Healthy Ingredients That Will Improve Any Dinner
 
Cooking at home is one of the simplest ways you can ensure that you and your family eat well and avoid processed, nutritionally-empty food. Choosing the right ingredients can make an already-healthy meal even better for you.
 
These seven powerhouse foods are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes for extra nutrition and flavor.

1. Leafy Greens

You probably already know that leafy greens are great for you. Veggies like spinach, kale, and bok choy are packed with antioxidants, essential vitamins, fiber, and calcium.
 
They're also low-calorie, so you can eat as many leafy greens as you want with zero guilt. Try tossing a handful of leafy greens into your soup or stir-fry, using greens as a bed for rice or pasta, or just adding a simple green salad to the side of your plate.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a heart-healthy choice for cooking. It also has a great flavor that pairs well with Mediterranean-inspired meals. You can get the health benefits of olive oil by adding a drizzle to your salad or by making it your go-to cooking oil.

3. Greek Yogurt

Thick, creamy, and packed with protein and calcium, Greek yogurt is a hit with kids and adults alike. It's great on its own, but it's also perfect for adding to other foods.
 
Try topping your soup or chili with a dollop of plain yogurt instead of sour cream - no one will even know the difference. Or mix up a yogurt-and-herb sauce to add flavor to meats, sandwiches, and vegetables.

4. Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices don't just make food taste great. They also have tons of nutritional benefits. Cayenne, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger all reduce inflammation in the body, which lowers your risk of developing many common health problems. And basil, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon are all high in cancer-fighting antioxidants.
 
Try picking out a new-to-you spice next time you go to the grocery store, and experiment with different combinations of herbs when you cook - you're sure to find some fresh flavors you love.

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are incredibly nutrient-dense. They contain a generous dose of the antioxidant lycopene, as well as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and several of the B vitamins. They're also delicious and easy to use in lots of meals.
 
Try tossing a can of tomatoes in your soup, adding tomato wedges to your salad, or topping your tacos with salsa.

6. Eggs

Eggs are an easy way to boost the protein content of any meal. You can put a fried egg on top of just about any type of food, from stew to burgers to stir-fry. Another creative way to add eggs to soup is to whisk them and gently swirl them into the pot, egg-drop-soup style.

7. Avocado

Avocado, like olive oil, is an excellent source of heart-healthy fat. Add sliced or mashed avocado to your Mexican-inspired meals, use avocado instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich, or just add a few slices of this rich fruit to your salad.
 
Cooking at home is one of the simplest ways you can ensure that you and your family eat well and avoid processed, nutritionally-empty food. Choosing the right ingredients can make an already-healthy meal even better for you.
 
These seven powerhouse foods are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes for extra nutrition and flavor.




1. Leafy Greens

You probably already know that leafy greens are great for you. Veggies like spinach, kale, and bok choy are packed with antioxidants, essential vitamins, fiber, and calcium.
 
They're also low-calorie, so you can eat as many leafy greens as you want with zero guilt. Try tossing a handful of leafy greens into your soup or stir-fry, using greens as a bed for rice or pasta, or just adding a simple green salad to the side of your plate.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a heart-healthy choice for cooking. It also has a great flavor that pairs well with Mediterranean-inspired meals. You can get the health benefits of olive oil by adding a drizzle to your salad or by making it your go-to cooking oil.

3. Greek Yogurt

Thick, creamy, and packed with protein and calcium, Greek yogurt is a hit with kids and adults alike. It's great on its own, but it's also perfect for adding to other foods.
 
Try topping your soup or chili with a dollop of plain yogurt instead of sour cream - no one will even know the difference. Or mix up a yogurt-and-herb sauce to add flavor to meats, sandwiches, and vegetables.

4. Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices don't just make food taste great. They also have tons of nutritional benefits. Cayenne, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger all reduce inflammation in the body, which lowers your risk of developing many common health problems. And basil, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon are all high in cancer-fighting antioxidants.
 
Try picking out a new-to-you spice next time you go to the grocery store, and experiment with different combinations of herbs when you cook - you're sure to find some fresh flavors you love.

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are incredibly nutrient-dense. They contain a generous dose of the antioxidant lycopene, as well as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and several of the B vitamins. They're also delicious and easy to use in lots of meals.
 
Try tossing a can of tomatoes in your soup, adding tomato wedges to your salad, or topping your tacos with salsa.

6. Eggs

Eggs are an easy way to boost the protein content of any meal. You can put a fried egg on top of just about any type of food, from stew to burgers to stir-fry. Another creative way to add eggs to soup is to whisk them and gently swirl them into the pot, egg-drop-soup style.

7. Avocado

Avocado, like olive oil, is an excellent source of heart-healthy fat. Add sliced or mashed avocado to your Mexican-inspired meals, use avocado instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich, or just add a few slices of this rich fruit to your salad.