It genuinely brings me great happiness to talk all things food and nutrition. My ultimate aim is to help others find health and to enjoy food without any guilt - so it’s for this reason that I’m becoming increasingly bothered by the way media portrays nutrition information (correct, or not) in such a negative fashion.
You only need to scroll through social media, turn on the television or open a magazine to read headlines such as ‘sugar is toxic’ to see what I mean. Headlines like these make for great ‘click-bait’, but do little to inspire healthy food habits – instead, they attempt to motivate us by fear.
It’s high time we refresh the language we use around nutrition. To kick-start the positive food vibes, let’s take a look at some delicious wholefoods we should be eating more of.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering – sugar is NOT toxic!
These nutritional powerhouses are a great source of fibre, healthy fats and many essential nutrients. Research shows that we can reduce our risk of heart disease by 30-50%, simply by eating a handful each day! They make for a great snack and are delicious scattered over salads or as a topper for your breakfast oats.
Rich in plant-based protein, folate and minerals (iron, zinc and magnesium), legumes certainly pack a nutritional punch! They also contain remarkable amounts of soluble fibre, which works wonders for managing cholesterol, satiety, blood sugar levels and nurturing the growth of gut-friendly bacteria in your intestine.
Salmon offers an excellent source of the heart friendly, mood boosting, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Enjoy salmon (or other oily fish) at least twice a week to reap the benefits of this natural wonder food.
Not only are eggs a terrific source of high quality protein, they contain impressive amounts of vitamins, minerals and two carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, which a play a crucial role in eye health and can reduce your risk of macular degeneration.
Oats are rich in beta-glucan, a cholesterol-busting soluble fibre that also helps to improve digestive health. They are also a low GI, which means they’ll fill you up and prevent big spikes in blood sugar levels. While old-fashioned oats have been a time-honoured breakfast staple, try tossing a handful of oats into cake, muffin and pancake batters for a simple fibre boost.
COLOURFUL PLANT FOOD
With todays hype of ‘superfoods’ we’re forgetting one very important message – variety! While kale, quinoa and goji berries are certainly enjoying their time in the limelight; we need to remember that no one food can do it alone. Supercharge your health by eating a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits everyday!
Yoghurt is rich in protein, bone-strengthening calcium, riboflavin, zinc and vitamin B12. It also contains probiotics, live healthy bacteria that support gut health. Enjoy yoghurt as a snack, add a good dollop to smoothies or simply enjoy with your muesli or breakfast cereal.
IMAGE: American Food Association