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This recommendation may seem too good to be true, but don’t worry, dark chocolate is the real deal. Rich in antioxidants, it can also help improve cholesterol levels and may improve blood flow to the brain. Here comes the caveat (sorry): Since it’s paired with sugar, dark chocolate should be enjoyed in moderation—about an ounce or two a day—just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. This crunchy bark will do the trick. A tiny bit of espresso powder and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt bring out the chocolate’s depth of flavor and fruitiness.
Enjoying more veggies is probably the No. 1 thing you can do to boost your overall health. While these nutritional superstars can help fend off cancer and other chronic diseases, they can also minimize the effects of aging and contribute to shiny hair and glowing skin. See? Veggies are a win-win! They’re also irresistibly delicious, especially when served like “pasta” topped with a hazelnut gremolata for depth of flavor and Parmesan cheese for a hit of umami.
Also known as pulses, beans and lentils are small but mighty. One of the best plant-based sources of protein, they are also full of fiber and crucial minerals like folate, zinc, and iron. Plus, they’re sustainable to produce, inexpensive, and endlessly versatile…think hummus, lentil soup, and Latin- inspired meals like this 30-minute, one-pan dinner. Swap in pinto beans for the black, if you prefer, and don’t forget to garnish. The cilantro, radishes, and Cotija cheese bring flavor and color to the party.
When it comes to these live microorganisms, believe the hype! Having a healthy balance of good gut bacteria helps support a strong immune system, aids digestion, and may even promote stable moods and a better memory. Add more to your diet by digging into fermented foods like yogurt with live and active cultures, kefir, miso, and kimchi—the funky fermented cabbage that gives these savory-sweet soba bowls their mouthwatering kick.
There are as many types of seafood as there are, well, fish in the sea, and you’ll get health benefits from almost all of them. White fish like cod, pollack, and halibut are rich in protein and minerals. Plus, mild-flavored white varieties are a great gateway fish for seafood skeptics. Paired with fiber-rich brown rice and appealingly charred Broccolini, this cod is the centerpiece of a satisfying supper you’ll want on repeat.
Don’t let the word fat fool you. Unsaturated fats (like those found in olive oil, salmon, nuts, and avocados) can actually help you maintain a healthy weight, not to mention support nutrient absorption and lower the risk of heart disease. Think of these crunchy, golden avocado wedges as healthier fries; dunked in the lightly spiced, herby dip, they’re a perfect game-day snack or crispy appetizer.