Updated: Oct 3, 2019
What is the secret sauce to a living a long and healthy life? Well, I'll tell you right now that it does NOT come in a pretty, magic bottle, from a French factory or state-of-the-art laboratory. The real fountain of youth is actually found in the food that we eat every day. Luckily, it is accessible to almost all of us and provides everything we need to maintain health and vitality from infancy right through to old age. Yes, that's right, everything! No supplements needed!!
That's the good news. As you well know, all foods are not created equal. Choosing and eating the right foods may help increase your life expectancy as well as the quality of your life.
Here are ten of the top power packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!
Beans for clean, plantbased protein
If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them. Soaking them first can help. Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein. This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories. If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy.
Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol. You can make it yourself with rolled oats or eat the instant kind if you are in a hurry. Oatmeal is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.
Fresh organic fruits
Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A. Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer. Berries such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants. But choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health. The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.
This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots. Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol. Allium vegetables help guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments. They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state especially garlic increases their health benefits.
Omega-3 enriched salmon
Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis. Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults. Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.
Like salmon it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed. Ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.
Vitamin C-rich capsicums
Capsicums or peppers come a bright, vibrant colours, think red, orange, yellow and green, and contain essential antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Caps range from mild and sweet to so smoking hot you’ll be calling triple 0 for the fireries. All capsicums contain a substance called "capsaicin" which has anti-inflammatory properties. This can act as a pain reliever, as well as lower cancer risk and heart disease. Add capsicums to your salads, salsa, stir fry and all sorts of vegan dishes.
Healthy fats from nuts & seeds
Fit mums know nuts and seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition and body slimming properties. Nuts are high in fat but those fats are the good kind. Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, chia, flax, pumpkin and sesame seeds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios are all good sources of whole food fats and protein. Crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs. Nuts help to lower cholesterol. Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.
Antioxidants from Açai berry
This humble "superfruit" has been trending for some time with raw foodies, nutritionists and savvy fit mums. Acai berries are super rich in antioxidants and naturally fight ageing, boost libidos and increase your energy. The small dark, blueberry-like fruits contain more antioxidants than other commonly eaten berries, a heaping dose of dietary fibre, as well as many essential trace minerals and plant compounds. You can get more done and look better while doing it too. Find Acai berries in your frozen food section at the grocery store, health food shops and supplements shops.
Dairy-based yogurts contain calcium, vitamin B, and protein, and provide an excellent source of calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system. If you are like me and are completely dairy-free, there are other options such as soy and coconut yogurt, however they do not have the natural occurring probiotics as the dairy blends. Supplementation may be required.
Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat. It is where I start every client off before we ever hit the gym together. If your body in well nourished, the rest comes far more naturally! Try these superfoods to get started on the right foot!