The foods we eat can make a real difference to our wellbeing. They can boost our energy, help us concentrate and focus, and protect against chronic disease. Eating a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, as outlined in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, is key. The right combination of foods helps to reduce our risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The following 10 healthy foods are great additions to any meal, providing many different nutrients and a range of tastes. Berries are packed with antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients, plus they’re naturally sweet.
They’re also a good source of fibre. Fish is a fantastic source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Leafy greens provide a rich source of vitamin A, calcium, and iron, as well as numerous phytochemicals. Try spinach, kale, collard greens, or bok choy. Whole grains are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, as well as many B vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Choose brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, or wheat bran over refined white bread. Vegetable oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and canola oil, are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats that can help to reduce cholesterol levels and may even help with weight loss. Milk is an important source of protein and calcium, which contributes to bone health.
Choose low-fat or non-dairy options and be sure to read labels. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which can help control and lower your blood pressure. They’re also rich in vitamin C and dietary fibre. Avocados are filled with heart healthy fats and can also reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. They’re also high in fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is an incredibly healthy snack.
It contains an abundance of antioxidants, as well as magnesium and copper. When choosing dark chocolate, be sure to choose options that are low in sugar and saturated fat. Try a variety of new fruits and vegetables that you haven’t previously tried. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of ways of cooking vegetables or meat, too. For example, you might find that you don’t like Brussels sprouts boiled but love them oven roasted. Attend a PCC Cooks cooking class to learn some easy recipes and discover a whole new way of preparing favourite meals.