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How is your New Year’s Resolution to be healthier and fitter going? Is it going, going, gone? …and we are only in February!
At the start of each year, and especially after over-indulging during the holidays, most people, myself included, make declarations to various commitments of health and fitness.
If 2020 is your year but you are feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of (occasionally contradictory) information on healthy foods and are at a loss of what to buy, I have simplified it for you.
Allow me to introduce you to “superfoods” – these are primarily plant-based, but extend to fish and diary as well. Superfoods boost healthy complexion, nails, hair and increased energy levels but are also nutritionally dense, therefore good for one’s overall health. The key to a healthy diet is to consume a variety of these “superfoods”; here are five foods that are strong sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other beneficial nutrients that should power-pack your meals and snacks.
- Cruciferous vegetables are a diverse group, which grow in different colours, shape and sizes and share several nutritional benefits. These delicious vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale, are rich in folate, vitamin A, C and K, they are also believed to have plant-based compounds that may help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer. It is suggested that we need at least 21/2 cups of vegetables a day, cooked or uncooked, as they are high in fibre and low in calories that will help you feel full and satisfied without overeating.
- Berries, both delicious and rich in anti-oxidants, they are additionally packed full of health benefits. Small, soft, round and of various colours, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are full of vitamins and minerals, fibre and high levels of antioxidants. Incorporating these popular fruits into your diet may help prevent and reduce symptoms of certain heart conditions in young women, they can be eaten as a snack on their own or used to make a refreshing smoothie for any time of the day.
- Salmon. Firm, reddish in colour, tender and one of the most popular fish choices thanks to its rich and buttery flavour. Salmon is low in saturated fat and a good source of protein, salmon is a great source of vitamin B12, potassium and other nutrients such as iron and vitamin D. The true beauty behind adding salmon into your diet is its wealth in omega 3 – fatty acids, these are “essential” fatty acids that your body cannot make but play such an important role in reducing the risk cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases.
- For those following a plant-based diet, Quinoa is not only known for being a versatile ingredient but is also a complete protein. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids which is vital for supporting muscle development. Naturally high in fiber, healthy omega 3 – fatty acids and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, this wheat-free and protein alternative is most beneficial in the prevention and treatment of diseases.
- To further boost your meals and snacks, try combing a variety of nuts and seeds with low energy dense foods (such as vegetables). Nuts and seeds are a good substitute for meats, fish and eggs as they contain protein, fat, iron, zinc and niacin and with regular consumption is proven to be beneficial against heart disease and diabetes.
When making resolutions to be healthier, try and avoid fad diets, as they are seldom sustainable. At the end of the day, research has shown that the ideal diet or nutritional plan is one that is mainly plant-based, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and healthy animal products. There is a wealth of delicious and healthy foods to explore, whether they are being called super or not. This “superfoods” list is a good starting point into eating healthy, but the true secret to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, is adopting a balanced diet without the restriction of all food groups.
Article Written by Danielle Nagel- Health and fitness expert: @daniellenagelfx_
Contact her today to find out about her pricing and deals for personalized eating plans for 2020.