Let's forget what we should not eat: healthy diet does not mean deprivation and sadness. If you start thinking about the foods that you should eat every day it will be easier to follow an healthy, balanced diet, that will fill you up with energy and make you happier, more focused and positive.
1) Green vegetables: eat every day one or two portions of green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli or cabbage. They are rich in fibres and low in sugar, so you can eat in abundance as they bring very few calories and help you feel more satiated.
They are rich in vitamin K, folic acid and flavonoids with antioxidantand anti-inflammatoryaction helping to reduce cellular ageing.
2) Berries: blackberry, raspberries or blueberriesare low in calories and rich in fibresand contain a high quantity of flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins, as well as a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. If you don't find them fresh you can enjoy the frozen ones, as they keep all their properties intact. You can add them to yogurt and whole grains for breakfast or have them as a snack with a portion of walnuts or almonds.
3) Dark chocolate: dark chocolate, the one with a cocoa percentage greater than 85%, contains a wide variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids and several phenolic compounds, like tea or red wine. A piece of dark chocolate is a better choice than a sweet or salty snack, often rich in refined sugar and salt, and helps you to be more focused on your daily activities without sacrificing taste. Aim for just 20-30g per dayand remember when it comes to the nutritional benefits of chocolate, the darker the better.
4) Tomatoes: tomatoes are the main vegetables of the Mediterranean diet. If consumed raw they represent a good source of vitamin C, essential for the maintenance of immune function, if cooked instead are an optimal source of lycopene, another powerful antioxidantlinked to the prevention of some types of cancer.
Enjoy them daily with green vegetables, or with whole grain bread, basil and olive oil or prepare a delicious tomato sauce.
5) Nuts:oilseeds such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin or sunflower seedsare an excellent source of healthy fats, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E, and contain very low amount of sugar. Being rich in fats, calories are high and for this reason they are often eliminated from diets. Nothing more wrong! Consuming a portion (30-40g)of these seeds everyday will help you to maintain your blood glucose under control, a lasting sense of satietyand heart and arteries healthy.
6) Extra virgin olive oil: Replace solid fats such as butter or margarine with vegetable oils derived from a single seed such as extra virgin olive oil. For some considered almost as a medicine, this oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenolsand has a proven cholesterol-loweringand protective action against heart disease. Use one or two tablespoons per meal, preferably raw, to preserve the antioxidant molecules, and its irresistible flavour.
7) Citrus: all citrus fruits such as lemon, orange or grapefruitare an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, essential for the maintenance of immune function, and for the well-being of bones and joints. Vitamin C also favours the absorption of iron and helps to counteract all the symptoms associated with anaemia.
8) Legumes: they are a food of a thousand virtues, and for this reason each of us should consume them every day. There are many varieties of legumes: that is why it is impossible to get bored! Several types of beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, contain vegetable proteins, low glycemic index carbohydrates, because associated with so much fibre, substances with antioxidant action and very few fats. You can taste them in soups, add them to your salads or as a side dish. Combined with whole grains will be an excellent alternative to meat and will provide you with a complete supply of essential amino acids.
9) Fermented foods: cultured (fermented) foods such as yogurt, kefir, tempeh or tofucontain billions of probioticbacteria that actively contribute to our gut health. Our intestinal bacteria contribute to the digestion of nutrients and communicate actively with our brain, influencing not only our weight, but also our mood.
Add one or two portions of yogurt or other cultured food in your daily diet: your gut and your brain will thank you!
10) Whole grains: brown rice, oat, spelt and quinoa are the best source of complex carbohydrates and energy. Unlike refined cereals, the whole ones maintain the properties contained in the grain coating, including minerals, vitamins and polyphenols. Beyond that they are rich in fibres and vegetable proteinsand help to keep the blood glucose under control. Start your day with a portion of whole grains, such as oatmeal at breakfast, and complete lunch and dinner with multicereal bread, brown rice, spelt or quinoa, always in association with an abundant portion of vegetables and a protein source.
So remember to always have all these 10 foods in your home and your everyday diet will be easier and so healthy!
Eating everyday all these nutritious you will get all the energy you need for the day in a delicious and healthy way.
NutriCoach Francesca Deriu
PC Pablo Merchan Montes