I’m not sure why, but healthy foods seem to get a bad rap for being bland and sometimes inedible, but I think that there are plenty of nourishing ways to satisfy all those cravings you get.

I’m not going to suggest you have to try and stomach boiled chicken breast or scary-looking health tonics to give your body the fuel it requires.

Build muscle, improve your immune system, and feel your energy levels rocket with these

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12 truly tasty healthy foods

1.  Chocolate

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I’m not talking about your sugary milk chocolate here.  Think about 70% (minimum) cocoa solids – the health benefits of dark chocolate are all the rage right now, with increasing numbers of studies pointing to its rich concentrations of beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols. Definitely a healthy food that tastes good!

2. Flaxseeds or Linseeds

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Okay – so these are not the most flavourful of foods.  However, they are one of the richest sources of a compound called alphalinolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that may protect against heart disease and stroke.

My suggestion would be to eat ground flaxseeds (you can buy pre-ground) to make their health-boosting benefits more bioavailable.

3. Ginger

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One of ginger’s most touted health benefits is its effects on digestive ailments.

It can help digest fatty foods and break down proteins. It is excellent for reducing gas. Many people report that it will also relieve nausea, and can be effective in treating morning sickness as well as motion sickness.

Ginger can also help reduce inflammation. So it can be used to treat any disease that is caused by inflammations such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis.

Some studies show that it can even help inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus.  And a small amount goes a long way in terms of both flavor and health. Add grated ginger to pressed juice or hot water.

4. Pistachios

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No surprise these are on our list of healthy foods that taste good. They have a delicious buttery flavor, and a long list of health benefits. They’re an excellent source of protein, fibre, antioxidants, and potassium. Plus, they contain healthy monounsaturated fats that may help lower bad cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.

Due to pistachios’ ability to reduce the body’s response to stress, they make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. To avoid excess sodium, opt for unsalted nuts.

5) Goji Berries

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These super berries pack a health punch. Surprisingly they are a great source of protein, in addition to containing high levels of antioxidants and trace minerals, like copper, iron, zinc, calcium, germanium, phosphorus, and selenium.

Dried berries are a bit tangy, a little sweet, and have the same texture as raisins. Eat them by the handful or mix them into a homemade granola for a tasty superfood start to your day.

6) Chia Seeds

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Chia seed is an ancient ‘super food’ that is currently experiencing a glorious revival.  Reasons to Eat Chia include:

– Diabetes – Chia is currently being studied as a potential (natural) treatment for Type 2 Diabetes because it has an amazing ability to slow down digestion, which can help to prevent blood sugar spiking.
– 28 grams of Chia is equivalent to 1/3 of your required daily intake of dietary fibre – which is essential for good digestive health.
– Chia is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (specifically Alpha-Lipoic Acid – ALA) which is beneficial for protecting against heart disease and lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
– Chia contain high levels of calcium, manganese and phosphorus which are all great for stronger teeth and bones.
– They are gluten free making them suitable for Coeliacs and those sensitive to gluten.
– Chia is a very rich protein source and contains all 8 essential amino acids, as well as several non-essential ones.

7) Acai Berries

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Acai berries have a deep purple hue and a sweet, tart flavor similar to that of a blackberry.  It’s challenging to find the berries in the supermarket, so the best way to get them into your diet is with a superfood smoothie.  Some supermarkets stock frozen ones – or buy them in powder form.

I’d recommend Organic Burst: http://www.organicburst.com/products/organic-acai-berry-capsules-120

8) Pineapple

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For a taste of summer nothing tastes better than a juicy, ripe pineapple.   Why not eat it on its own or blended into a smoothie.   Like all fruit, it naturally contains sugar, so moderation is key.

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps improve digestion and also acts as an anti-inflammatory.

9) Sweet Potatoes

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When Sweet potatoes are cooked, an enzyme in the potato breaks down the starch and turns it into something called maltose, which is responsible for the food’s sweet flavor.

Sweet potatoes are full of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, immunity, and for preventing some types of cancer. Sweet potatoes are also low in calories and high in fiber, making them an ideal food for weight loss or maintenance.

Here is a great recipe for a gluten free bread that uses sweet potato: http://emmaolliff.com/gluten-free-bread/

10) Garlic

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Forget about the garlic breath for a moment. Raw or roasted, its flavour is through the roof, and it’s also incredibly beneficial for your health.

Garlic has been used for decades to help prevent colds to heart disease, and according to a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, eating raw garlic twice a week could cut your risk of developing lung cancer in half.

11) Nut butter

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Add a smear of good quality, sugar and salt free peanut, almond, hazelnut or cashew butter to toast, an oat or rice cake, or a few whole grain crackers for an added dose of protein, fibre and healthy fat.

The creamy texture is appealing, and nut butters will satisfy you longer than other spreads such as butter or jam.

12) Greek Yoghurt

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It’s likely that this delicious snack is already a staple in your diet, but it would be wrong to leave it off this list.

Non-fat Greek yogurt is creamy, decadent, and amazing for your body. On average, one small serving offers up nearly 20 grams of muscle-feeding protein.

You can eat it plain if you like, but the beauty of Greek yogurt lies in its versatility.From fresh fruit, to seeds and nuts, to honey or cinnamon, your add-in options are endless.

Also choose a full diet plan to make sure you’re eating for optimum weight loss and health.

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