10 Things you need to start including in your diet
Everyday we hear about a new list of food that we should eat which are classified as Superfoods. Some of these nutritious foods have just recently become available in the supermarkets such as chia seeds, some of them can be rare to find or a bit pricey.So, I have decided to search for 10 items and create a compact list of highly nutritious foods that will add a lot of nutrients to your diet, including some of the ones that sometimes seem to be forgotten such as lemon and olive oil. Most importantly, I have not only created a compact guide that won’t take too much time to read, but that you know it will be easy to find and add into your routine.1) Lemon – it’s numerous properties help to clean your digestive system, assisting to combat indigestion and constipation problems, as well as working as a blood purifier and diuretic. It also has super important vitamins such as vitamin A, B6, C, E and minerals such as riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid and flavonoids which helps fight against cancer cells. Tip: Add to your diet using as a salad dressing to increase the flavour of your meals. If you want to get more benefit from it, start your day with the lemon water.2) Cinnamon – This spice is a powerful antioxidant, it helps to speed up your metabolism and fight infections such as colds and flu, diarrhoea and vomit. Diabetes studies have pointed out that cinnamon aids to lower glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar levels on people with type 2 diabetes and preventing insulin resistance on people with no diabetes. Other researches done on its effects on blood platelets have shown that cinnamon has anti-clotting actions, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Tip: Add to your morning porridge or coffee or use to add flavour to your cakes, pancakes and cereal.3) Chia seeds – Although we have just started to easily find them in shops and supermarkets, these little ancient seeds were already consumed thousands of years ago by Aztec people. They are packed with high levels of protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fibre, calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants. Due to high amount of fibre they have, these amazing seeds increase fullness, which should help you automatically eat less. Tip: Use them in smoothies, eat as pudding, sprinkle over your salad or add to your pizza dough or cakes :)4) Olive oil – For years studies have suggested that olive oil is the elixir of long life. I am not surprised actually! It is an oil that contains omega 9 fatty acid, it has anti-inflammatory benefits and previous studies have suggested that the consumption of olive oil decreases the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Olive oil also presents cardiovascular, digestive and bone health benefits. Tip: Olive oil is great to add flavour to your food and salad. Try to substitute your salad dressing for a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and you will love the taste by itself and won’t be adding those fatty salad dressings anymore.
5) Almonds – They contain healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. These nuts have cholesterol-lowering effects, as well as decreasing the risk of developing heart diseases. Regular consumption has demonstrated to help control the rise of insulin and blood sugar after meals. Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine which are important nutrients to improve brain activity. Carnitine reduces fatigue and works as an appetite suppressant, becoming a great ally for when you are dieting as it will increase your aerobic capacity to burn additional calories.Tip: Almonds are great to be eaten on they’re own, raw or toasted, They are also lovely in baking, such as adding to cakes and desserts, as well as a topping for your porridge or cereal. Alternatively, you can use in other forms, such as oil, milk or butter (I personally love almond butter!!).
6) Linseed or Flaxseed – These seeds are rich in micronutrients, fibre, manganese, vitamin B1 and very high in omega-3, which plays an important role in protecting the blood vessels from inflammatory damage. Its regular consumption has demonstrated to lower cholesterol levels and helps to regulate blood pressure. Linseed can be also very powerful on the prevention or ease of menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes. Consuming these seeds aid combating insulin resistance which is one of the causes of type 2 diabetes.Tip: They are ideal to sprinkle on salad vegetables or add to your bread and pizza dough. If you don’t really like the taste, chuck in the blender when making your daily smoothie and you won’t even be able to taste it but you will still benefit from it.
7) Pomegranate – It is one of the oldest fruit known and it has been used for medicinal purposes for years. This fruit is a great source of fibre, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, folate. Studies have pointed to its remarkable anti-cancer effects and slowed the advance of prostate cancer in men with recurring cancer of this nature. Claimed to be the most powerful antioxidant fruit and to be effective on lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases. Pomegranate contains three types of antioxidants, these being tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid which defend your cells against attack by reactive oxygen species. Tip: They are great in salads, cereals, porridge and desserts.
8) Kiwifruit – These green fruits have higher levels of vitamin C than oranges, containing 64mg each which is responsible for the health of your immune system. Researchers have found their antioxidant properties hold the capacity of protecting DNA in human cells from oxidative damage, as well as the antioxidant effect from the vitamin E helps protect the skin from degeneration. The variety of nutrients present in this fruit have shown to reduce the risk of blood clotting, heart diseases, stroke as well as helping to prevent cancer. Tip: wonderful in fruit salad, cereal, yoghurt and smoothies. If you are a bit adventurous, you can add to your salad to create a tropical dish 🙂
9) Fennel – They have been used in natural remedies since ancient times as they contain vitamins such as A, B-6, C, E, K, as well as calcium, phosphorus, selenium, panthothenic acid and lutein. Moreover, it contains iron and zinc which are important in the production of collagen, therefore helping to reduce ageing effects. The selenium present in fennel helps to prevent inflammation, decrease the likelihood and developing tumours and the combination of vitamin C and iron help to maximise the body’s capacity to absorb iron. Tip: The bulb is great to have grilled, on salads and adding to smoothies.
10) Butternut Squash – Although not many people are aware, they are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B, E, C, K, riboflavin, folate, panthothenic acid, copper, manganese, magnesium and fibre. They are packed with numerous benefits but without being high in calories. The vitamin A is an essential nutrient to maintain the health of eyes and the carotenoids (xeaxanthin and lutein) help to protect your vision from UV damaging. The presence of beta-carotene helps to reduce risk of developing asthma and cancer. Tip: As they are much richer in nutrients than potatoes, you could try substituting potatoes for butternut squash, in soups, grilled and in stews.