Do you sometimes think what food should you eat regularly, or base your diet around? The truth is there are no real “Essential” foods but rather foods which will help you in your journey towards heath and fitness. To me an “Essential” food should:
- Taste Good
- Be Flexible in its uses
- Have Unique health benefits
- Easy to find and buy
This sounds funny as many of the health foods touted these days are weird super fruit or greens products which are expensive, hard to find and probably taste pretty bad. These days people are looking for health quick fixes and the food which will magically transform their body, the truth is this cannot happen. Food is just food. Eat healthy for long enough and good things will come and your ideal body will take shape.
Coconut Oil - All coconut products are great but coconut oil specifically has special benefits mainly due to its concentration of Lauric Acid which is a potent anti-bacterial and can help clean out and detoxify your insides. As well as this it is a potent metabolism booster and this is not due to any stimulating effects like coffee (so don’t worry about sleeping)….. You can try it for yourself, have a TBSP of coconut oil with your next meal (try it mixed into oatmeal or rice) and I guarantee after 30 minutes you will feel noticeably hotter showing your metabolism has had a kick start. Top it off with the fact that coconut oil is the best stuff for cooking thanks to its stability under high temperatures making it a definite essential.
FlaxSeeds - These are cheap and healthy with unique benefits. Be sure to buy unground flax and grind them yourself as this will save you money and keep them fresh, as the main problem with flax is their tendency to go rancid quickly when ground. You can pick up a huge bag of them for around $5 and with a pestle and mortar you can grind them when you like. Flax has a unique anti-oxidant in the form of Lignans which shield against cancer. They are also a great source of fiber and high in Omega-3′s. Plus they are versatile and go nicely on Yoghurt or Salads.
Greek Yoghurt - Like normal yoghurt but better as it is strained to provide more nutrition and better taste. It is higher in protein than normal yoghurt giving it a thicker and more creamy texture. This makes it more filling and more versatile as it can be used as a snack or even as an alternative to cream in dressings or served up with things like sweet potato instead of sour cream as a high protein, lower fat alternative. Try mixing these together and using it as a dressing/dip.
- Greek Yoghurt
- Lemon Juice
- Salt + Pepper
- Dried Chilli flakes
Oatmeal - Another cheap and versatile staple. The beauty of oats is how slowly they are digested, provide a good hit of soluble fiber and most importantly work as a nourishing and satisfying breakfast. I like to make mine with coconut milk and a dash of cinnamon then topped with berries. Oats are the best alternative to conventional sugary cereals and something that the whole family can get into the habit of eating daily as there are so many recipes and possibilities when making cooked oats. Plus they are Gluten free.
Roots - I was going to do sweet potatoes but I really think all kind of root vegetables are great and they can all be an essential part of your diet from the humble white potato to the turnip. Roots are by far the best way to get your carbs in, the white potato is the most satiating food around (test devised by Holt et al in 1995). I find when eating potatoes with dinner my appetite or sense of being full comes far quicker than when having rice or foregoing the starch. They are also a great source of minerals and their protein content/bio-availability is the best among non-animal sources far out doing soy.