When we decide to improve our diet by making better food choices, sometimes we feel that we are limiting ourselves. At the office we watch as people indulge in potato chips and candy while we opt for the crunchy sweetness of an apple. Good job, we are proud that you are making healthy food choices. We can enjoy the things we love while increasing our nutritional content. Our body functions optimally when we avoid processed foods that clog it up. Here are 15 great options that allow you to satisfy those cravings while picking a healthier option.
15 healthy food substitutes
Baked Eggplant Taco Shells for Corn Taco Shells
Thinly slice an eggplant lengthwise and bake on a cookie sheets for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Fill the eggplant shells with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy. You will be receiving nutritional benefits by substituting the eggplant shells for conventional corn taco shells.
Eggplant: Reduces swelling, clears stagnant blood by dissolving congealed blood and accumulation such as tumors and helps reduce excess bleeding. A rich source of bioflavonoids which renew arteries, prevent strokes, and aid in calcium absorption.
Collard green or lettuce for Flour tortillas
Lettuce: Dries up damp conditions in the body such as edema and digestive ferments and yeast. Helpful in fighting hemorrhoids, acts as a natural diuretic, and alleviates scant urine and blood in urine. Lettuce is the highest source of silicon of common vegetables (silicon allows the body to metabolize and absorb calcium effectively). Used for increasing mothers milk production. Helps to relax the nerves without impairing digestion.
Banana Soft Serve for Ice Cream
Banana: Helps with constipation and ulcers if eaten ripened. Bananas eaten before completely ripened will halt diarrhea, colitis, and hemorrhoids. Detoxifies the body, and is useful in helping to overcome drug addictions (especially alcoholism). Rich in potassium and easy to digest, bananas are great for helping with hypertension and high blood pressure.
Zucchini Ribbons or Spaghetti Squash for Pasta
Use a vegetable peeler or a mandoline to make long, thin noodle-like slices of zucchini or spaghetti squash. Skip the boiling and simply bake or sauté the “noodles” for a few minutes. You can use the veggies in side dishes or to replace high-carb pasta in dishes like lasagna. It’s an easy way to cut the calories in your favorite pasta meals and sneak more vegetables into your dinner.
Zucchini: Helpful for stomach and spleen-pancreas, reduces inflammation in burns (apply fresh squash juice to relieve burns), improves circulation and alleviates pain. Summer squashes and zucchini help overcome summer heat, water retention/edema and difficulty urinating. Eat steamed summer squash or zucchini with its skin and seeds to destroy worms in the colon
To prepare spaghetti squash roast it in the oven and pull apart with a fork, spaghetti squash is a great low-carb and lower-calorie substitute for pasta. One squash will make between two and three servings.
Spaghetti squash: Helpful for stomach and spleen-pancreas, reduces inflammation in burns (apply fresh squash juice to relieve burns), improves circulation and alleviates pain. Summer squashes help overcome summer heat, water retention/edema and difficulty urinating.
Quinoa Porridge for Processed Cereals
Quinoa: High in protein, a good source of iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, and has more calcium than milk. Tonifies the kidneys and the pericardium functions. Here is an easy recipe for a energy packed breakfast.
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cup coconut, hemp, almond or rice milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 dash cinnamon
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp. pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Bring the quinoa, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until tender, about 15 minutes. Mix in the blueberries and top with the pecans.
Nutritional Yeast for Cheese
Nutritional Yeast is one of the few non-animal sources of B-12, it is rich in folic acid and many other nutrients and amino acids. This is not your typical yeast and is free of the Candida Albicans strain, making it safe for those concerned about candida. Instead of topping that taco with cheddar, try a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavoring and much less fat.
Baked Kale or Beet Chips instead of Potato Chips
Kale: Eases lung congestion, benefits the stomach, and good for anemic/weak persons. Abundant in sulfur and can be used to help those with stomach and duodenal ulcers (make fresh juices of kale and other veggies). An exceptional source of chlorophyll, amino acids, calcium, iron, and vitamin K, and can meet most of your daily nutrient requirements in these areas.
Beet: Strengthens the heart, improves circulation, purifies the blood, benefits the liver, helpful for those with anemia, moistens intestines and promotes menstruation. For hormone regulation during menopause, use in conjunction with carrot and chlorophyll rich foods (greens) to impart hormone balance. Helps those with liver stagnancy and liver ailments, as well as constipation, nervousness, and congestion with the vascular system. Rich in silicon, which increases the bodies ability to absorb calcium.
Dried fruit for Candy
As far as nutritional content is concerned, candy is about as bad as it can get. Loaded with unhealthy refined sugar, candy offers nothing beneficial to the body, only empty calories. Despite the fact that refined sugar is firmly linked to obesity and diabetes, the average American citizen still consumes 24.7 pounds of candy each year! To counter candy cravings, try switching to dried fruit alternatives, like figs, apricots or dates. While still on the sweet side, these dried fruits are full of fiber and important minerals like potassium.
Rolled Oats for Bread Crumbs
Instead of using salt-laden bread crumbs, opt for rolled oats with a little seasoning. Oats are high in fiber and healthy carbohydrates, and like all whole grains, they’re packed with nutrients like B vitamins, iron and fiber. Oat can restore nervous and reproductive systems, while removing cholesterol from the digestive track and arteries. They are rich in silicon which helps renew the bones and connective tissue. Cooked oatmeal once cooled has been used to soothe burns of the skin (make a paste with water and oats and apply to affected area).
Soda Water for Tonic Water
Here’s a healthy swap for those nights you’re out on the town. If you’re drinking cocktails, ask the bartender for soda water instead of tonic. Tonic water is high in sugar, while soda water contains none. Also consider adding less juice and more soda water to your fruity drinks to cut your sugar content.
Nuts for Croutons in Salads or Granola in Yogurt
Unsalted nuts pack flavor and crunch and give dishes a nice boost of protein. Instead of high-fat, salty croutons in salads or super-sugary granola in yogurt, substitute a handful of nuts. Walnuts and almonds are our heart-healthy favorites. Just don’t go overboard — a small handful is high in calories.
The best way to eat seeds or nuts is to soak them overnight in water to initiate their sprouting process. This makes the proteins and fats more digestible. Drain the water and dry them, eat them raw or lightly roasted. Store hulled seeds in dark glass bottles in cold places. Do not store in plastic, as the oil rich food combines with plastic to form plasticides.
Nonfat Greek Yogurt for Mayo or Sour Cream
Nonfat Greek yogurt has far fewer calories and fat than mayonnaise or sour cream, but its consistency is quite similar. Next time a recipe calls for either of those fattening ingredients, try using the yogurt instead. You may want to play around with spices and seasonings, but by making the swap, you can cut the fat while adding an extra punch of protein.
Applesauce for Oil, Butter or Sugar
Applesauce is a healthy baker’s best friend. Not only does it add sweetness to recipes, but it does so with significantly fewer calories than sugar. And without butter, you’re cutting the saturated-fat content of baked goods like muffins, breads and brownies. Not to mention the added dietary benefits of added fiber.
Bulgar Wheat or Quinoa for White or Brown Rice
You will hardly tell the difference in consistency or taste when substituting bulgar wheat for rice. Bulgar wheat is high in fiber and protein, and low in fat and calories, bulgur wheat is another food that offers bulk and nutrients to fill you up without adding pounds. One thing to keep in mind, a cup of bulgur wheat has fewer calories, less fat, and more than twice the fiber of brown rice.
Cauliflower Mash for Mashed Potatoes
Cauliflower mash is quick and easy to prepare. Simply steam the cauliflower in water. Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a food processor and pulse to the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Cauliflower: Packed with phyto-nutrients that help prevent prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers. Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C and has good amounts of vital B-complex vitamins. It is also a good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. Plus it is low in calories.