As you may know, I LOVE to eat delicious, nutrient packed food! I have realised that many girls may not know how to incorporate healthy foods into their diets, so I wanted to talk about 10 foods that I try to eat every week, along with a recipe. These foods are PACKED with nutrients, and can easily be incorporated into so many recipes! And of course, most importantly, they are absolutely delicious!
1. Besides being yummy, fresh berries are an amazing source of antioxidants. Our bodies are exposed to free radicals naturally and while we can cope with SOME free radicals, an overload can cause things like arthritis, damage to the eyes, an increased risk of heart disease, or even certain cancers to develop later in life! Free radicals are often caused and increased by smoking, stress, alcohol, or a poor diet. Antioxidants are what helps our body to protect and repair our cells from damage made by free radicals, and berries are one of your best food sources!
2. Yoghurt contains something called “probiotics”. Probiotics can help improve your digestive health and can keep your tummy from looking and feeling bloated! When you buy yoghurt, make sure that it also has "live and active cultures" on the label. Also try and eat yoghurts that use natural flavours, rather than artificial sweeteners or added sugars.
3. Bananas are the only fruit which contains the amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6 together! In combination, these two nutrients help to produce serotonin, which is a natural chemical in the brain that helps to alleviate mental stress. In other words, it can help you feel happier! Bananas are also one of the best sources of potassium and an awesome source of energy! Eating one of these after a workout, can be a great way to restore your muscle energy for recovery.
4. I absolutely LOVE mint! I have it with almost anything. Aside from the refreshing taste and smell, it can also aid weight loss in a healthy way! Mint is a natural stimulant and helps to kick start the digestive enzymes, which help extract the nutrients from the food you eat. Mint may also help your body to turn fat into energy, rather than storing it and contributing to weight gain.
5. Avocado is a very versatile ingredient, which means it can be used in a variety of recipes! I personally like to use avocado instead of butter on my sandwiches and wraps. It's full of healthy fats, which can reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, and may lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. You can use it in homemade sushi or toss some into a smoothie to add a creamy texture!
6. A local cafè I like to eat at has the BEST mashed pumpkin on toasted rye bread. It keeps me feeling full and energetic for so long and tastes amazing! Pumpkin is full of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is a form of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy, glowing skin, strong eyesight, and keeping our immune system strong! In other words, pumpkin is full of the good stuff!
7. We all need a good source of protein in our diet. I try to change it up regularly between red and white meat. One of my favorite white meats is turkey, because it can be added to a lot of quick and easy meals. Turkey is rich in protein and very low in saturated fat. Try swapping your chicken breast for turkey next time for something a little different!
8. Spinach is another versatile veggie as it can be eaten raw or cooked. You can add spinach into most meals whether it be salads or cooked dishes, or even in a smoothie! Just one cup of spinach has nearly 20% of your recommended daily requirement of fibre. Fibre helps with digestion, maintain stable blood sugars, and can prevent overeating by keeping you full for longer. Try adding some to your next smoothie or with your morning omelette.
9. You can also add some tomatoes to your omelette for extra zest. A single tomato can provide about 40% of your daily vitamin C requirement! Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which helps protect against cancer-causing free radicals from damaging the body’s systems. It can also help boost your immune system!
10. Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack. They are among the healthiest of tree nuts. Almonds contain healthy fats and protein, which makes them a natural energy booster! Give them a little roast in the oven for a warm, sweeter tasting snack! If you are feeling bold, you can soak them overnight to remove skins, blend with water, and strain for your own homemade almond milk! Almond milk goes well in smoothies too.
Not sure how to incorporate some of these delicious and nutritious ingredients? You HAVE to try this salad recipe:
Warm Turkey, Avocado and Pumpkin Salad
- 1 cup green leafy salad mix
- 80g cooked turkey
- 25g avocado
- ½ cup cooked pumpkin
- 2 tsp pine nuts (optional)
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Combine the salad mix, turkey, avocado and pumpkin in a bowl and toss gently to combine.
- Add pine nuts (if desired) and freshly squeezed lemon juice and pepper. Enjoy!
Love, Kayla xx