Cooking healthy food can be difficult. Sometimes you don’t have time to cook anything at all, and other times you are simply not sure what to cook that will be healthy and delicious at the same time. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, and these five easy-to-cook foods make it so that you never have to worry about this again! They are also budget-friendly and tasty, so the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy your meal .
They’re a high-quality protein, packed with vitamin D and choline. And they’re a fantastic source of riboflavin, thiamine, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins B12 and A, Wharton says. If you’re going to have one thing for breakfast—which most people do—make it eggs.
If you don’t like them boiled or fried (and more power to you if you don’t), scramble some up in a little butter. You’ll get an extra hit of vitamin D from all that butter. If you want to get even fancier with your eggs (why not?), check out these ideas for fancy egg dishes (this page).
Salmon is a wonderful meal option for anyone trying to eat healthily, because it has such a rich and delicious flavor. It’s also a fantastic source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids—both of which are essential for proper brain development.
It’s no wonder, then, that researchers say pregnant women who include salmon in their diet have children with higher cognitive function. If you’re concerned about mercury in fish, don’t be: Salmon has less mercury than most other types of fish. One serving is enough (3 oz) with 4 oz being too much!
Sweet potatoes, especially orange-fleshed varieties, contain more than 20 different flavonoids (like quercetin) and carotenoids (like beta-carotene). These potent antioxidants protect against oxidative stress, reducing your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
In fact, a 2013 study in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating sweet potatoes is like drinking four glasses of vitamin C-rich orange juice—in terms of anti-inflammatory power. To prepare sweet potatoes in your kitchen, peel and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until soft. Sweet potato fries are delicious too!
When it comes to nutrition, it’s hard to beat kale. Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. It also contains indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient that helps fight cancer.
While raw kale is fantastic in salads or even juiced, try cooking it—it softens and becomes more flavorful as you sauté it. One of our favorite ways to prepare kale is to sauté chopped kale with garlic in olive oil until tender and serve it over whole-grain pasta or brown rice.
Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish have a lot of protein (more than any other food!) and tend to be very low in saturated fat. They’re also lower in calories and chock-full of heart-healthy nutrients. Choose poultry without skin the majority of saturated fat is found there.
Remember, when you’re shopping for lean proteins try not to opt for large cuts; instead buy chicken breasts and turkey cutlets instead of whole birds or steaks. You can also reduce your meat intake by purchasing products made with textured vegetable protein (or TVP). This soy-based product takes on many different forms: You might see it as chunks, crumbles, or even slices.