So often we focus on what not to eat, or on the idea that certain foods are going to hurt us or make us fat or unhappy. However, there are lots of foods we can put in our bodies that can help us to feel better, look better, and even lead happier lives.
Here are six food hacks to help you eat your way to a healthier you.
1) Food: Bananas
Most people know this sweet fruit is delicious, but they may not realize the vitamin B6 in bananas can help reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, they are low calorie with only 14 grams of sugar.
2) Food: Raisins
Helps: Lower blood pressure
Raisins contain both fiber and potassium, two things that are crucial to the healthy Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet designed for cardiovascular health. The polyphenols in raisins as well as in wine, grapes and raisins have been found in studies to have blood pressure-lowering qualities.
3) Food: Tuna
While you might not think of opening a can of tuna when you're feeling down, the 800 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids might just help you. The American Psychiatric Association has endorsed eating the fatty acids in fish as part of an effective treatment plan for depression.
4) Food: Figs
Four dried figs will give you up to three grams of fiber which can help to ensure regular, soft stools. This will decrease the chance of the dreaded hemorrhoids returning. The low sodium and high potassium levels can also help lower cholesterol.
5) Food: Garlic
Helps: Yeast infections
The essential oils in garlic can help to impede the growth of the Candida fungus in the vagina which is the cause of the irritation, itching, burning, and discharge that occurs during a yeast infection. Adding garlic to sauces, marinades, and other foods can work as an effective fungicide.
6) Food: Pears
Helps: High cholesterol
The five grams of fiber found in one medium pear can help to flush the body of LDL or "bad" cholesterol. Having high cholesterol is a health risk for cardiovascular disease.