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10 Foods You Need to Include in Your Diet This Year

10 Foods You Need to Include in Your Diet This Year

Have you pledged to finally adopt a better diet this year? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people say they want to eat healthier as part of their New Year’s resolution.

Sadly, a full 88% have likely already given up.

Would you like to finally stick with your diet this year? First, start thinking less in terms of “diet,” and more “healthy lifestyle change.” Second, eat more of the following foods:

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1. Spinach

Popeye was one smart dude. Spinach is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s loaded with nutrients like Vitamins K and A, and folate. Whip up a quick and healthy raw spinach salad by combining baby spinach leaves with a squeeze of lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, and a few almonds.

2. Beets

Beets are another food you should definitely include in your diet this year. Beets are high in folate, fiber, and potassium. If you don’t like raw beets, try roasting them and mixing them with some roasted sweet potatoes to lighten their earthy flavor.

3. Avocados

Avocados are actually a fruit, and one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also a great source of fiber. Mix up a quick guacamole dip by combining avocado with lime juice, salt, onion, and minced jalapeno. Yum.

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4. Blueberries

Blueberries are a complete superfood with too many benefits to list. Blueberries help combat aging, ward off disease, lower blood pressure, protect heart and brain, and improve memory.

5. Walnuts

Walnuts contain heart-healthy fats that can lower your cholesterol levels. Eat a handful of raw walnuts every day, or sprinkle some on your salads.

6. Sweet potatoes

While regular potatoes are one of the biggest causes of weight gain, sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta carotene. Beta carotene can help support healthy eyes. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Try this healthy sweet potato chips recipe.

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7. Salmon

Salmon is loaded with muscle-building protein and contains heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure you choose wild salmon over farmed, though. Farmed salmon is nasty stuff.

8. Eggs

There’s a huge misconception that eggs are bad for you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They have 13 essential nutrients, and are a great source of protein and good fats.

9. Olive oil

Research shows that the Mediterranean diet, which is high in healthy fats like olive oil, can reduce your risk of cancer. Replace unhealthy foods in your diet, like margarine and vegetable oil, with olive oil. Here’s an extra bonus: olive oil has other uses beyond diet.

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10. Dark chocolate

You’ll be pleased to know that dark chocolate is actually good for you–and you should definitely include more of it in your diet this year. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and can even help lower your blood pressure. I recommend anything with 70% cocoa or higher to get the maximum benefits.

Finally, knowing what foods to eat is great, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t get into the habit of eating healthier.

Here’s how to do it: first, commit (in writing) to eating healthier and tell everyone you know. This helps hold you accountable. Next, slowly start replacing the foods in your refrigerator and cupboard with the ones above.

The key to turning your “diet” into permanent healthy eating habits is to make it as easy as possible on yourself. If you stock your kitchen with unhealthy snacks, you’re going to reach for those unhealthy snacks when you need a quick fix.

Fortunately, once healthy eating becomes a habit it’s second nature. And, it will lead to other healthy changes in your life.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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