As part of leading a healthy lifestyle and getting fit for summer, we have all of heard of the ‘5-a-day’ and know we need our 5 fruit/ veg. They are rich in antioxidants, and the biologically active ingredients of plant pigments and flavourings have anti-ageing properties too. 😀
In this article I want to introduce a new 5-a-day which will continue to support you mind and body to a healthier you.
- 1) Fruit and veg
- 2) Dairy
- 3) Fish/seafood
- 4) Meat &/pulses, seeds,nuts
- 5) Whole grains
Obviously for the vegetarians/vegans out there meat is not an option but through pulses seeds and nuts they can get as many benefits as meat eaters get from their choice of meat.
Books like ‘The Food Doctor. Healing foods for body and mind’ by Ian Marber and Vicki Edgson (Collins & Brown) or ‘1001 ways to stay young naturally’ by Susannah Marriott (DK). Both books are useful guides as to what foods are beneficial and why. Also going to your health food stores can assist in stocking up your cupboards with the right ingredients, with large supermarket chains now addressing healthy eating with their own brands (it’s always worth checking the label though) Too many snacks and convenience foods can lead you jaded and lacking in energy, adjusting your diet even slightly will soon restore your get up and go, that got up and left!!
- Fruit and veg are known for their vitamin content, but also high in potassium, calcium, beta carotene, iron and colic acid. Each food has it’s own set of nutrients and benefits. The main benefits are a healthier heart and circulation and a healthier digestive system.
- Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, butter. For those who are lactose intolerant; the lactose free varieties, soya or rice products. We tend to think dairy=calcium but foods from the other groups eg almonds/cashews/garlic/licorice/salmon/onions/olives etc all have calcium in them 😀 The benefits of dairy in our diet is it’s good for problems with the bones and joints, it boosts the immune system and is beneficial to the intestinal tract by generating good bacteria.
- 3) Fish and seafood. Omega 3, 6 and 9 good for heart, brain and joint health.
- 4)Meat &/or pulses nutritious in a range of B vitamins, iron and zinc. Iron is found in red meat but also in leafy green veg. Whether you derive your protein from meat and fish or veggie protein from nuts, seeds beans and pulses it’s an important part of your diet and should account for two servings per day
- 5)Whole grains: eg barley, brown rice, quinoa, rye, wheat, millet and corn full of minerals and excellent in bowel health, high in fibre and again antioxidant.
For the wheat intolerant, the above mentioned quinoa and millet are gluton free. In fact quinoa contains more calcium than milk!! Also unknown fact to me til this article, rice water helps infant colic and alleviates diarrhoea.
Nuts and seeds are high in minerals and omega fatty acids which as we know are great for heart, brain and joint health. Whether eaten by the handful or scattered over food, they are excellent at giving an energy boost.
So with all the above in mind, it’s amazing to know, what goes in has effect. The fresher the food the better it is for us.
I hope this article gives some insight into a healthier choice of foods, especially as the benefits are so worthwhile. So with the summer coming, whilst we start thinking healthily, we can start eating healthier and as will be covered in the next few articles, get healthy in a more active way…… Which all leads to a healthier happier you.
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