Why should healthy living have to be about restriction, self-discipline and beating yourself up for wanting a biscuit? Can’t we learn to love preparing and eating food without the guilt that comes with it?
We’re constantly being told what foods we should avoid or cut out from our diets (carbs, cakes, anything nice) – but what about the foods we should eat? Here we look at how eating more isn’t always a bad thing…
The key to eating and enjoying food without damaging your body or your figure is to get plenty of the right kinds of food – and we don’t mean nasty tasting health shakes or skimpy salads. All of those fad diets and celebrity weight loss tips just over-complicate things. Healthy eating can be simple and what’s more, it can be enjoyable.
Here are three superfoods you’ll want to eat more of:
With its rich, nutty flavour, buttery consistency and bright green flesh, the avocado is always a popular one with chefs. They’re also thought to be one of the healthiest foods available. They’re packed full of vitamins A, B, C, E and K (a good cross-section of the alphabet), minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper, plus plenty of fibre, protein and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Dieters are notoriously wary of avocados because of their high fat content (20 times more than most other fruits). However, this is mostly ‘good fat’, which is thought to lower cholesterol levels and control blood pressure. Studies have shown that avocado can also help reduce stroke, prevent birth defects, promote eye health, prevent disease, cure bad breath and aid the absorption of nutrients.
Struggling to find imaginative ways to eat avocado? Grab two slices of seeded wholemeal bread, make up a spread with yoghurt, a drizzle of lemon and a touch of pesto, then slice up a beef tomato, avocado and red pepper for a delicious vegetarian sandwich with a tang.
This soft, green vegetable is a favourite in the UK for its vaguely sweet taste and satisfying crunch. Some studies suggest mustard oils found in broccoli may be able to fight malignant cancer stem cells. Broccoli also contains fibre and phytonutrients, making it a good choice for smooth digestion.
This versatile vegetable can be served on the side of most other dishes and, when bought frozen in bags, works out as a very cheap way to stay healthy.
Bananas are deliciously sweet and creamy, offering a great energy boost at less than half the calories of the average chocolate bar (around 100). They are also rich sources of potassium and vitamin B-6, which scientists believe could help stave off stroke.
For a sweet, energising boost in the morning or before the gym, slice one banana and blend with frozen berries, water and a dash of honey for a tasty, healthy smoothie.
The key to health is understanding nutrition. To find out more about how a nutritionist could help you lead a healthier life, please visit our Nutrition Topics page.
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