Although we often feel like nothing can replace the delicious flavor of our favorite childhood junk foods, the idea that all healthy foods are tasteless, bland and boring is false.
Read on for 8 foods that are more delicious (and a whole lot healthier) than your beloved junk food snacks:
Strawberries are one of the healthiest foods on the planet; they are filled with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. In addition to their high nutrient content, strawberries are delicious. Next time you want a sweet snack, try strawberries first. Dip them in dark chocolate (also on this list!) for a surprisingly healthy treat.
Watermelon screams summertime and lazy days. But did you also know that this sweet red fruit is incredibly healthy for you? The classic summertime treat contains large quantities of vitamin A, vitamin B6, magnesium and vitamin C. Try it with a bit of sea salt for some extra kick.
Cheese is often included in junk food, and cheese from a can is never healthy. However, healthy cheese, which is traditionally prepared and made from grass-fed animals, is a surprising powerhouse of nutrients, including protein, calcium, selenium, zinc and vitamin B12. Eaten in moderation, cheese can reduce cravings and act as a healthy replacement for nutrient-free junk food.
Yogurt is a snack-friendly food, and you can transform your yogurt into a tasty treat with the addition of many healthy options, like chopped fruit, dried fruit or nuts. Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria and beneficial fats. One 2014 study published in the journal BMC Medicine found that one serving of yogurt a day could lower a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 18 percent. Just be sure that you are purchasing high quality, organic yogurt with no additives — or make your own.
Almonds are the favored nut in the health industry for good reason. They contain fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, protein and manganese. Raw almonds are delicious and make a healthy substitute for potato chips or pretzels.
Nothing is sweeter than the taste of a freshly cut, ripe pineapple. Pineapple is sweeter than many candies, but also provides tons of valuable nutrients vital to your health. In one pineapple you will find vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, copper and natural folate. Try adding pineapple to yogurt for an unexpectedly delicious treat.
Cherries are super-sweet and delicious eaten alone or prepared in any recipe. Cherries taste just as sweet as candy, but provide valuable nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and other disease-fighting nutrients that can reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate is a powerful health food. Chocolate contains minerals and antioxidants that have surprising effects, including preventing sun damage, lowering blood pressure and reducing heart disease risk. Choose a chocolate with at least 80 percent cocoa and a low sugar content to gain the most health benefits.
— Brenda Priddy
Brenda is a writer, chef and health nut with many years of writing experience in the alternative health industry. She specializes in health news, healthy living, alternative treatments, and healthy recipes. She loves educating others about sustainable, healthy living. Brenda lives in Texas with her husband and two daughters.