6 Healthy foods everyone should include in their diet
Pretty much all diets are about exclusion of something which can range from dairy to sugar to carbohydrate so it’s no wonder we get confused about what we should be eating. However, there are three things all diets tend to be supportive of and that’s healthy fats, quality protein and organic vegetables.
Here are my top 6 foods we should all be eating that fit with any diet plan.
Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre but low in calories. Kale is considered one of the most nutrient dense vegetables rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and K. If you are not keen on it alone, try adding a handful to curries, stir-fry, omelette or even smoothies.
Whether you are on a low fat or high fat diet, healthy fats are essential in our diets. Fatty acids are the building blocks for our cells and enable the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K. Avocado not only contains healthy monounsaturated fats but is also rich in fibre. Smashed avocado makes a wonderful dip or spread. Add to salads and even smoothies.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fibres, vitamins and minerals. They are also helpful in regulating body weight as the fat is not fully absorbed, they suppress hunger, keeping us feeling fuller for longer. This effect is due to the protein, fat and fibre content of nuts. Some research also suggests that eating nuts can increase the amount of energy we burn. Another study shows that the energy we burn following a nut-enriched meal comes from fat sources, meaning that we burn more fat and store less fat in the body. Nuts and seeds are a great snack on their own or can be added to almost anything. Eat organic nuts where you can and avoid peanuts. Peanuts are technically a legume that grows underground where they can be subject to a mould called Aspergillus. This mould is a source of aflatoxins, which are highly carcinogenic.
Like avocado, olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and contains lots of antioxidants. However; use it cold, don’t heat it. Olive oil has a low smoke point. This means that the fatty acids, phenols and polyphenols that make olive oil so good for us degrade very quickly in heat not only stripping the oil of healthy nutrients we are eating it for in the first place but also producing harmful toxins. If you are looking for a healthier oil to cook with opt for avocado oil, coconut oil or grass-fed organic ghee.
Despite being sweet, berries are actually low on the Glycemic Index, meaning they don’t spike your blood sugar levels, which releases high levels of insulin causing your body to store fat. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are rich in disease-fighting polyphenols, antioxidants and vitamin C. Try adding a handful to your breakfast, yoghurt, smoothies or just as they are when you’re in need of something sweet.
I love the versatility of broccoli. It’s a great stand-alone side dish or can be added to pretty much anything. Not only is it high in vitamin C but also contains specific sulphur-containing compounds called sulforaphane that can lend protection against certain cancers. Try roasting it, adding it to salads cold. it’s also a great addition to stir-fry’s and omelettes.