spices-541974_1920.jpgEating whole, nutritious foods can be a great way to satisfy cravings. With excess sugar, salt and artificial sweeteners in so many foods, digestive juices and taste buds can become dull over time, weakening our ability to break down food for nourishment and stressing our immune system. Instead of opting for junk food, try these suggestions for better long-term health.

Organic Cacao is different from cocoa (which is more processed). It has a wide variety of health benefits that make it a desirable baking ingredient and a healthier alternative to commercial chocolate. Jam packed full of antioxidants like polyphenols, fibre, magnesium and other minerals, it is a nutrient-dense ingredient that any chocolate lover will appreciate.

Oats help to stabilize blood sugar levels keeping you satiated. Research suggests that beta glucans found in oats are responsible for the correlation in oat consumption and improved blood sugar regulation

Nut butters like almond, cashew, sunflower and pumpkin offer the perfect amount of protein and healthy fats to curb cravings and give healthy treats a nutrient-dense profile. Pumpkin seed butter offers 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, is a great source of minerals like zinc and iron, and its healthy fat content will keep your metabolism functioning well.

Avocados are possibly the most nutrient-dense fruit available. These leathery-skinned superfoods are full of micronutrients and a great source of fiber, vitamin C and folate.

Grapes contain important polyphenols like flavonols and resveratrol that will offer you antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other preventative properties. They may also offer you cardioprotective nutrients to help keep you heart healthy!

Spices strengthen your digestive system and provide healing benefits to your cells. They can be added to almost any meal or raw or baked treats. They also make a great, healthy addition to homemade beverages like lattes, hot chocolates and punches. 

Cardamom is a good source of minerals and has helpful detoxifying properties. It has traditionally been used to treat ailments like kidney stones, urinary tract disorders and respiratory conditions like asthma. Some studies suggest that cardamom can effectively reduce blood pressure and enhance antioxidant levels. 

Nutmeg grows on evergreens native to Indonesia. It is known to elevate mood, relieve pain and act as a brain tonic by slowing cognitive decline as well as helping brain tissue heal in individuals that have suffered a stroke.

**Caution: Spices taken in large doses is not recommended. Consult with a nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor as they would best know your specific health and diet needs.