Try these nutrient-packed foods that will help keep you healthy and feeling great from the inside out!
Beans are a super source of protein and fibre, two nutrients that help you stay full and satisfied. This helps temper the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal, which can help stabilise mood. The fibre in beans also helps keep you regular! Added bonus: They're inexpensive! So stock up on canned, no-salt added variations and add them to soups, salads and stews!
Nuts offer a nutritious combo of protein, fibre, and heart-healthy unsaturated fat, making them one of nature's ideal foods. Pistachios are especially rich in phytosterols and soluble fibre — two natural plant compounds that have been shown to lower "bad" cholesterol levels. Pistachios are also great to include in your diet if you are striving for weight loss. 30 pistachios will cost you only 100 calories (per nut, they're the least caloric of all) and because they're in a those shells, they take longer to eat so you’ll get the value out of your 30 as a snack!
Did you know that lots of the power of blueberries lies in their colour? The deep-blue hue is a by-product of flavonoids — natural compounds that protect the brain's memory-carrying cells (neurons) from the damaging effects of oxidation and inflammation. They also have a high water count, making them very hydrating for your skin and other cells of the body.
You may be surprised to find out that gram for gram sardines contain just as much heart-healthy omega-3 fat as salmon! They're extremely low in contaminants, eco-friendly (so we don’t need to worry about overfishing), packed with high-quality protein, and very affordable.
Popeye was on to something here! He was chomping on spinach even before we knew about superfoods! Spinach is packed full of antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin — a duo that acts like sunscreen for your eyes and guards against degeneration. It is also a great source of iron, which keeps your hair and nails strong and healthy.
Newsflash! Chocolate is a healthy treat, as long as you choose wisely. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. But choose chocolate that is at least 70 % cacao or cocoa to optimize the antioxidant power and health benefits. I’ve read that dark chocolate may even boost your mood. While there's no scientific explanation for why, the rich taste and sensuous feeling of a decadent piece of dark chocolate may be the reason! Beware of portion control – 30g of dark chocolate has about 160 calories.
# 7 Red Bell Peppers
Did you know: one red bell pepper has twice as much vitamin C as an orange? Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps clear your body of free radicals and keeps your skin and blood vessels healthy and strong. This vitamin C may also help or prevent arthritis. And, thanks to their high water content, bell peppers of all colours are a high-volume, low-calorie food that's figure-friendly too!
Egg whites are a versatile low-calorie, fat-free, high-quality protein choice. For only 17 calories you get 4 grams of protein per egg white — talk about lean protein! Egg whites can help you maintain strong bones, muscles, nails, and hair. Enjoy egg whites hard-boiled on their own, as a topping for salad, or substituted for whole eggs in egg- mayo.
If you have high cholesterol, then you've probably heard that it's good to eat oats. It's because whole grain oats are one of the best sources of soluble fibre, which, in addition to lowering cholesterol, helps keep blood sugar levels under control. Maybe trade your family’s regular bowl of cereal for a bowl of wholesome oats topped with berries and chopped nuts for extra nutrition!
Pumpkins have a lifespan outside of Halloween — it's loaded with nutrients that will help your heart, bones, eyes, and skin. Beta-carotene and potassium are the two standouts in pumpkins: Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps rejuvenate skin, protect your vision, and may even reduce risk of arthritis. Potassium is a mineral involved in lowering blood pressure and maintaining healthy bones. Ideas for use: in stews, soups, pies, or pureed as a side dish or baby food — or add a scoop to some yogurt for a delicious snack.