Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or require too much effort. In fact, there are many simple, nutritious meals you can enjoy on a regular basis that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs. If you’re trying to improve your diet, making these 10 meals staples is a great place to start.
Each of these meals contains about 500 calories or less, while providing important vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and healthy fats. They are also easy to prepare, so you can make them even on your busiest days. Follow this healthy meal plan and you’ll be on your way to better health!
Starting your day with oatmeal is an easy way to sneak more fiber into your diet. Fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, which can aid in weight management. According to a study in Diabetes Care, women who ate oatmeal regularly were almost 14 pounds lighter than those who didn’t.
Oatmeal is also linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved heart health. Top your oats with fresh fruit, nuts and milk for a balanced breakfast. Just 1/2 cup of dry oats cooked in water contains about 150 calories.
2. Veggie Omelet
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Not only are they loaded with protein, but they also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Making an omelet with vegetables is a great way to start your day.
Eggs are quite versatile, too. You can scramble them, fry them, poach them or make a tasty omelet packed with veggies. A two-egg omelet with spinach, tomatoes and onions contains around 200 calories and over half your daily vitamin needs.
3. Leafy Green Salad
Leafy greens like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce are nutrition superstars. They are loaded with fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. What’s more, leafy greens are low in calories, so you can eat a large portion without overdoing it.
A salad made with leafy greens, vegetables, a lean protein and a healthy dressing is a nutritious lunch or dinner option. To keep your salad under 500 calories, watch your serving sizes for cheese, nuts, dressings and other high-calorie toppings.
4. Grilled Chicken and Vegetables
Chicken breast is a lean source of protein that is low in fat and high in nutrients like niacin, selenium, vitamins B6 and B12. Pairing grilled chicken with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus makes for a satisfying, healthy dinner.
A 4-ounce chicken breast contains around 150 calories, while 1 cup each of broccoli and cauliflower adds another 100 calories. Grill or bake your chicken and aim for an entrée size around 6 ounces to keep this meal around 450 calories.
5. Tuna Salad
Tuna is an affordable and convenient source of lean protein that also provides omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B12 and selenium. Combine tuna with leafy greens, tomatoes, avocado and a drizzle of olive oil for a filling, nutritious lunch.
A 3-ounce portion of tuna packed in water has about 90 calories. Pair it with 1 cup of leafy greens and vegetables and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and you have a tuna salad for about 350 calories. Use whole grain crackers instead of bread to reduce the carbs.
6. Veggie Scrambled Eggs
In addition to being rich in protein, eggs are loaded with vitamins and minerals like selenium, riboflavin, choline and vitamins B12 and D. Make your eggs more nutritious by scrambling them with vegetables.
Try combining 2 eggs with 1/4 cup each of tomatoes, spinach, onions and bell peppers. Cook them in 1 teaspoon of olive oil for a veggie scramble with around 200 calories. Add some avocado slices and you have a satisfying 300-calorie breakfast.
7. Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa is a whole grain that contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also provides fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium and riboflavin. Build a quinoa bowl by combining cooked quinoa with sauteed veggies, beans, nuts and a lean protein.
A 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa has around 115 calories. Add 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup mixed vegetables, 2 tablespoons salsa and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts for a filling 400-calorie meal.
8. Veggie and Bean Soup
Soup makes for an easy, wholesome meal that will keep you feeling full. Pack your soup with fiber-rich beans, nutrient-dense vegetables and lean protein. Try combining pinto or cannellini beans with carrots, celery, tomatoes, kale and chicken or tofu.
One cup of veggie and bean soup can provide around 200 calories. Pair it with a side salad and piece of whole grain bread for a balanced 500-calorie meal.
9. Fish Tacos
Fish is rich in lean protein, healthy fats and important nutrients like vitamin D, selenium and magnesium. Creating fish tacos with corn tortillas, cabbage slaw and fresh mango salsa makes for a flavorful, healthier taco option.
A serving of 3 ounces of cod or tilapia contains about 90 calories. Add two corn tortillas (120 calories), 1/2 cup cabbage slaw (20 calories) and 1/4 cup mango salsa (30 calories) for a total of 260 calories per 2 tacos.
10. Turkey Bacon and Egg Breakfast Wrap
Starting your morning with a hearty breakfast wrap will keep you feeling satisfied. Turkey bacon is lower in fat and calories than regular bacon but provides a similar smoky, salty flavor. Pair it with scrambled eggs, spinach and a whole wheat wrap for a nutritious breakfast under 500 calories.
Two slices of turkey bacon (60 calories), 2 scrambled eggs (140 calories), 1/4 cup spinach (5 calories) and a small whole wheat wrap (100 calories) totals around 300 calories. Add some tomato slices or a sprinkle of cheese if you want a more substantial breakfast.
Incorporate more of these healthy, low-calorie meals into your routine for better health. Mix and match meal components or try new recipes to keep your diet varied. And don’t forget to pair these nutritious main dishes with fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks like yogurt, nuts and hummus. Eating well doesn’t require cooking complicated recipes or breaking the bank. With a little planning, you can enjoy tasty, good-for-you meals every day.