5 foods to ADD IN to your diet today…We are often assaulted with a list of what foods you have to eliminate from your diet, a series of ‘don’t eat this’ requirements and finger wagging.
It becomes a form of negativity and the focus is taken away foods that are important to add IN to your diet.
There are definitely a number of “food like substances” (foods which are not whole and are highly processed and packaged) that are important to avoid/ eliminate down the road but let’s start by adding in the good stuff. The elimination will begin to take care of itself.
Here are my Top Five suggestions for foods to add IN starting today.
Eat your veggies! I’m sure you have heard this before but it can’t be overstated. Incorporating additional leafy greens will provide you with the essential vitamins and minerals needed to function optimally.
Tips for incorporating leafy greens:
- Switch up the source: Kale, Baby Kale, Spinach, Collards, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Romaine, Dandelion Greens, etc.
- Add them to smoothies or enjoy in a green juice. (See green smoothie recipe below)
- Switch up the cooking method: Raw, steamed, sautéed, thrown into a soup or stew etc.
2. Healthy Fats
Fats have gotten a really bad reputation over the years, thankfully the research now is showing that we’ve got it all wrong when it comes to fats. There is a huge difference between “good” fats and “bad” fats, not all fat is bad. Our bodies need “good” fats as they help in reducing inflammation, absorbing and assimilating nutrients, improves healthy brain function, Etc. Incorporating healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts/seeds as well as loading up on omega-3 fatty acid foods like salmon, trout, sardines, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts etc.
Tips for incorporating healthy fats into your diet:
- Top salads with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, red wine etc.)
- Snack on homemade trail mix filled with nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- Add avocadoes to salads and healthy bowls for lunch or dinner.
3. Fermented foods
Probiotics have gotten a lot of attention in the nutrition world lately and for good reason. It is true, you are what you eat, but more importantly, you are what you digest, absorb and assimilate. Probiotics help with the process of increasing the “good” bacteria in your gut, aiding in nutrient absorption and assimilation. Although you can take a probiotic supplement, there are lots of ways to get probiotics through your food. This includes sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, tempeh, or pickled vegetables.
Tips for incorporating fermented foods into your diet:
- Add Sauerkraut to your daily salad or bowl for lunch.
- Add kefir to your morning smoothie
- Drink a Kombucha in the afternoon to curb cravings for something bubbly.
Fiber is incredibly important for our digestion, balancing blood sugar, and helping lower cholesterol. There are two types of fiber; insoluble and soluble and both are crucial for our body. This means it is extremely important to incorporate both into your diet. Sources of fiber include: Chia Seeds, Oats, Berries, Beans/Legumes, dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage etc.), root vegetables (Beets, Sweet potato, Squash etc.), Almonds, Flax seeds and Hemp seeds.
Tips for incorporating fiber into your diet:
- Sprinkle ground Chia, or Flax, Hemp or other nuts and seeds on your morning oatmeal.
- Add roasted Sweet potatoes or Squash to your lunch or dinner bowls.
- Switch it up and make Cauliflower rice instead of your regular brown or white rice.
5. Plant based protein
You can definitely get adequate amounts of protein from eating animal products, (meat, fish, eggs, dairy etc.) but eating too much meat can hurt our digestion so I recommend mixing in plant-based protein throughout your day. It helps regulate blood sugar, increase or maintain lean muscle mass, satisfy cravings and a host of other benefits. The top sources of plant based protein are Beans/Legumes, pumpkin seeds/ butter, nutritional yeast, quinoa, bee pollen, spirulina or a vegan protein powder.
Tips for incorporating more plant based protein:
- Add beans or legumes to a salad or lunch bowl.
- Add nutritional yeast into soups, stews, and salad dressings.
- Add spirulina and vegan protein powder to your daily smoothie.