Maintaining our health has never been more important than right now! The global pandemic has made us painfully aware of the fragility of life. Eating the right foods is crucial to maintain optimum health. When we consume healthy foods, we give our bodies essential vitamins and minerals to build our immunity giving us the best chance of fighting illnesses that come our way. In a world where junk food is abundant and sugar is hidden everywhere, how can we ensure we eat a balanced and varied diet? What are the most important foods we must eat to maintain a healthy mind and body?
If the thought of anything green turns your stomach and makes you run for the hills, do not fear. Consuming vegetables need not be something you dread. There are a variety of ways to get vegetables into our diets. There are also different cooking methods and spices that can enhance the flavor of veg making them an enjoyable option.
Root vegetables are a substantial source of fiber, essential for the healthy functioning of the gut. A healthy gut also promotes a healthy brain. There have been many studies that have highlighted the links between our gut and neurological disorders. Root veg is also a good source of carbohydrates and anti-inflammatory nutrients. If you’re not keen on filling your plate with lovely little root veggies and you want to include more carrots into your diet, then why not try juicing them? Juicing is a great way to get the benefits of the humble carrot without the need to tolerate them on your plate. Juicers are an impressive addition to the kitchen, enabling you to create fresh juice and experiment with flavors.
The green vegetable gets a lot of bad press, but these bad boys are packed full of high-value nutrients. Dark leafy greens such as cabbage contain phytonutrients, which are plant-based compounds and are antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory, making them an excellent addition to your daily meals. They also contain very few calories and being fibrous they fill you up for longer, meaning you won’t feel the need to snack in between meals.
And of course, if you have a blender or a juicer, you can blend up green veggies, add some apple juice and you get an extremely nutritious raw veg smoothie; a fantastic powerful house of nutrition. You can then take photos and boast on social media about how very healthy you are.
Protein plays a crucial role in our daily diet. Protein contains amino acids known as the building blocks. Protein is utilized by every cell in the body, without it, the body will break down and be susceptible to disease. Protein enables the body to repair cells and make new ones, so including protein in your daily diet is essential for cell regeneration. What foods contain protein?
Adding a protein source into every meal will ensure you get the correct amounts each day. You don’t need to eat steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but adding a variety of protein sources such as cheese, milk, and lentils will help you get your daily requirements. Lack of protein can contribute to many health issues such as anemia, swelling, and increased infections. Illnesses such as anemia require iron supplements, as well changes to diet to increase iron levels. Anemia symptoms include breathlessness, muscle pain, tiredness, and depression. Anemia can seriously affect your daily life, so getting enough protein is vital for prevention.
Although high in fat and calories, nuts are a great source of protein and a handy snack that’s filling and healthy. Adding seeds to breakfast cereals is a great way to get extra goodness into a meal.
Fish for Omega 3
Fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is also widely available and relatively cheap. Fish is an important source of omega-3 and fatty acids are important for the body and brain. Omega-3 has a plethora of benefits: reduces blood pressure, increases good cholesterol, and even prevents some mental disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia. The good news is if you aren’t keen on having the little sea creatures on your dinner plate, there are plenty of supplements available to ensure you get your daily dose.
As well as protein, mentioned above, nuts are a powerful source of omega-3. Walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans have the highest levels of omega-3. They can be added to curries, stir-fries, cakes, or cereals.
If you’re conscious about your health but enjoy a sweet treat, the fruit is a good choice. Fruit provides much-needed fiber to keep you regular in the bathroom department. Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and fights off nasty viruses. It is also known to have a positive effect on skin health. They are full of B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. Magnesium plays an important role in the body and is an essential mineral that every cell needs to function so stocking up with magnesium-rich foods is wise for optimum health.
Bananas are a great addition to a healthy diet. A complex carb, it’s nutritious and satiating. Perfect if you’re active and need to stock up on vital energy. They’re good for stabilizing blood sugar levels and are high in potassium. They are also good for maintaining digestive health.
Berries are known as superfoods and rightly so, they are saturated with antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. They help reduce the risk of heart-related problems and can prevent cancer and inflammation. They are some pretty powerful reasons to include them in your diet. There are many ways you can cook them, or add them to a yummy fruit salad for dessert.
Avocados are a filling and healthy source of potassium and are classed as a ‘good fat’ They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are carotenoids produced by plants and can help protect the eyes from free radical damage.
Maintaining your health is the single most important gift you can give yourself. Life is short, so give yourself the best chance to stay happy and healthy.