Whether you are trying to lose weight, increase energy, reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, improve fertility or just ‘feel better’, here are five foods that you may have been avoiding unnecessarily:
Peanut Butter – Frowned upon as a guilty indulgence, peanut butter can bring you many health benefits. Keep portions sensible at about two tablespoons a day i.e. don’t attack the jar with a spoon!
- low glycaemic index, helping to keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating
- good fat – peanuts are high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat
- protein from nuts are fabulous for helping to make you feel full up for longer and maintaining or building muscle mass
- High in fibre for healthy digestion and appetite control
- Have on a piece of wholemeal toast, on an oatcake, mixed in to some chunky oat porridge, or in homemade flapjacks
Eggs – these little powerhouses of nutrition have had bad press over the years due to the cholesterol levels. Research shows that the cholesterol in food is not absorbed well in to the body and does not affect levels of cholesterol in the blood.
- Full of choline for brain development (essential for pregnant women!)
- Curbs your appetite – people eating eggs for breakfast consume fewer calories throughout the day
- High in protein – important for keeping your muscle, and helping to build more to stay lean
- Easy and cheap – boiled, scrambled, dry fried, poached, microwaved in a minute………..they are so easy to incorporate
- low glycaemic index so keeps blood sugar levels steady (good for diabetics, overweight, PCOS, curbing cravings)
- high in antioxidants which may be protective against cancer, heart disease and ageing
- lower in caffeine than milk chocolate
- controls appetite: dairy products are digested slowly therefore help you to feel full up for longer
- a great source of amino acids – essential for maintaing and building muscle
- calcium – essential for bone formation and muscle function
- yogurt has probiotic bacteria which are essential for healthy gut function. Keep it natural to lower the sugar content……add your own fruit for some sweetness
Avocados – traditionally, avocados were relegated to the ‘foods to avoid’ list due to the high fat and calorie content. In fact, eaten in moderation, they actually provide immense health benefits.
- Healthy fats – lower cholesterol and reduce appetite
- Avocado eaters more likely to have lower body weight, BMI and waist circumference
- high in vitamins and fibre
- rich in phytochemicals which may protect against cancer
- the fat content helps the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) from vegetables
- try half an avocado sliced on toast, mashed as a replacement for mayonnaise or butter, or whizzed up in a smoothie
As with most things in life, “everything in moderation”! Including these nutrient dense foods everyday as part of an all round healthy diet can help your body to function at it’s best.