Well like you all know, I am very passionate about wellness and in particular in how our food choices and the food we eat in general impacts our overall wellbeing.
I often get questions about what are some of the good foods to eat.
So I would like to share with you my 7 top picks of everyday common foods that you should eat often if you want to enhance your wellness. I have tried to pick one of the healthiest foods from each food group.
Sukuma wiki (Collard Greens)
Also known as collard greens, Sukuma wiki is from the non-starchy vegetable group. It is my food of choice in this group because it is from the family of cruciferous vegetables that include cabbage and broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables are high in compounds called glucosinolates that boost immunity and are very powerful at fighting cancer. They also have anti-microbial properties. Sukuma wiki along with kale has the highest content of these compounds but because Sukuma wiki is more available in Uganda this is my choice. Eat it often in food or use it as an ingredient in smoothies.
It is impossible to mention healthy foods or even “superfoods” without avocado in it. Avocado is my food of choice from the fruit food group. Although it is mostly eaten with vegetables, it is actually a fruit.
Avocados are particularly healthy because it is rich in a wide variety of nutrients. It is high in healthy monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart, for cholesterol and even in supporting weight loss. It is high in potassium that is good for blood pressure regulation. It is high in fibre but it is also high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and antioxidants that are good for eye health. It is truly a superfood.
Almonds are a type of tree nut that I believe are extremely healthy. They are high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids which are beneficial for brain and heart health. Healthy fats in nuts help to keep you satisfied and therefore help to support weight loss unlike what many people believe. These healthy fats are linked to improved blood sugar, blood pressure and even cholesterol levels. But they are also high in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant vitamin) as well as calcium and so can be used as a good source of calcium. Almonds can be eaten as a snack, as part of a salad, can be used as an ingredient for smoothies or can be used to make almond milk which is a great milk substitute. By the way, you don’t need much. Even 2 handfuls a day is sufficient.
4. Chia seeds
By now I am sure you are aware of how beneficial these seeds are. In case you aren’t please read my article on chia seeds here. But these are my top pick in seeds. They are locally available and affordable. But from a health point of view, they are high in fibre, have lots of magnesium, lots of vitamin C, lots of calcium and lots of healthy fat too. They are great for supporting detoxification, brain health and focus as well as supporting digestion and providing energy. These seeds are a must-have for every adult and child over 6 years. Aim to have 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.
5. Green tea
Green tea is my pick in beverages because it is very high in antioxidants. Of course, water is my number 1 drink but in terms of nutrition, green tea gets my vote. The antioxidants in green tea help with detoxification in the liver and help to improve immune function. Green tea also helps with improving focus, energy and brain function. And research has also shown that it can improve metabolism and help blood sugar control. The type of green tea I recommend is called matcha green tea. It is a special type of green tea with hundreds the times of antioxidants in normal green tea. Learn about 10 amazing benefits of matcha tea here. If you would like to order some, please do get in touch.
6. Sweet potatoes
When it comes to starchy foods, sweet potatoes get my vote. They don’t just give you carbohydrates for energy, they are packed with nutrients for health. They are high in potassium that is good for blood pressure control, they are high in vitamin C for immunity and they are also high in vitamin A which is good for maintaining healthy vision as well as reducing inflammation. And when you get the orange or purple varieties, you get extra health-promoting phytonutrients. And because they are high in fibre, they won’t have a negative effect on your blood sugar even for people who have diabetes.
7. Bone broth
Lastly, in the animal foods, I want you to look out for bone broth. Bone broth is high in glycine and proline, amino acids that are good for reducing inflammation and in particular are good for reducing inflammation in the gut lining. It has been shown to be useful for people with gut health problems. But bone broth also is rich in calcium, magnesium, glucosamine and chondroitin, nutrients that are good for bone and joint health including in arthritis. However, like all animal foods, keep its consumption to moderate amounts.
Ok, so there you are. Consider eating these 7 foods as often as you can. I hope this article has been useful. Please do share it with anyone who needs to learn about these foods.
And please also do follow me on twitter @drpaulkasenene and stay connected on facebook also @drpaulkasenene.
One more thing, every Wednesday we shall be having what we call WellnessWednesday. It will be a day full of wellness fun, information, challenges and initiatives. We are doing this to really make wellness a part of our everyday lives.
We shall be running this on social media under the hashtag #WellnessWednesday. Stay tuned, we begin Wednesday 28th August 2019. Don’t miss out, follow me on twitter and facebook to get all the latest updates.
Otherwise, I wish you health and happiness.