With the overwhelming number of ingredients and foods in the grocery store, not to mention the ever-changing recommendations online for what to eat, it can be hard to know what foods are best to have as a regular staple in your diet.
Keep it simple and start with these six selections:
Rich in magnesium, B Vitamins, Vitamin K and A, not to mention an antioxidant powerhouse, getting your greens is one of the best health habits you can adopt. There is a wide variety of greens available, including spinach, kale, mustard greens watercress, silver beet and arugula, just to name a few. Each of these has a heap of vitamins and minerals to offer, not to mention, their own unique properties. Kale for example has thick stalks that are a source of prebiotics, while the bitterness of arugula makes it great for liver health.
Almond milk is a versatile solution in the kitchen. From baking and smoothies to cooking creamy porridge, there is not much that almond milk can’t take care of. Choose a variety that is unsweetened, and check to make sure there is not a long list of ingredients. Once opened, almond milk will keep for 7-10 days in the fridge, and even works as a great solution to delicious vegetarian curries!
Packed with fibre and calcium, broccoli is a great vegetable to have on hand for individuals who do not consume dairy and are worried about getting adequate calcium intake. A cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is also a source of Vitamin K, and is versatile, working well raw, roasted or steamed, in stir fries, pasta dishes, salads and more.
A complex carbohydrate that is packed with beta carotene, vitamin A and is rich in antioxidants and magnesium, sweet potato is a true power packed vegetable. Because sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and high in fibre, they fill you up and offer a sustainable source of energy. They can be roasted whole and smashed up, mashed as a side to dinner, or even enjoyed for breakfast. Their bright orange colour contributes to the antioxidant benefits, or try other kinds, such as purple, white or golden to take advantage of alternative phytonutrients.
You may be surprised to learn that avocados are actually a fruit! One of the best, natural sources of healthy fats, avocados contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. We need healthy fats to offer energy and improve brain function, and they also play a critical role in facilitating proper digestion and in promoting good skin health. Lack of fat in the diet can be attributed to poor concentration and brain fog, low energy, fatigue, and lethargy, as well as problems such as constipation and chronic acne.
One of the best anti-parasitic foods, pumpkin seeds are a great snack to grab by the handful, and make an excellent addition to baked goods, oatmeal and homemade trail mix. They contain high levels of iron and zinc, as well as Vitamin E.
Easy to find and delicious, these foods will fill you up, keep you healthy and are incredibly versatile when it comes to helping you decide what to cook.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH