Editors Note: This post is written by weight loss expert (and former couch potato) Meg McFarlane. Meg has experienced the weight loss journey first hand and has chronicled this in her blog, Spud On The Run. She has a Bachelor of Science from Sydney University is currently working in IT.
Would you like a quick fix on your diet? A few additions that will make a big impact to your energy levels? Add at least one of these in every day and watch your health levels jump up a notch or two!
Every diet should contain healthy fats and avocados are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fat out there, plus they have the added benefit of helping lower your cholesterol as well. Avocados are also rich in vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium. Current research has shown that the nutrients in avocados help lower blood pressure and protect you against breast and prostate cancer, so you definitely should be adding a few slices of avocado to your lunchtime salad.
Your mother always told you when you were a child to eat all your broccoli because it was good for you. Guess what, she was right. Broccoli is one of the best foods out there. Not only is broccoli high in vitamin C , vitamin A and fibre, but it also supplies you with folic acid, iron and calcium. Broccoli also contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane, which increases the activity of a group of enzymes in our bodies that squelch cancer-causing agents. Therefore broccoli is a must have food that should be on your plate several times a week. Watch Gordon Ramsey prepare the most delicious broccoli soup in 3 minutes!
3. Chocolate Milk
Yes, that’s right, chocolate milk. Instead of wasting money on expensive protein shakes, after a hard workout, have a glass of chocolate milk instead. Research from Indiana University shows that chocolate milk is as good as sports drinks for recovery after intense endurance sports. Low-fat chocolate milk has a powerful nutrient package that provides energy, protein, calcium and seven other essential nutrients including potassium, phosphorus, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin. In fact Milo chocolate drink, although a little higher in fat has a very high iron content!
For a low calorie, low fat food, you can’t beat salmon. It is one of the higher fat fish, but much healthier than red meat. Salmon is high in protein and vitamin B12, but more importantly it is high in Omega 3. Omega 3 reduces the risk of unwanted inflammation and helps maintain the integrity of our immune and circulatory systems. It also helps prevent erratic heart rhythms, make blood less likely to clot inside arteries (the cause of most heart attacks and strokes) and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. All these health benefits come from just two serves of salmon a week.
Don’t throw out the yolks and just eat the egg white. Whilst the yolk does contain cholesterol, it doesn’t contain enough to do you any harm, plus if you are skipping the yolks you are missing out on a good source of iron and lecithin, which is critical for brain health. Eggs are also one of the only foods containing naturally occurring vitamin D which provides protection from osteoporosis, hypertension, cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.
Whilst most people know that berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are a great tasting snack, not many people are aware of just how good they are for them. Berries contain a huge dose of phytochemicals and flavonoids that can help reduce your risk of several types of cancers and are important for healthy vision. Also they are rich in vitamin C, potassium and folate. A cup of mixed berries with yogurt makes a great tasting healthy dessert.
Make sure you include these and other nutritious superfoods in your diet. What’s your favorite superfood?