Nutritionist Jane McClenaghan shares the best 10 healthy foods to eat every day and add to your meals to make them healthier.
Best 10 Healthy Foods to Eat Every Day
It’s January, when most people cut back a little after the richness of Christmas in a bid to be a healthier, slimmer, fitter or stronger version of themselves.
Optimising your nutrition means eating a wide diversity of whole foods, rather than restricting calories. One of the surprising side effects from eating a diet packed with natural, unprocessed foods can be weight loss – from eating more (of the right things), not less.
Packing your diet with loads of nourishing, healthy and natural foods is a far better, and much tastier way to eat for good health than chewing on a diet bar or having a shake instead of lunch.
Here are the best 10 healthy foods to eat every day and some simple ways to pimp your diet and boost your nutritional at every meal.
Best 10 Healthy Foods to Eat Every Day:
1.Drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil all over your steamed veggies. Packed with polyphenols, extra virgin olive oil can help optimise the absorption of important fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants, supports the health of your gut microbiome and has been associated with improved cardiovascular health and weight loss. Not to mention the fact that it tastes so good over steamed greens.
2. Crush your garlic and leave it for ten minutes before cooking. This will help you to get the biggest hit of active ingredients from this pungent herb. When garlic is crushed, chopped or minced and left for 10minutes, enzymes react with oxygen to create maximum allicin content that is otherwise destroyed by heat. It’s allicin that gives garlic its reputation as a superfood.
3. Switch to kefir instead of milk on your morning cereal to get a hit of probiotic bacteria first thing. This fermented milk drink can be found in the yoghurt aisle and is teaming with good bacteria. It tastes a little like yoghurt, and its best to choose the natural one rather than flavoured version to keep your sugar intake low.
4. Get the daily flaxseed habit. Keep a pack of Linwoods Milled Flaxseed handy to add to your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Packed with protein, essential fats, soluble fibre and a whole host of nutrients to help add a daily boost to any meal.
5. Swap to winter salads. Choose seasonal vegetables for your salads for maximum nutritional impact. Shredded kale, grated carrot, chopped beetroot, sliced red onion and some zingy fresh orange will give you a whole lot more nutrition than lettuce, cucumber and tomato at this time of year. Add a handful of nuts, a decent dressing (olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard and seasoning) and a sprinkle of Linwoods Flaxseed Almonds Brazil Nuts Walnuts & Q10 for a simple, energising and nourishing winter salad.
6. Switch to 85% chocolate for your daily chocolate hit, Not only is it lower in sugar, but the darker your chocolate, the higher the antioxidant content. Recent research also shows that 85% chocolate can help improve the diversity and composition of our gut microbiome and may have benefits as a good mood food thanks to its impact on our gut-brain axis – the same was not found for 70% chocolate, so go as dark as you dare.
7. Drink green tea. Recommended for immune support, green tea is a lovely way to get more polyphenol antioxidants into your diet. It is recommended that we drink 2-4 cups a day for maximum benefit, but even just switching one cup a day may make a difference.
8. Eat brassica vegetables every day. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale – these brassica or cruciferous vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition. Their sulphur-containing ingredients like sulfurophane and indole-3-carbinol are thought to help support immunity, facilitate liver detoxification and have potent anti-cancer effects. Steam them, roast them, stir-fry then, or add to your winter salads
9. Get spicy – add herbs and spices wherever you can in your day. Cinnamon in breakfast, turmeric in soups, parsley in salads. Herbs and spices are packaged with aromatic ingredients that are highly beneficial for our health.
10. Berries have a low gycaemic index, but pack a punch when it comes to their health benefits. Choose frozen berries at this time of year and mix it up between blueberries, blackberries, redcurrants. The rich jewel-like colour of these fruits provide a daily dose of antioxidant nutrients.
Jane McClenaghan is Northern Ireland’s most recognised nutritionist with over 20 year’s experience. Her company Vital Nutrition specialises in developing and delivering group sessions for corporate and community clients both online and in-person as well as running an online membership club and offering one-to-one consultations.
Jane’s knowledge in the subject area of health and wellbeing is unrivalled as indicated by her qualifications, reputation and experience.
Jane’s sessions cover a range of health and wellbeing topics from mental health to stress, female and male health, healthy eating on a budget, heart health, sleep, family wellbeing and much more.
Jane is also the author of two books on nutrition, she writes a weekly column in the Irish News, has a monthly slot on radio U105 and is a regular contributor to the BBC, The Belfast Telegraph and many other media outlets.
You can find out more and get in touch with Vital Nutrition here;