Watching all these different diets on the Internet, made me realize that they all have some common characteristics. It is not by chance that almost all nutrition plans advise us to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, there are several foods which we do not only come across in many diets but they have also become a trend. Just think in how many recipes we see -lately- our (or my) favorite avocado. It is, of course, a very good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, but that does not mean we can consume it uncontrollably every day.
It is certain that, as we have already said before, balance brings the best results… But what can make you easily follow a more balanced nutrition plan, is to take advantage of sources that are rich in vitamins and minerals and to avoid the ones that are high in salt, saturated fats, and sugar within your week.
So, shall we take a look at some of the foods that have the above characteristics and that I, personally, include in my weekly eating plan?
They are a complete food, rich in protein and nutrients. They contain phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, vitamin D, and plenty of the B-complex vitamins. In whichever meal you choose to consume them, either breakfast, snack, or lunch/dinner, the only thing that’s certain is that they will make you feel full for longer without all the extra calories. This definitely depends on the cooking method you will use but also on the quantity that you will consume. Due to their antioxidant action, they seem to reduce the possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases in healthy adults. For more details regarding eggs, take a look here.
Berries… blackberries, blueberries and raspberries
Rich in antioxidants and fiber, and low in calories, not only will they boost your breakfast or snack with flavors, but they will also make you love smoothies. As it has been found, antioxidants protect us from oxidative stress and from damage that can be caused by free radicals. Fibers, for which we talked about here, help improve the digestive system’s function while they are essential for satiation and for making us feel full for longer.
It’s a seed that is being used very often lately. It is considered a functional food – which means that it seems to have health benefits, based on scientific research – and it is included in many energy bars, breakfasts, salads, breads, breadsticks, and smoothies. It is rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and manganese. It contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid, lignans, and it is high in protein. In fact, it helps prevent some chronic diseases, like cardiovascular ones and type 2 diabetes.
It is low in calories and high in protein. I personally love its taste, even though I know that many of you may have the opposite opinion! With this cheese, you can accompany your snack or lunch, as well as your dinner salads. In that way, you will start eating a light lunch or dinner, since cottage cheese is a lot lower in fats compared to other types of cheese. It has only 103 calories per 100 g, and due to the protein that it contains, it is definitely going to fill you up. Apparently, it is used a lot by people who exercise since protein helps replenish muscle glycogen and “build” muscle mass. So, if you are athletes, I think you could at least try it!
There are definitely many other foods and functional foods that seem to benefit our health and that you could add to your diet… I have already added the above and I can safely say that it is a weekly routine that doesn’t tire me at all.:)
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
*The above information is based on published research findings.