5 foods you should add to your diet today
14 July 2016, 18:50
There’s been so much conflicting diet advice recently that it is no wonder people are confused about what to eat. But whether you are fasting or banting or detoxing or eating for energy, two hard truths remain:
1) Processed foods are bad for you, so choose whole foods close to its natural state.
2) We eat way too much sugar so remember to keep fruit portions reasonable as fruit contains lots of sugar.
Luckily we have access to a host of healthy, nutritious food that is available at most supermarkets. You just have to make the choice to start including it into your diet.
5 foods you should buy and eat right now
Everyone is talking about kale right now, and these days it is readily available in South Africa. This leafy green vegetable is a member of the cabbage family and related to other cruciferous stars like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and powerful antioxidants while being very low in kilojoules.
How to eat it
Scatter over a baking tray and pop into a hot oven until crispy. Drizzle with olive oil and flaky salt and voila, kale chips!
This peppery leaf is perennial, but sometimes difficult to find in shops. If you have access to enough water (keep in mind we're in the middle of a drought here) you should strongly consider growing it. Since it is so high in vitamins (especially C and K) and minerals (copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium) and antioxidants while being SUPER low in calories (only 11 grams per 100 gram raw leaves) it is regarded as one of the most nutritiously dense foods on earth.
Cranberries aren’t indigenous to SA and can’t be farmed here. In fact, the vast majority of the world’s cranberries come from the USA. They grow in water and the harvest is truly something to behold. Cranberries have long been hailed as an effective weapon in the fight against urinary tract infections. Recent studies have shown this is because they contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that act as a barrier against bacteria. This is not only good news for those who suffer from UTIs, but preliminary reports suggest that cranberries can be beneficial when treating stomach ulcers and can protect the liver and cardiovascular system. Studies do show that they work best when in food form.
How to eat it
While we’ve had cranberry juice in SA for years, Ocean Spray has now launched formally in SA and are juices, purees and dried berries. Add a small handful of dried cranberries to your morning oats for maximum health benefits.
In the Bible story Esau sold his birthright as the first born to his brother, Jacob, for a bowl of lentil soup. While this was perhaps a rash decision, at least he got a very nutritious meal out of it. Making Time Magazine’s list of the 50 Healthiest Foods, lentils is a cheap, healthy source of protein and fiber that packs a solid punch. It also contains iron and zinc.
How to eat it
Because legumes contain anti-nutrients which interfere with the absorption of minerals, they should always be soaked, sprouted or fermented and is best eaten with meat. So add a can or a cup of soaked lentils to curries, stews or meaty soups to get the full benefits.