15 Healthy Foods to add to Shopping Basket every Week
Committing to a healthy lifestyle is not difficult, it’s just different. Different to what you might have done before and different to what other people are doing. The reason it’s different and not difficult? Because of the consequences. After all it is the consequences that drive everything we do in life. For those of you who have worked out the consequences of healthy living, the key is to keep learning and keep trying new things which you know will add to your sense of well-being. So here’s a list of foods to add to your shopping list which are overflowing with nutritional goodness and will create more of those great consequences in making you look and feel fantastic.
1. SPINACH – GOOD FOR: Lutein and zeaxanthin, immune boosting antioxidants for eye health. Full of vitamin A, C, E and Spinach is also high in phyto nutrients which provide anti-inflammatory and anti- cancer agents. 100 grams of spinach has no fat, minimal carbohydrate and only 23 calories.
2. EGGS – GOOD FOR: High quality protein which helps build antibodies and repair muscle. Considered to be a complete protein as they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs also provide 14 important nutrients such as vitamins A, D and E, folate, iron, zinc and choline, good for bones, teeth, skin and eyes. Referred to as nature’s multi-vitamin, the yolk provides most of the nutrition so don’t discard. There is no definitive evidence that eggs raise bad cholesterol. 1 large egg contains 6 grams of protein and only 70 calories.
3. CHICKEN – GOOD FOR: Quality protein with approximately 31 grams in a lean skinless 3.5 ounce breast. The calorie content is 165, as opposed to a wing which contains 290 calories.
4. APPLES – GOOD FOR: Phytonutrients which can help regulate blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate absorption rate. Apples are full of anti-oxidants which help reduce fat in cells leading to clogging of the arteries and other cardiovascular problems. Cardiovascular benefits also from water soluble fibre content (pectin). Also full of flavonoids which help with recycling of vitamin C in our bodies. 1 apple contains 95 calories.
5. PEARS – GOOD FOR: Being a low calorie fruit, packed with non-soluble dietary fibre which functions as a good bulk laxative in the gut. They are also high in vitamins and minerals. One pear contains about 60 calories.
6. SALMON – GOOD FOR: Omega 3 fatty acids which are vital for optimal function of the body. Oily fish needs to be eaten at least twice per week to get the amount of omegas we need for brain and heart health. A 100 gram piece of wild salmon contains high levels of quality protein and large amounts of magnesium, potassium, selenium and all B vitamins.
7. KALE – GOOD FOR: Vitamins, minerals, fibre and anti-oxidants. It is especially high in vitamin A, B6, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. It has large amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. It is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables with a very low calorie content.
8. BLUEBERRIES – Blueberries are very nutritious compared to most fruits and are loaded with powerful anti-oxidants which have protective effects on the brain1 cup has only 80 calories and 4 grams of fibre.
9. BROCCOLI – GOOD FOR: Offering low calories, and being rich in essential vitamins and minerals, in addition to fibre. Broccoli is particularly high in vitamin C, K, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Less than 30 calories per serving.
10. NUTS – GOOD FOR: Heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. But nuts are high in fat and calories so exercise control with portion size. Avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil. Choose raw or dry roasted instead and stick to a hundred calorie serving. Nuts are great as a snack when combined with a piece of fruit. E.g. 10 cashews and an apple, 20 pistachios and a pear, 12 almonds and 2 mandarins.
11. LEMONS: GOOD FOR: Being an excellent source of vitamin C, soluble fibres and plant compounds. Citric acid decreases the risk of kidney stones by diluting urine and increasing urine output. Drinking lemon water enhances immune function, helps prevent anaemia (vit C and citric acid increase iron absorption), reduces the risk of kidney stones and helps prevent against many diseases linked to hear and certain cancers. Drinking hot water with lemon in the morning flushes out toxins, gives energy, and reduces acidity in the body including uric acid in the joints.
12. LENTILS: GOOD FOR: Satisfying protein and fibre. Lentils help to reduce cholesterol due to high levels of dietary fibre. They provide slow burning energy, are very low in calories, and contain virtually no fat. 100 grams of lentils contains only 120 calories and offers 9 grams of protein.
13. GREEK YOGHURT: GOOD FOR: Almost twice as much protein as other yoghurts. It takes longer to leave the stomach making it more satisfying. Choose non-fat or low fat, low sugar varieties. One 6 ounce container has 17 grams of protein, with only 100 calories.
14. BROWN RICE: GOOD FOR: Being relatively low in calories and high in fibre. Unlike white rice the hull and bran are retained offering making it a healthier option. This is a slow release carbohydrate which can help maintain blood sugar levels and energy. It is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vit B1 (thiamin), B3 (niacin) and B6. Half a cup of brown rice contains around 110 calories.
15. COTTAGE CHEESE: GOOD FOR: Low fat and calories. It is loaded with calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vit B12 and B2. A cup of cottage cheese provides an amazing 27 grams of protein and only 194 calories.