This is not the definitive list of all you should eat, but ones I think are great with a couple recommended by friends… and as always, if you cook with them rather than just eat pre-packed/made microwave dishes or fast food you avoid all the nasties and preservatives. … OK I’ve cheated by doubling up on some of the lines.
Apart from the fuel to stoke the human engine there are other ingredients in food.. Ingredient that help your immune system and keep us healthy. Super foods just have more of them
In no particular order
25. Dark Chocolate – ok you’re not suppose to eat loads of it (high in calories) all chocolate contains sugar and fats but the darker, the higher the percentage of cacao. Eat Divine Choc and you help others. Health benefits include lowering blood pressure. Source of Magnesium and Iron
24. Eggs – Cheap, easy to prepare, and versatile, unless you’re eating 30 plus a week the cholesterol they contain is minimal compared to the benefits. High in protein and omega 3 plus vitamin D. Eat Free range or better still Pet eggs …. never battery produced/farmed eggs
23. Blackberries/ blueberries/cranberries – Loaded with goodies for the body and brain. High in Antioxidants, and Phenolic Acids (helps kill viruses and fight infection) Vitamin C and E.. Blueberries especially contain Anthocyanins which helps prevents cancers and heart disease.
22. Sweet potatoes - Contains twice the amount of vitamin A, and fibre as the white potato, Source of Vitamin C, and Beta–Carotene (the darker the orange, the more B-C)
21. Whole Wheat Pasta – I have tried to cut down on wheat as it bloats me and makes me sluggish… but it does provide Vitamin B, Folate, selenium and zinc and well as giving a slow energy release as it breaks down in your body.
20. Watercress – I personally find this too bitter and strong .. but a friend of mine swears by it.. she gets a hint of a sniffle and lashes loads down. Contains Iodine, Iron, Vitamin A and D
19. Garlic – Vital ingredient in any dish. Contains antioxidants that help the heart and help fight off stomach and colon cancers.. lowers blood pressure and may help to fight off colds.
18. Bok Choy- A very low cal and nutrient rich veg … Rich in vitamin A, C, and calcium. Spinach is another great veg and contains lutein which helps protect against age related deterioration of vision.
17. Banana – A happy food. Most lists have Avocado in there somewhere, I prefer the humble Banana. Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas is associated with a reduced risk of colon and kidney cancer and in women, breast cancer. Contains vitamin B, C, and potassium.
Happy food? They contain serotonin. Serotonin makes you smile.
16. Milk – Got to be careful with this one, buy from the right sources and I use skimmed High in calcium and protein. Can help lower blood fat levels and as a result, reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease. As will all things take, in moderation.
15. Apples – The ultimate snack food. Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon, prostate and lung cancer. Many other fruits and vegetables have far more vitamin C and fiber, than apples. but they are a rich source of other antioxidant compounds and help regulate bowel movements and may thus reduce the risk of colon cancer. They may also help with heart disease, weight loss, and controlling cholesterol, as they do not have any cholesterol, have fiber, which reduces cholesterol by preventing re-absorption, and (like most fruits and vegetables) are bulky for their caloric content. There are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples, try some of the more unusual ones if available
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
14. Oranges/ Grapefruit – What’s not to like here, contains vitamin C which helps make Collagen for healthy younger looking skin, keeps the blood vessels healthy, fights bacteria and viruses. Also has Bioflavanoids which is good for the eyes and pectin, which lowers your cholesterol.
13. Tea – A cup of tea is the ultimate relaxant, Tea leaves contain more than 700 chemicals. Proven to aid the immune function of the human body, it also helps with prevention of coronary heart diseases and diabetes by reducing the blood-glucose activity.
12. Turkey – A low fat source of protein contains trryptohan which converts to serotonin. Rich in zinc and iron, in the dark meat. Raises dopamine which boosts alertness. plus trace mineral selenium, plus niacin and Vitamin B. 50% Less fat than beef and 30% less calories. Can’t get Turkey… eat Free range Chicken.
11. Almonds /Walnut – Errr or just nuts in general. Almonds raise HDL cholesterol (the good) while lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad one) so overall decreasing risk for heart disease. Source of vitamin E, B, Calcium, Iron, Zinc. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 and magnesium plus other goodies. Once again moderation as they are high in calories
10. Tomatoes – Loads of nutrients and next to no calories. Health benefits ; taken often in all forms reduces the risk of Prostate Cancer by 35%. Source of lycopene (antioxidant) and vitamin C. Did you know the cheap tins of tomatoes are exactly the same as the expensive brands.
9. Soy/ soya bean – Another vegan friend recommendation include soymilk, tofu and fermented into soy sauce. Soy helps prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, and helps relieve menopausal and menstrual symptoms. Soy milk is a good substitute for cow’s milk. I’ve even had excellent Cappuccino made with soymilk sweetened with apple.
8. Yoghurt – live bio yogurt or a pro-biotic yogurt. Calcium and vitamin B, plus aids your digestion, aids bone strength and helps prevent osteoporosis. Good with fruit nuts and berries if you’re in a rush at breakfast or just mix with your porridge or muesli. Perfect for those who are diagnosed with celiac disease.
7. Red Kidney Bean – Good for protein, fill you up and are aslow release energy food rich in cholesterol lowering fibre. Could have had other pulses and lentils here as well, which all have other health benefits. Not to forget Tinned baked beans in tomato sauce. A surprising source of fibre, tomatoes (Lycopene), Iron and Folate acid (help fight against anaemia and heart problems). Cooked in the tin and all the goodness stays in the tin.
6. Pumpkin seeds – Not something I buy as a separate item, probably I should though. Contains: Omega 3, Alpha Linolenic Acid (helps blood flow, cardiovascular health, brain function and immunity)Protein, vitamin E and antioxidant minerals Selenium and Zinc. I usually take a daily dose in Muesli.
5. Basil and other herbs and spices – Apart from adding flavours to cooked food in moderation they can provide other health benefits. Basil oil has potent antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids, also has antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens. Find out for yourself the benefits of using herbs and spices to your health
4. Broccoli – my favourite veg. Contains powerful antioxidants regular servings may help prevent heart disease, bowel, stomach, breast and lung cancers. Plus beta-carotene which the body helps convert to Vitamin A.
3. Oats – Noting starts the day better than Muesli or Porridge. Helps lower cholesterol and fats forming on your blood vessel walls. Fibre fills you up with slow release energy and saves you feeling hungry for longer so you don’t snack on rubbish. High levels of Vitamin E and antioxidants.
2. Olive Oil – A key ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, and a major factor in their low rate of heart disease, depression and cancer. Olive oil is a potent disease-fighting liquid, High in Vitamin E, a powerful anti aging antioxidant. Plus it doses the good v bad stuff with cholesterol. Not as good at internally lubricating the joints as fish /cod liver oil but not bad.
1. Salmon or Tuna or Mackerel .. A low-cal way to get loads of lean protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium, and vitamin D. And lots of other health benefits.. there are some issues of mercury in fish as we are polluting our food chain… but the positive benefits of eating fish far outweigh the negatives.
Like everything know the source of your food and everything in moderation. Statistics prove those people who eat fish and have a balance diet as a regular part of their regime live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t.
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” –Hippocrates