The answers to this question can change, depending on which day of the week you choose to read the news. With fad diets and so called ‘healthy’ foods all the rage these days, how can you be sure that you are eating your way to a more healthy lifestyle? Well luckily there are some foods and drinks that are renowned to be beneficial to the human body, and are not subject to the whims of the popular press. These foods perform well consistently over time and act to enhance our bodily functions, or help us to stave off diseases. Any healthy diet should include lean proteins, lots of leafy vegetables and fruits, with a small amount of good fats and carbohydrates, the foods and drinks mentioned below, however, have that little extra that you should be making a beeline for, when you next visit the supermarket.
Flax seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds contain Omega3 which is beneficial in supporting the immune system. It also helps to combat insulin sensitivity, balances out hormones and soothes dry skin.
Wholemeal pasta, porridge oats, brown rice, quinoa and lentils are slow releasing carbohydrates and they have a low glycemic rate, which means they can help to reduce hunger pangs, and help you to keep control of your weight.
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat, they are full of fibre and contain Vitamins C, E and K. They are also low in salt and cholesterol. You should only eat one a day however, because of their fat content.
Green tea and green coffee both contain high levels of polyphenols, which help to prevent many degenerative diseases. They also contain caffeine which will give you a boost and antioxidants which are beneficial in mopping up free radicals, the cells that contribute towards cancer.
Purple grape juice is a great alternative if you do not like eating much fruit as one 250ml glass contains your recommended Vitamin C dose. Make sure you choose the pure juice however, and not the ‘drink’ versions as these can contain extra sugar and water.
Vitamin D is not a prevalent in foods as vitamins C and E, in fact most of our vitamin D is converted from sunlight. However, with all the talk surrounding skin cancer and sunlight, many people are shunning the suns rays and consequently their vitamin D levels may be decreasing. Vitamin D is important as it aids the body in absorbing calcium into the bones and helps to balance your immune system. Take a supplement of vitamin D3 as this is the least naturally abundant in nature.
Probiotics are essential to promote healthy bacteria growth in the gut, which helps with good digestion and can aid in preventing some intestinal inflammations.
As with any change to your diet, you should consult a doctor before making any radical adjustments.