10 Foods and Drinks to Consume Every Day for Better Health
- Protein in all meals and snacks – animal based is better. Optimal protein intake is critical for a healthy immune function. It’s also helpful for appetite control and hence weight control. Animal proteins provide the highest-quality protein source containing all of the essential amino acids our body needs. Protein helps build, repair and maintain the body’s structures including organs, muscles, tissues, bones, skin and hair.
- Green leafy vegetables – lots of these. Packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre but low in calories. They provide antioxidants to the body. They protect against cancer and other diseases and are low in sodium and high in fibre.
- Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. Besides tasting great they are a great big fat vitamin pill!!!
- Low sugar fruits such as lemons, limes and strawberries reduce your sugar intake without compromising on taste or nutrition. Eating the whole fruit provides fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as being a good source of antioxidants.
- Organ meats are highly nutritious – but not to everyone’s taste!! They are particularly rich in vitamin B12 and folate, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Organ meats are also rich in iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc, and are an excellent protein source. Try to sneak a little into other dishes.
- Eggs are an inexpensive, high-quality protein. They are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.
- Full fat dairy including butter, hard cheeses, ricotta, cottage cheese, cream and non-flavoured yoghurts are great. Full-fat forms of dairy products have been found to help with weight loss as they keep you satiated for longer and may reduce overall calories consumed.
- Olive oil and coconut oil to cook with and add to salads is a great way to get your daily serve of fatty acids, antioxidants, reduce inflammation, may also help prevent strokes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, reduce Type 2 Diabetes, cancer risk and help treat rheumatoid arthritis. Good fats (in the right amounts) are your friend.
- Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They regulate body weight as their fats are not fully absorbed. They may help you regulate food intake.
- Water is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination. It also helps carry oxygen to all cells of your body, regulates body temperature, helps in the digestion of food, and keeps the body hydrated, essential for living. Calorie-free drinks, hot or cold can also be used to help with hydration.
To ensure you are eating some or all of these foods daily, make sure your fridge is fully stocked with these foods. Notice that except for nuts, seeds and water, the rest are perishable and need to be kept in the fridge. You may want to leave the avocado out if it needs to ripen.
Clean out your pantry and reduce, re-gift or throw out food that is packaged and highly processed. If you are wanting to lose some weight, just eating these foods without some portion control will not give you the results you are after.
On the right eating plan for your body you don’t need to count calories, but total calories consumed daily still do count.
Use these portion control tips as a guide:
- Aim for a cooked protein serve to fill your palm
- Unlimited green leafy vegetables
- Daily serving of avocado – half
- One serve of low carb fruit per day
- One serve of organ meat as a protein 2-3 times per week, or in smaller amounts added to meals
- Eggs make a great snack – keep some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge
- 1-2 serves of dairy per day if not dairy intolerant
- Add oil to salad or use for cooking
- Nuts and seeds make a great snack, limit to one small handful, or sprinkled over salads
- Drink 8+ glasses of water or calorie-free fluids (hot or cold) per day
Happy healthy eating!!!!