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Health

The healthiest foods you need to add to your diet

30 December 2019 in Health

Today, healthy eating often comes with a big price tag. But it doesn’t have to. There are lots of commonplace foods that are just as healthy as so-called superfoods.

Spinach, for example, is an everyday food that offers a range of benefits. It can improve eye health, fight cancer and regulate blood pressure.

It’s easy to feel like you need to consume health supplements and detox teas to stay healthy, but the truth is that all you need to do is to eat a variety of unprocessed foods.

Below are some of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet - and none of them will break the bank.

Seaweed

Seaweed is a nutritious plant that comes in a variety of forms, such as kelp, nori or spirulina. Because almost all of the minerals found in the ocean are found in seaweed, this sea plant has a diverse mineral profile. It’s also high in protein and low in fat.

But that’s not all. As a rich source of antioxidants, seaweed has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with conditions like arthritis, coeliac disease, asthma and obesity. However, avoid eating large amounts of seaweed on a regular basis as it’s high in the mineral iodine. Too much iodine can affect how your thyroid gland works.

Spinach

Spinach is a versatile vegetable packed with flavour and nutrients. Just 1 cup of raw spinach contains all the vitamin K you need each day. It also contains:

  • high levels of vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • magnesium
  • folate
  • iron
  • calcium
  • antioxidants

The iron from spinach helps to keep you energised and transport blood around the body, while magnesium contributes to nerve and muscle function. Vitamin K improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones, while antioxidants can lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Kale

Kale has become popular in recent years, and it’s no surprise as research suggests that this green vegetable can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Kale is an excellent source of some important vitamins, including:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K

Vitamin A and vitamin C help to maintain your immune system so you can fight off infections. Vitamin A also improves your vision in low light, while vitamin C helps maintain blood vessels, bones and cartilage, and aids wound healing.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, which is an important mineral for thyroid health. Selenium is an antioxidant, so it can help to maintain your immune system, prevent damage to your nerves and cells and reduce inflammation.

Brazil nuts also contain:

  • vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • vitamin E
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • heart-healthy fats

Broccoli

Just 1 cup of broccoli contains double the daily minimum requirement of vitamin C and all your daily requirement of vitamin K. Broccoli may even reduce your risk of cancer as it contains sulforaphane. Animal studies suggest that sulforaphane can reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells and block tumour growth.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc and healthy fats. Magnesium is an important mineral that many people don’t get enough of. It helps to control blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, form and maintain healthy bones, and regulate blood sugar.

Zinc plays an important role in your immune system and both zinc and magnesium can be helpful minerals for those with depression.

Peas

Peas can be added to almost any meal. They are a great source of plant-based protein with 9g of protein per serving (roughly 1 cup).

They also contain:

  • high quantities of fibre
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • some B vitamins
  • antioxidants

Peas also contain a substance (saponins) that’s known for its anti-cancer effects. Studies suggest that saponins may help prevent cancer and stop existing tumours from growing.

Beetroot

Beetroot juice offers a variety of health benefits. It’s a good source of potassium, folate and nitrates, which are important for a healthy heart. There’s also evidence to suggest that drinking 500g of beetroot juice a day could lower blood pressure.

Beetroot is a healthy choice for people with diabetes because it contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid which has the potential to help diabetic neuropathy, a nerve problem that can affect people with diabetes.

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.