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50 Extraordinary Places To Put On Your Bucket List

50 Extraordinary Places To Put On Your Bucket List

If you feel the urge to explore the most amazing places on this beautiful blue planet, but don’t know where to start, look no further! Satisfy your wanderlust by visiting these 50 unforgettable travel destinations.

1. Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize

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    Image Credit: Cute and Weird

    This amazing natural reef, second only to the Great Barrier Reef, straddles the coast of Belize. It is estimated that 90% of its inhabitants haven’t even been discovered yet.

    2. Anywhere in Alaska, USA

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      Image Credit: No-See-Um Lodge

      Anywhere you go in Alaska, you can prepare to be stunned by mother nature just showing off. Fly fishing, hunting, and hiking excursions from local lodges are some of the biggest draws for the avid outdoorsman in a state over twice the size of Texas, which also boasts over 100 volcanoes and 10,000 glaciers.

      3. M’Zab Valley, Algeria

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        Image Credit: Djamel Arabie

        Travel back in time to the 10th century home of the Ibadites, and see their five ksour (fortified cities), in the M’Zab valley.

        4. Tassili n’Ajjer National Park, Algeria

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          Image Credit: Get In Travel

          Its name means Plateau of Rivers, and this beautiful mountain range in the Algerian section of the Sahara desert is best known for ancient rock art and prehistoric sites from the Neolithic area.

          5. Tipasa, Algeria

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            Image Credit: Hello Magazine

            Not far from all the modern convenience of the Mediterranean, you can find these ancient Roman ruins of a thriving city, which include basilicas, villas, baths, fountains, avenues, and an amphitheater.

            6. Sangha Trinational, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,

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              Image Credit: Environment News Science

              This gem in the Congo Basin is made up of three natural parks totaling almost 290 square miles. It is home to a large diversity of plant and animal life, most notably the Nile crocodile, goliath tigerfish, forest elephants, the critically endangered lowland gorilla, and the endangered chimpanzee.

              7. Iguazu Falls, Brazil

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                Image Credit: Found the World

                If you think that the Niagara Falls are big, you have to visit Brazil to see the 275 waterfalls that join forces to create the giant Iguazu Fall’s majestic display.

                8. Victoria Falls, Zambia

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                  Image Credit: TravelWebDir

                  Forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, you will find a spectacular wonder once called “Mosi-oa-Tunya”  or “The Smoke That Thunders” by the Kololo tribe living there in the 1800s. Today, it is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.

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                  9. Grand-Bassam Lagunes, Ivory Coast

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                    Image Credit: Brendan’s Adventure

                    This historic city in Côte d’Ivoire was the French colonial capital city from 1893 to 1896. The capital city moved to Bingerville after a bout of yellow fever. With portions of the city abandoned for decades, it resembles a beautiful ghost town. In 2012 it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

                    10. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

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                      Image Credit: Found the World

                      A salt lake that freezes at night and is scorched by day, these flats harbor some of the most extreme daily temperatures in the world. The site was created when a prehistoric lake dried up and left a salty crust behind, which becomes a giant mirror when it rains.

                      11. Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

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                        Image Credit: Places to See in Your Lifetime

                        This small island in Maldives is famous for bringing the sky to earth. The phenomenon can be credited to tiny phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates that create a bioluminescence, which makes the “stars” dance through the waves.

                        12. Ashikaga Flower Park, Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan

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                          Image Credit: Amusing Planet

                          If you love flowers and happen to be in Japan, the Ashikaga Flower Park is a must see. One wisteria tree, called “fuji” in Japan, is 100 years old.

                          13. Pamukkale, Turkey

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                            Image Credit: Deviant Art

                            As the hot, calcium-rich waters come from deep within the earth to pour over a cliff, they cool down and form white calcium into pools. This has been a popular spa since the Romans built the spa city of Hierapolis.

                            14. Wind Cathedral, Namibia

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                              Image Credit: Planet Den

                              These dunes, found in the Namibian dessert, are believed to be 60-80 million years old. They were formed by the Atlantic Ocean drifts that pushed the sands for eons. The winds constantly change their faces, moving the contours and shape of the dunes to create new masterpieces.

                              15. The Wave, Southern Utah

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                                Image Credit: National Park Tourz

                                This sandstone rock formation near the Arizona-Utah border is found on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes. It’s quite a hike to get there, but the photography opportunity is well worth the effort.

                                16. The Pearl Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China

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                                  Image Credit: Wallpaperest

                                  The Jiuzhaigou Valley literally means “Valley of Nine Villages,” and is a beautiful nature reserve on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau known for its many waterfalls, crystal lakes, and snowy peaks.

                                  17. Kaieteur Falls, Kaieteur National Park, Guyana

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                                    Image Credit: Fronteering

                                    This unforgettable natural wonder is four times higher than the Niagara Falls. While a few other falls may beat it in height, it is rare to have its combination of height and volume of water challenged, which is why this is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.

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                                    18. Jacob’s Well, Wimberly, Texas

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                                      Image Credit: Planet Den

                                      Considered one of the largest underwater caves in the world, Jacob’s Well is a very popular tourist attraction and swimming hole. With a depth of 120 feet and dangerous underwater caves, it has been the scene of several diving tragedies from attempts to explore the bottom part of the well.

                                      19. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

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                                        Image Credit: Wikipedia

                                        Antelope Canyon, located on Navajo land, includes two separate slot canyon sections, called the Upper Antelope Canyon, or The Crack, and the Lower Antelope Canyon, or the Corkscrew. It was formed by flash flood waters wearing away the sandstone.

                                        20. Ice Castles in Silverthorne, Colorado

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                                          Image Credit: Globe Traveling

                                          What started as a father making an Ice Castle in his front yard for his children has turned into an annual event. Brent Christensen’s original castle was so popular that word spread quickly. Now, over 25,000 visitors come to see his castles every year.

                                          21. Pongua Falls, Vietnam

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                                            Image Credit: The Wow

                                            One of the most powerful falls in Dalat, the Ponga waterfall is as high as 131 feet and barrels down into a lake below, guaranteeing that you will hear this majestic display long before you see it.

                                            22. Devetashkata Cave, Bulgaria

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                                              Image Credit: Hand Picked Collections

                                              This natural wonder has seven different-sized holes in the ceiling, bringing in natural light to illuminate its interior. Studies show that this cave has been inhabited during almost every historical era. The earliest findings of humans were during the middle of the Early Stone Age, about 70,000 BC. This cave also houses some of the richest cultural artifacts from the Neolithic period. After visiting his marvel, it’s easy to see why it has always been a prized piece of real estate throughout history.

                                              23. Rice Field Terraces in Yunnan, China

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                                                Image Credit: National Geographic

                                                Who could have guessed that a humble grain could have had such a spectacular origin?

                                                24. Mount Roraima, Venezuela

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                                                  Image Credit: Booms Beat

                                                  This 1,300-foot mountain, once believe by the indigenous people to be the stump of a mighty tree that held all the fruits and vegetables of the world, continues to provide inspiration today. The creators of the Disney/Pixar animated movie “Up” used this mountain as their creative muse, even climbing it to gain additional insight.

                                                  25. Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile

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                                                    Image Credit: Atlas Obscura

                                                    Found on a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border, these caves are accessible only by boat. They were formed by more than 6,000 years of waves eroding away the calcium carbonate into swirling smooth stone that reflects the blue waters at differing intensities, depending on water levels and season.

                                                    26. Ice Cave in Skaftafeli, Iceland

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                                                      Image Credit: Amusing Planet

                                                      Ice caves are formed when rain and melted water on the surface of the glacier enter it through channels. The water melts a hole, and then drains toward lower elevations. This forms long, temporary caves along the edge of the glaciers.

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                                                      27. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia

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                                                        Image Credit: Vista Nature

                                                        If you’re afraid of heights, skip this one. To cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is 460 feet long and 230 feet above the Capilano River, you will have to trust a relatively simple structure. However, the wire cable bridge is much safer than the original bridge made of hemp rope and a deck of cedar planks. This bridge has also been featured in well-known television series such as MacGyver, Sliders, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, and Psych. It is part of a private facility, but draws over 800,000 visitors per year.

                                                        28. Multnomah Falls, Oregon

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                                                          Image Credit: Wikipedia

                                                          The Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, has two major steps. The upper falls are 542 feet, and the lower falls are another 69 feet. It is fed year-round by the underground springs from  Larch Mountain.

                                                          29. Ice Canyon, Greenland

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                                                            Image Credit: Shed Expedition

                                                            The Ice Canyon was recently discovered by NASA using ice penetrating radar, which showed the existence of a giant canyon beneath the ice. This canyon is the longest on the planet, and runs for 466 miles while reaching depths of 2,625 feet.

                                                            30. Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Tannourine, Lebanon 

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                                                              Image Credit: Daring Planet

                                                              This 837-feet waterfall drops into the Baatara Pothole, which is a cave of Jurassic limestone.

                                                              31. Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway

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                                                                Image Credit: Exploring Tourism

                                                                Also known as Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, this steep cliff rises 1982 feet above Lysefjorden. The 200,000 visitors per year make it one of the most popular natural tourist attractions in Norway. It was also seen in the second season of the Vikings (TV series).

                                                                32. Trolltunga, Norway

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                                                                  Image Credit: Visit Norway

                                                                  Trolltunga means “Troll’s Tongue,” but that’s the last thing you will be thinking about as you survey the scenery from 2,300 above the north side of lake Ringedalsvatnet.

                                                                  33. Spotted Lake (Khiluk), British Columbia

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                                                                    Image Credit: World for Travel

                                                                    High concentrations of magnesium sulfate, sodium sulphates, and calcium give this lake its unique appearance when the water evaporates over the summer. Long believed to have therapeutic or sacred waters, the minerals of Spotted Lake were also used in manufacturing ammunition during World War I.

                                                                    34. Whitehaven Beach, Australia

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                                                                      Image Credit: Traveler Area

                                                                      These white sands consist of 98% pure silica, which gives the beach its brilliant color and makes it comfortable to walk on even on the hottest days, as the sand does not retain heat. Whitehaven Beach was named the top Eco Friendly Beach in the world by CNN.

                                                                      35. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

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                                                                        Image Credit: Irish Day Tours

                                                                        This natural phenomenon of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns was the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

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                                                                        40. Nahiku Waterfall, North Shore, Maui, Hawaii

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                                                                          Image Credit: Grace Delivers

                                                                          This is one of many spectacular sights you will see on the famous road to Hana in East Maui. Nahiku averages around 365 inches of rain per year, making it one of the greenest and wettest rainforests on Maui.

                                                                          41. Monument Valley, USA

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                                                                            Image Credit: Get in Travel

                                                                            This valley is the image many people think of when they visualize the Wild West. It has been featured in film since the 1930, most famously remembered in Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956). More recently, it was seen in the film Easy Rider (1969), Robert Zemeckis‘ film Forrest Gump (1994), Clint Eastwood‘s film Eiger Sanction (1975), and most currently in the popular United Kingdom television show Doctor Who.

                                                                            42. Devils Tower, Wyoming, USA

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                                                                              Image Credit: Kristen Lynn

                                                                              Jutting 5,114 feet out of the surrounding terrain, it is easy to see why aliens would choose this particular spot on planet Earth for their landing site, as seen in the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

                                                                              43. Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, Hunan, China

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                                                                                Image Credit: Daily Mail

                                                                                Previously called the Southern Sky Column, this 3,544-feet rock formation was renamed the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain in 2010, after being the inspiration for the fictional world of the blockbuster film Avatar.

                                                                                44. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

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                                                                                  Image Credit: PRWeb

                                                                                  Yellowstone National Park is known for many spectacular natural wonders, but the colors seen in the largest hot spring in the US, and the third largest in the world, is worth a line on your bucket list. The striking coloration patterns are created by pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange or red, and in the winter they turn a dark-green hue. The center of the pool is sterile due to the extreme water temperatures.

                                                                                  45. Palouse Falls, Washington, USA

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                                                                                    Image Credit: Exotic Hikes

                                                                                    Washington’s official state waterfall is 198 feet high, and draws many visitors to the 105-acre camping area nearby. It was formerly known as Aput Aput by the Palouse Indians, meaning “Falling Water.”

                                                                                    46. Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona

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                                                                                      Image Credit: Flickr

                                                                                      Named for its obviously horseshoe-shaped appearance, this natural formation was created by the Colorado River’s eroding current. The overlook rises 1,000 feet above the river, making for spectacular panoramic views.

                                                                                      47. Tulip Fields, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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                                                                                        Image Credit: Flow Div

                                                                                        Beautiful tulip farms may remind you of a scene from the Wizard of Oz, but you don’t need to catch a ride on a tornado to another world to view these beauties blooming from mid-March to the end of May.

                                                                                        49. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Juneau, Alaska

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                                                                                          Image Credit: Fun Mozar

                                                                                          These ice caves are found in the Mendenhall Glacier, located 12 miles from downtown Juneau.

                                                                                          50. Naica Mine, Mexico

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                                                                                            Image Credit: Concierge Travel

                                                                                            Visiting these caves may be too hot to endure without protective suits, but the extreme temperatures are perfect for crystals, and have created some of the largest natural giant selenite formations ever found. The largest crystal found in the cave to date is 39 feet in length, 13 feet in diameter, and weighs 55 tons.

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                                                                                            Last Updated on July 28, 2020

                                                                                            14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                                                                                            14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                                                                                            Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

                                                                                            What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

                                                                                            The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

                                                                                            Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

                                                                                            It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

                                                                                            Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

                                                                                            In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

                                                                                            Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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                                                                                            Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

                                                                                            1. Quinoa

                                                                                            GI: 53

                                                                                            Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

                                                                                            2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

                                                                                            GI: 50

                                                                                            Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

                                                                                            3. Corn on the Cob

                                                                                            GI: 48

                                                                                            Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

                                                                                            4. Bananas

                                                                                            GI: 47

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                                                                                            Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

                                                                                            They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

                                                                                            5. Bran Cereal

                                                                                            GI: 43

                                                                                            Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

                                                                                            6. Natural Muesli

                                                                                            GI: 40

                                                                                            Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

                                                                                            7. Apples

                                                                                            GI: 40

                                                                                            Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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                                                                                            8. Apricots

                                                                                            GI: 30

                                                                                            Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

                                                                                            Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

                                                                                            9. Kidney Beans

                                                                                            GI: 29

                                                                                            Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

                                                                                            10. Barley

                                                                                            GI: 22

                                                                                            Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

                                                                                            Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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                                                                                            11. Raw Nuts

                                                                                            GI: 20

                                                                                            Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

                                                                                            12. Carrots

                                                                                            GI: 16

                                                                                            Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

                                                                                            13. Greek Yogurt

                                                                                            GI: 12

                                                                                            Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

                                                                                            14. Hummus

                                                                                            GI: 6

                                                                                            When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

                                                                                            Bottom Line

                                                                                            If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

                                                                                            More Tips on Eating Healthy

                                                                                            Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

                                                                                            Reference

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