I was asked recently what my top 10 foods are for maximising overall health and aiding weight loss, so I thought I’d share with you the key foods I advise my clients to keep in the pantry/ fridge/ kitchen to help them achieve their health goals. (Please note they are not in any particular order, and I have cheated a little by using groups of foods, because I couldn’t pick only 10)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Gone are the days of the low fat diet. We all need to have some fat in our diet as it is actually a structural component of the human body. A good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil is one of the best kinds, and in Australia we make some of the best! Olive oil is high in phenolic antioxidants and studies have shown consumption of olive oil reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
This low glycemic index wholegrain is a must! It is high in a special fibre called beta-glucan specifically proven to help lower cholesterol, and overall this food is excellent for cardiovascular health and jam packed full of vitamins and minerals. It truly is a breakfast must.
Nuts in general are a good source of dietary fibre and many other nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and zinc to name a few. Different nuts contain different nutrients, so a variety is best. A small handful of raw or roasted nuts is excellent as a snack to tire you over between meals and add a few extra nutrients too.
Did you know that sardines are higher in Omega 3 fats than most other fish? They are also one of the best sources of Vitamin B12 and a rich source of Vitamin D. Not many foods are as great as sardines. Too many health benefits I cant list them all! I know not everyone is a fan of these fantastic creatures, so any fish or seafood is a beneficial staple. We want to aim for fish/seafood tree times a week!
A member of the legume family I always recommend these canned or dried. They are excellent in soups and stews, can be added to salads and I also put the in my Bolognese to spread the dish further. Low in kilojoules, high in fibre and a good source of protein, their low GI value also makes them beneficial for optimizing blood glucose levels.
Not everyone likes this to feature, but I love milk. It is one of our easiest sources of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein. Not everyone likes seafood with the bones or kilojoule wise can afford to eat enough nuts to get us much calcium that is readily available in milk. Also think of all the smoothies you can make with it!
These little gems pack a real punch! For a small food and not providing many calories they are full of nutrients including fibre, protein, ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) Omega 3, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Great for adding to cereal or yoghurt to fill you up a little more.
I’m cheating with this one and the next, but you can tell why. How do I pick the best fruit? All offer wonderful health benefits and great amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre. Aim to consume a variety; fruits of the same colour tend to contain the same nutrients, so variety ensures maximum benefit.
Same with vegetables, go for variety. All offer fantastic nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants which aid cell prepare and keep the body functioning optimally. You can never have too many vegetables
Insert your favourite food here
Because food is also about enjoyment and pleasure and it is ok to have a treat every now and then.