salmon – Salmon and other cold water fish are a great source of lean protein. They also contain essential fatty acids. I broil salmon and add a squeeze of lemon and a spice mixture that is low in salt, like Mrs. Dash.
9. Sweet Potatoes – Sweet Potatoes are great for when you are craving something starchy, but don’t want to splurge. They are actually very low on the glycemic index scale and are packed with nutrients. I make sweet potato “fries” by cutting them into wedges, coating them in olive oil and spices and baking them until slightly crisp, usually around 35-45 minutes.
10. Be Positive And Happy No Matter What!!!