Top 9 Healthiest Foods

Food can be more than a meal to fill your stomach, it can be something that fuels you and gives you the energy to make it through your busy day. So what foods should be top picks for the day, and give you the best fuel to get up and go? In this months issue, we will highlight some of the healthiest foods that you can pack into your meals every day.

Berries are a great source of our good friend’s antioxidants which have the ability to remove harmful free radicals from our bodies. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals and can be incorporated into breakfast, snacks and desserts. Add your favourite berries to a meal and get the wonderful benefits they provide.

Is a low-calorie food that has calcium which is essential for the prevention of osteoporosis. Steamed, stir-fried or made into a pasta dish it is a great vegetable that should be eaten as often as possible.

Oats are a high fibre food that has the ability to decrease cholesterol and improve heart health. It is a great natural food that can be cooked as a hot cereal or made into cookies and muffins. High fibre foods are a great choice for breakfast and snacks as they fill you up and let you get through the day. Try a oat bran muffin or cooked oats with berries for your next breakfast meal.

Salmon is a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are not made in the body and must be obtained from the foods we eat. Salmon is a great source of these fatty acids, it can be baked and used in salads, sandwiches and soups.

Canola oil
Canola oil has the lowest amount of saturated fat of all common vegetable oils, trans fat and cholesterol free.  Canola oil has high monounsaturated fats, which may help to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  Canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the heart, skin and brain health.

Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are meat alternatives that provide a good amount of protein, without the saturated fat.  They are also a great source of fibre, which promotes intestinal health and helps you feel fuller faster!  The iron in beans is better absorbed when combined with vitamin C.  Since dried beans take a long time to cook, try canned beans in your recipes.  They are nutritionally equivalent.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, fibre and monounsaturated fats – important in heart health.  Many studies have also shown that nuts have a cholesterol-lowering effect.  Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and walnuts provide essential omega-3s.  Add nuts and seeds to your homemade trail mix, baking or sprinkle a handful on your salads.

Whole Grains
Whole grains foods contain all parts of the grain – including the germ, endosperm and bran.  Leaving the bran and germ intact preserves the important B vitamins, minerals and fibre.  It has been shown that high fibre foods help with weight control.  Whole grains are also rich in complex carbohydrates which stabilize blood glucose levels, prevent insulin spikes and keep you feeling full longer – all of which help to prevent type 2 diabetes.  To make sure you are reaping the benefits, check food labels for the word “whole” grain.

Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, pineapples, mangos and grapefruits are loaded with vitamin C.  there is research suggesting that citrus fruits may help prevent kidney stones.  These fruits are sweet, juicy and have the ability to brighten any dish with colour, texture and flavour.

Try any of these great health foods in your next meal, and get more of them in everyday meals to get the health benefits they hold. It is important to be aware of what we put on our plate and in our mouths. It is up to us to get the best nutrition possible getting more of these 10 foods is a great start.

Live Well…Chinweoke 

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