What makes a food perfect? In my opinion, it must have many health benefits, be delicious (of course), and versatile. Below are 6 of my favorites:
Remember being told to eat your spinach? It’s not an old wives’ tale, it’s true! Spinach leaves (and all dark, green leafy vegetables really), are the king of vegetables. Packed with water-soluble vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3, B6), fat-soluble vitamins (K, A, E), minerals (potassium, zinc, folate, magnesium) and other less common nutrients (chlorophyll and alpha-lipoic acid amongst others), makes spinach an extremely nutritious and health-balancing food.
It is delicious and versatile too, raw, cooked or wilted in salads, added to smoothies and casseroles, for taste, color and nutrition. Some of the benefits associated with spinach include, diabetes management, bone, skin and hair health, cancer and asthma prevention and lowering blood pressure (MedicalNewsToday.com).
Eat your salmon, it is a great source of Omega 3. We’ve all heard that. But, is that what salmon is really all about? A 4 ounce slice of good-quality, wild salmon contains, 236% of your daily B12, 128% of your vitamin D, 78% selenium, 52% phosphorous and 21% of your daily iodine, among so many more (WHFoods.com). Salmon is also an extremely versatile fish, it can be cooked, broiled, baked, grilled, ground and used from a can. So many ways to include it in your diet and grab some of those wonderful nutrients! Dinner tonight, anyone?
Sometimes we think Nature’s foods are all gloom and doom. Can we ever satisfy our sweet tooth naturally? The answer is a resounding yes! Raw honey is Nature’s sweetener. Not only is it sweeter than sugar, but it’s good for you! It has a lower Glycaemic Index than sugar, meaning that the sugar is absorbed slowly in our digestive tracts, not causing a high (and unhealthy) insulin response. It also contains decent amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it a great choice of sweetener (BenefitsofHoney.com)
There aren’t really any naturally found foods which are blue like blueberries. That’s maybe what makes blueberries special. Convenient, just eat them by the handful, and delicious, add them to smoothies, fruit salads and muffins (mmmm…), these are the queen of fruits! High in antioxidants, like resveratrol, these can make you live longer. They also contain many anti-inflammatory nutrient benefits (WHFoods.com).
A health fad? Maybe. But nutritionally sound? Definitely. Chia seeds are well known for their Omega-3, fibre and iron content. They also contain antioxidants, calcium and a fair amount of protein. Fibre content can help increase bowel regularity, as well as aid in heart and cardiovascular health (in combination with Omega-3s). They can substitute for eggs in vegan cooking when mixed with water, sprinkled over salads, added to granolas, trail mixes and baked goods and made into a pudding (MedicalNewsToday.com).
No list of perfect foods would be considered complete without coconut. Step into any grocery store today and you will find shelves lined with coconut products. Coconut butter, oil, flour and sugar, dried and desiccated coconut, coconut milk, water, cream and coconut aminos. Of course, there’s the fruit too. Extremely versatile, and with a delightful flavor, coconut is any health nut’s dream.
Each product has its own uses and nutritional benefits. From the anti-bacterial and cholesterol-lowering properties of coconut oil, to the hydrating and electrolyte balancing benefits of coconut water, to the protein, potassium, iron and protein source of the coconut itself, coconut is a powerhouse of nutritional benefits, that can be enjoyed in so many varying ways (MedicalNewsToday.com, WebMD.com, onegreenplanet.org).