Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6 Surprisingly Healthy Foods You Need To Add To Your Diet

I don’t trust those fad diets that circulate the internet. They promise to shave inches off your waist or lose a stone in a week! Surely that can’t be healthy? Instead, opting for a balanced, healthy diet is the way forward. And you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about treating yourself once in a while! You ought to enjoy your food and your diet, but, of course, look for the healthy options. Recently, I’ve come across a wealth of amazing healthy foods and supplements. We all know that fruit and veg are good for us. But, that’s not all. There are all sorts of extras out there you might never have heard about.

The best thing about them is that they’re so easy to drop into your existing diet. You can add most of these foods to your current meals and recipes. Some are great for snacking while others could form the basis of a brand new recipe. All of them have incredible health benefits. They contribute to a better immune system, digestion and some will even fight off diseases. Intrigued? Let’s take a look!

1. Seaweed - In Japan, they take seaweed very seriously. In fact, they grow and harvest it from seaweed farms in the ocean. They understand the health benefits that are bursting from this simple delicacy. Many Japanese communities live to well over 100 years old, and they attribute this to their healthy seaweed diet! It’s packed full of omega-3, calcium and potassium, making it perfect for all-around health. In this country, the easiest way to eat seaweed is by using nori sheets. You can use it to make sushi or add it to a healthy vegetable wrap.

2. Elderberry tea - Many people swear by the healing power of herbal teas. They are regularly used to bring peace and calm to the mind. They’re also a healthy alternative to traditional tea and milk or caffeine-rich coffee. There are plenty of options to choose from including mint, chamomile, and ginger. However, my favourite is Elderberry tea. It is full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s one of those drinks that feels healthy as you drink it!

3. Acai berries - Acai berries have recently become very popular in weight-loss programs. Although the science hasn’t quite confirmed their ‘superfood’ status, they are certainly a healthy addition to your diet. Best of all, their antioxidant quality gives them a real health kick. Many claim that the acai berry will help strengthen cells and reduce the likelihood of cancer. I wouldn’t take my word for it, but they are definitely a tasty and healthy snack! Supposedly, they slow down the aging process too.

4. Chia seeds - For such a tiny seed, chia packs a real punch! These seeds are perfect for anyone who doesn't like too much fish in their diet. The small seeds are rich in protein and omega-3. Recently, athletes have discovered their super power. Chia seeds have become an essential part of a training diet. When it comes to using them, they are very versatile. The best thing to do is simply throw them on top of your favourite meals. Add them to a healthy smoothie or add them to a stir fry. You can even put them on your morning cereal. They have a crunchy texture and nutty taste. They’re my favourite of the superfoods!

5. Kefir - We’ve long understood the health benefits of yogurt and milk. The calcium and protein ensure fantastic bone growth and strength. However, I’ve recently come across a new super-milk! Kefir is a thick dairy drink from Russia. It’s actually a little closer to yogurt than milk in texture, but it is best to drink it. It’s full of good bacteria and probiotics. It aids digestion and health body flow. It’s also fantastic for your immune system. It promotes bone strength to with added calcium.

6. Salmon - Fish has always been the key to a healthy diet. It is rich in natural fatty acids and omega-3. White fish, in particular, is great for our bodies and we should aim for two portions a week. The best fish of all is probably salmon. The pink fish is laced with vitamins like B12 and vitamin D. It’s bursting with protein, and it’s versatile too. Throw it into a stir fry or curry. You can steam it, grill it or eat it raw as sashimi. Delicious!

Before I go, I’ll leave you with one last tip. It’s always snacking that disrupts a diet, so always look for healthy snacks! The best option? Goji berries! Used in Chinese remedies for six millennia, they are just about the healthiest snack you can find! Stay healthy!

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