What if I said to you, you could eat more and lose weight? The condition being that the MORE is from NOURISHING wholefoods! Too often we flick through magazines or websites with lists of foods that we must avoid before we become a ‘clinical statistic’. I personally believe any food can be included in your diet; the problem is, there seems to be nothing sexy about moderation, right? It got me thinking about creating a list of ten foods we really should eat regularly… because food is pretty fabulous after all!
When it comes to MORE – plants are KING! Load up half your plate with non starchy, vegetable goodness! Eating colourful veggies is a smart way to fast track your progress to a healthier physique. Think mushrooms, zucchini, capsicum, asparagus, cauliflower, tomato, carrot and greens beans! Load up!
It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12) but its omega-3 fatty acids that receives the most attention. It has been known for sometime that oily fish like salmon are very beneficial to the heart but scientists are now uncovering they lower the risk of many cancers as well as many chronic diseases. Enjoy salmon at least once or twice each week.
A nutrition scientist from the University of Surrey has said that if you cook and cool pasta, it changes the structure of the food and your body digests it more like a fibre, which results in less of a blood sugar spike to feed the good bacteria that reside in your gut and absorb fewer calories. If you reheat it again, an even better outcome! So rather than banning your favourite carb, cook, cool and reheat it and you are on a ‘resistant starch’ winner! Have some reheated pasta twice a week.
Eggs are an amazing source of high quality protein and paced with vitamins and minerals. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B2, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin. So much nutrition in just one little ‘capsule’! Enjoy an egg a day!
Nuts are a good source of dietary fibre and provide a wide range of essential nutrients, including several B group vitamins, vitamin E, minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium, selenium, manganese and copper, plus other phytochemicals such as flavonoids and resveratrol and plant sterols. Studies suggest that consuming a handful of nuts each day may reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30-50 percent and reduce the risk of death from heart disease by around 20%. A perfect little snack!
Beetroot contains a large amount of nitric oxide. This acts as a vasodilator in skeletal muscle, meaning it increases the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow. This is exciting for anyone who loves exercise! Juice them, roast them or toss them right into your salad!
They may be tiny but berries are BIG when it comes to health benefits. There are several powerful antioxidants that appear in berries, including anthocyanins and quercetin. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age-related memory-loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the joints for people with rheumatoid arthritis. They are also VERY low in calories so a dieters dream food! Enjoy them daily!
Oats are such a fabulous source of fibre and eating them can reduce your cholesterol levels. Oats are low GI, which means they will keep you fuller for longer and maintain steady blood glucose levels throughout your morning. Oats contain nutrients such as zinc, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1.
Yoghurt is an extremely beneficial food for your health. As fermented milk, it is a natural source of probiotics, helping to maintain a healthy gut and immune system. Research has shown that when eaten regularly it can improve cholesterol levels and assist IBS. The research at the University of South Manchester found that distension of the tummy (bloating) could be reduced by up to 78% by eating probiotic yoghurt.
Flaxseeds are terrific for heart health – they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. A study published in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology found that ground flaxseeds slow the growth of prostate cancer tumour. They are also an amazing source of fibre and can assist inflammation. Choose a soy and linseed bread as your loaf of choice!
New research suggests that beneficial bacteria that reside toward the end of our digestive tract ferment the antioxidants in cocoa. A huge German study published in 2010 tracked 20,000 people over eight years and found that those who ate one square of chocolate a day reduced their chance of stroke and heart attack by 39%. I say it’s damn delicious and as such, deserves to be on this list. Enjoy as your weekly treat.
So, there are my ten foods you really should include in your diet for a broad range of reasons.
To learn more about eating MORE, join Lisa and The Soul Project next Monday night at Palace Electric for EAT. SLEEP. LOVE.
Until next time,
Eat well, be well…