5 Foods to Improve Your Health!

I’m really excited about today’s guest post! Julia is a great friend of mine and such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things wellness. Over on her Instagram stories she’s always posting her grocery hauls and I’m constantly like “what’s that!?, tell me more!!” From collagen peptides to Apple Cider Vinegar, she knows it all. I reached out to her to ask for a few of her favorite things to add to your diet… and here we are! I have all of these things in my kitchen and now I just need to use them!

Hi there! I’m Julia and I’m a friend of Grace’s and her fellow blogger at Lemon Stripes. I was so excited when she asked me to share some wellness tips with you, so here we are. Lately it feels like most of the things I read about wellness and diet is about what to eliminate, so today we’re flipping things and I’m sharing five of my favorite healthy foods to add into your diet to improve your health.

If it seems like a lot to add them all at once, try one or two and see how you feel. Like most things in wellness, none of these things are a quick fix to your problem, but over time will improve your immunity, digestion, complexion, and more.

One // Turmeric.

Why it’s good for you: Turmeric contains curcumin which is a super strong antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory. It’s been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to reduce gas/bloating, decrease congestion, improve skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, boost immunity, and help your digestive system. Basically, this shockingly yellow spice does it all!

Fun fact: Black pepper increases your body’s absorption of curcumin in your body, so whenever you can, add black pepper to any recipes that you’re cooking with turmeric… But probably not in a smoothie because ew!

How to eat it: I add it to everything from immune-boosting smoothies to rice bowls to “golden milk” aka a turmeric latte which has become one of my favorite warming drinks this winter. This healing bowl with turmeric is one of my go-to healthy recipes when I feel like I’m coming down with something or just need a good detox. If you don’t like the taste (or the mess it leaves behind), you can take it in supplement form which I like to do when I get a cold.

Pro tip: Be really careful when cooking with and eating turmeric because it’s naturally bright yellow color can stain your clothes, pots, and pans pretty quickly.

Two // Chia Seeds.

Why they’re good for you: When I used to work for Joy Bauer (nutritionist on The TODAY Show), she would call chia seeds “nutrition sprinkles” because the tiny seeds pack a big punch of protein and Omega-3’s. Added bonus? They expand in your stomach which makes you fill up faster, making them great for weight loss as well.

How to eat them: The best part about chia seeds is that they have no taste so you can add them to literally anything! Baked goods (like these breakfast cookies), smoothies, salads, you know name it. I like to think of chia seeds as one of the supplements I take in the morning so I usually add them to oatmeal , my green smoothie, or an acai bowl. But if I forget, they get sprinkled on whatever I make for dinner.

Three // Apple Cider Vinegar.

Why it’s good for you: Apple cider vinegar, or ACV as the wellness squad calls it, is one of the most popular natural health remedies out there. Wellness experts claim that it has all kinds of health benefits ranging from supporting digestive health, blood sugar balance, weight loss, immunity, antifungal, and even teeth whitening.

The reason for all of this is because it contains probiotics, potassium, magnesium, and acedic acid which kills bad bacteria and helps good bacteria flourish.

How to eat it: The problem with ACV is that it has a super intense vinegar flavor. If you’re really hard core, you can take a shot of it every morning (warning: it’s gross), but I prefer to use it in salad dressings and sauces. If I’m feeling a cold coming on, I’ll make a wellness tea with hot water, lemon, ginger, and a shot of ACV. It can knock that cold right off its feet before it even gets started!

Four // Collagen Peptides.

Why they’re good for you: Collagen peptides are hot hot hot these days. Seemingly every influencer and celebrity is constantly cooking with them on Instagram stories.

The question I get asked most often is what are they? Collagen peptides are naturally derived from pasture-raised grass-fed beef protein. They contain the same amino acids as gelatin which are the same as protein found all over our bodies. Collagen makes up about 30% of the proteins in our bodies and acts as a “glue” to hold everything together.

As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen (starting in our 30s btw). The loss of collagen affects your skin, bones, joints, and muscles. Collagen peptides can help put some of that back into your body which is why so many people take it for better skin, hair and nails. It’s also a great, natural source of protein.

How to eat them: Like chia seeds, this powder doesn’t have any taste, which surprises a lot of people, so it’s easy to throw into whatever you’re eating. I have friends who put it in their coffee but that’s not my cup of tea (get it?) so I use it as a protein powder in smoothies and add a spoonful of it into soups.

Pro tip: If you put it in a smoothie, drink it right away. It makes the texture kind of gelatinous if you drink it much later.

Five // More Water.

Why it’s good for you: Okay, bear with me on this one. Obviously we all know by now that drinking water is good for your health, but despite that fact, most people I know still don’t drink enough! The goal is half your body weight in ounces per day (so if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking 70 oz of water).

Don’t think it will make a difference? Take the next full week and challenge yourself to do this every single day. Yes, you’ll be making more trips to the bathroom, but I bet you’ll also have less food cravings, and just feel all around lighter.

Not a fan of drinking water on it’s own? Add frozen berries, fresh herbs (I like mint), or lemon slices to spice it up.

How to eat it: Well, it’s water so I hope by now you know how to drink it! But I like to start every morning with a mug of hot lemon water to help flush my digestive system and rehydrate after a full night of sleep. This also works to alkalize your body’s pH which is especially helpful if you’ve had a drink or two the night before.

Looking for more wellness content? Read about how I incorporate protein into my diet, 6 ways to wind down without wine, and how I curb sweet cravings.

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Comments

  1. Taylor says 1.31.18

    Loved this post! I also love Julia’s blog Lemon Stripes and read almost daily!! She makes amazing recipes and is always so real. She is such a wellness whiz, so glad you included her!

  2. Merritt Beck says 1.31.18

    Love this, thanks for sharing! Definitely going to try and eat more of these!

    xx, Merritt
    The Style Scribe

  3. Natali says 1.31.18

    I totally agree on all of these and they’re part of my daily “intake” except collagen peptides, those I yet have to try and see how they work for me. 🙂

    https://lartoffashion.com

  4. Sarah says 1.31.18

    What kind of collagen peptides do you use ?

  5. Can’t go wrong with more water. I always make sure I get my full eight cups in a day – it’s helped clear up my skin so much! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  6. Katie says 2.1.18

    This might be a silly question, but are there any vegetarian or vegan collagen peptides you’d recommend?