Sometimes you can feel like your energy levels are lagging. That the foods you have been eating haven’t been as healthy as they could have been lately. Maybe you do actually have great eating habits but are looking for a way to make them even better!
Whatever your reasons, there are some foods that pack more of a nutritional punch than others, and working to include more of these in your week is a great positive step in leading a healthy life.
Packed full of vitamins, including vitamin C, blueberries are a real nutrient powerhouse. Studies indicate that increasing blueberry consumption helps to reduce your risk of some lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Frozen or fresh, you can add these to smoothies, your morning oats, yoghurt, bake in healthy muffins or just enjoy fresh.
This family of nuts includes almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pine nuts among others. Health benefits include healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are positive for heart health, omega 3 fats for your brain, protein to help you feel full and satisfied, and fibre for improved bowel functions. Different nuts have different vitamin compositions, for example, brazil nuts are high in selenium and almonds are rich in vitamin E. Including a range of different nuts can offer a great nutritional boost. Aim for the raw unsalted varieties and choose small portions. A little bit oes a long way.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, known cancer fighters in the body. They are also high in potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins, plus beta-glucans and selenium to help boost the immune system. They are also high in fibre, which has been linked to better satiety and outcomes in weight management. You can enjoy mushrooms in salads, sandwich fillings, soups, casseroles, savoury muffins, on toast for breakfast.
Spouts are rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, folate, and vitamin C and K. They are also a good source of essential amino acids and antioxidants. They have been linked to improvements in blood sugar levels for those with type 2 diabetes, better digestion, and improved heart health. Make sure you buy sprouts that are chilled rather than at room temperature, store in the refrigerator, and wash thoroughly before consumption.
Eggs are often an underappreciated food but are in fact an incredibly nutrient and protein-rich food to include in your diet. They are a great source of all 9 of the essential fatty acids that we aren’t able to produce for ourselves, plus B vitamins, vitamin A, selenium, choline, zinc, iron, and copper. Regular consumption has been linked to healthier weights. Eating eggs has been shown to improve HDL cholesterol (the good one) in your blood, which helps prevent heart disease.
Eggs are a great binding agent, so is a key ingredient in many dishes. You can also enjoy eggs boiled, poached, scrambled, baked, or fried in a non-stick pan for breakfast. Eggs are great fillers for sandwiches or wraps, or as an addition to salads. Even just a boiled egg on its own is a handy and healthy mid-meal snack.
So how can you fit more of these super healthy foods into your week? We would love to hear some of your strategies in the comments!