AFTER THE HOLIDAYS WE’RE ALL IN NEED OF A LITTLE DETOX, AND MAYBE EVEN A (BIG) RE-THINK ABOUT OUR EATING HABITS. IMI BYERS FINDS THE BEST 5 FOODS TO RE-ENERGISE YOUR HEALTH FOR THIS YEAR.

Edited by Natalie Whitmore

There’s no doubt that you would have seen endless healthy food lists like this before. Just one quick glimpse at Instagram, or any random news feed, and you will be bombarded with various claims of new superfoods, or diets that appear to work wonders. I could tell you that all of these foods are going to immediately turn you into a super-model; and I could suggest that eating these five foods every-day is going to help you get up earlier in the morning, and keep you energised 24/7- but i’m not going to.

However, I will say that by consuming the various vitamins and minerals found in these fab 5 food below, will do you much more good than solid chip and kebab sitting will. Plus, when cooked right, they can be super delicious too.

 

LELemon3MONS

Lemons are a citrus-fruit full of inflammatory goodness. Just one of these bad boys a day contains 100% your vitamin C intake. I’m not proposing you bite into one whole like an apple, but putting a little slice of lemon in your water won’t just give you the right benefits, but would also add a little flavour to water’s bland taste.  You can alternatively pop a slice in your green tea, or use the juice as a salad dressing for other ways to reep in its goodness.

Stuck for inspiration? Have a look at this BBC recipe for chargrilled courgette with lemon or Nigella’s recipe for the perfect lemon and honey drink.

 

BROCCOLI

These fun tree-shaped greens are not only ridiculously tasty, but also contain high levels of potassium. Potassium is vital in nervous system and for brain function- so I would definitely recommend chomping up some of these during revision periods, or when trying to avoid catching the dreaded flu off your housemates!

Also, for those who like to indulge in the glorious summer sun and work on their tan, broccoli also contains glucoraphanin, a mineral essential in repairing sun damage in the skin, and therefore key to getting that gorgeous summer glow.

Want some ideas to spice up this veggy? Try this Simple Recipes’ concoction of broccoli stir fry. Alternatively, there is this amazing broccoli spicy salad! 

OILY FISH

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are one of the largest sources of omega-3 fats. The consumption of these poly-unsaturated fatty acids is associated with regulating the inflammatory response, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They’re also ridiculously easy to cook as they simply require 10 minutes in the microwave or under the grill. There is no excuse for us to be missing out on this advantageous nurture.

Check out some variations you can whip up to get your omega-3 intake. This easy fish in a bag recipesounds amazing or we have an easy salmon Asian pesto,

DARK CHOCOLATE

It is not a foreign idea that dark chocolate is actually good for you (at least, that’s what I tell myself most evenings, midway through munching on a Bourneville bar). This extremely delicious, but, rich snack contains some healthy fats (mono-unsaturated) and also contributes to a healthy blood flow. Flavanols in this tasty treat stimulate the endothelial lining of our blood vessels to release NO (a gas) which causes the vessels to relax and widen, resulting in a more stable blood flow.

Furthermore the Cocoa beans used to make chocolate also contain highly beneficial levels of iron and magnesium. So there is no longer reason to feel bad giving in to those chocolatey cravings!

Have a look at this article on how you can incorporate dark chocolate into your diet!

WATER

Ok – so yes, it’s not a food. But there is no denying that high water intake is essential in our diets for us to be able to function. H20 is necessary for energizing muscles, keeping skin looking good and maintaining the balance of body fluids – just to name a few. Let’s just say, without sufficient amounts of water in our diet, our body wouldn’t be able to get rid of waste efficiently and the results would be … unpleasant (I’m thinking make sure you take a good book to the toilet).

If plain old tap water is too boring, then check out this recipe to make flavoured water!

 

So there you have it. These are my 5 top foods that are sources of energy and nourishment. But of course if you don’t like any of these foods, there are so many alternatives that have exponential health benefits.

When these options are so easy to cook, and do not require much effort to make their tastes sensational – why not take a little extra thought into what you put on your plate this year, and see if you notice any differences?

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