Pantry & Fridge Essentials for Good Health
As a Dietitian I often get asked, “What is the best food to eat?”
I love this question because it lets me talk about one of my favourite topics – food! The best food to eat is going to change based on your personal health goals, and it’s also way too hard to just pick one food. I thought I would share with you the foods that often make my top 10 list in terms of overall health.
Note: there is not order, and yes I cheated a couple times grouping some foods together)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Gone are the days of the low fat diet. We all need healthy fats in our diet as fat is actually a structural component of the human body. Extra Virgin Olive oil is one of the best monounsaturated fats, 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.
Yes I’m cheating, but how can I pick the best vegetable. They are all full of much-needed nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants that allow the body to function at its best. Eat a rainbow! You can never have too many vegetables
Again too hard to choose when berries, kiwifruit, mandarins and bananas are just so good for us, not to mention the deliciousness of the likes of a mango. Majority of fruits contain both soluble and insoluble fibre excellent for our digestive system as well as vitamin C, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Variety is key.
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. They are great to add to cereal or yoghurt.
Oats are an excellent grain that contains a special fibre called beta-glucan which is provento help lower cholesterol. This low GI wholegrain is so versatile as breakfast and is great for cardiovascular health.
Consumption of plan protein is on the rise given awareness of the need for sustainable food sources, but that’s not the only reason lentils make the list. The are low GI and low calorie while being high in fibre, protein and other nutrients. They are excellent in soups and stews or can be added to salads.
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. Aim to eat a variety of fish or seafood three times per week.
Nuts in general are a great for us, though walnuts are the highest in antioxidants. They are rich in vitamin E, calcium, zinc and omega-3. A small handful of raw or roasted nuts is an excellent snack.
Full of probiotics, which helps to stimulate our good gut bacteria, I think this is definitely a superfood. Yoghurt is also one of our easiest sources of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and protein. Geek yoghurt offers more protein and fewer calories from sugar, which is a bonus.
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.