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Soul Food: Foods That Heal From the Inside Out

By Genevieve Cunningham

When you first hear the term soul food, you probably think about home cooked foods made with massive amounts of love. You think about the kind of food your grandmother used to make when the family all gathered together. Soul food is so good … and also so bad.

Let’s take a new approach to soul food. Instead of thinking of fatty, fried, down-home cooking, let’s look at the food that is actually good for the soul. You know … the kind that heals your body and mind and keeps you incredibly healthy. For some of the healthiest “soul foods” out there, take a look at this list of foods that heal you from the inside out.

Garlic

Garlic is actually really good for your body. It works as a natural antibiotic and antifungal. So, what does that mean? Once it gets into your body, it helps fight and ward off illness before it takes hold. It can literally keep you well. To add a little garlic, just dice it up and put it in your favorite dishes. Yes, the flavor is strong, but the healthy benefits that come with it are stronger; it's definitely worth getting used to the taste and aroma if you're not already in love with it.

Leafy Greens

If you know anything about traditional soul food, then you know it includes all sorts of cooked greens. The only bad part is that it’s usually cooked for hours with bacon grease or lard or something similar to give it an incredible flavor. Instead, just go for raw leafy greens. Spinach, kale, lettuce of any sort … all of these are excellent sources of protein, Vitamin C, and many other nutrients. Leafy greens are an excellent way to move digestion, boost your immune system, and keep you at an appropriate weight for your body type. 

Black Beans

Another staple of a soul food meal is beans. To make it healthier, just choose the right kind of beans. Black beans are an excellent source of protein and they don’t contain quite as many calories as some other kinds of bean choices. Pop them in a pot, boil them for hours, and serve with your favorite menu. They’ll fill you up and keep you healthy all at the same time.

Fortunately for all of the food lovers out there, you don’t have to give up your favorite foods to get fit and healthy. Just make some minor substitutions and pay close attention to the way things are cooked. With the right approach, you can have your favorite meal in a healthier way for long-term health and wellness.

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