Many of us try to eat healthily on a daily basis, especially at this time of the year, when a ton of fruits and vegetables are in season and we’re all being a little more active when the weather is good. However, not all healthy food is necessarily tasty and doesn’t really get us excited for low-fat or low-calorie meals, so it’s important to find the things that you really enjoy. There are quite a few ‘healthy’ foods which I love, but there are some which I absolutely adore and try to eat as much as possible, especially knowing that they make me feel good.
1. Coconut Water
Something I’ve only discovered in the past few months, coconut water is my new absolute favourite drink and I try and have one small carton per day. It’s low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free and has a ton of potassium (more than bananas), as well as being incredibly hydrating, so I’m a big fan of this tasty beverage. My only issue is the high price, so it’s not always practical to keep it stocked in the house, but I do try and pick it up as much as possible. My favourite added flavour when I don’t drink it plain is pineapple, but I’m pretty much on board with any of it!
Recipes: Coconut Water Smoothie with Mango, Banana and Strawberries; Coconut Water Rice; Coconut Water Gelatin.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes is one of my absolute favourite dishes these days, especially in a Summer salad with all of my other favourite vegetables. They’re packed with potassium, helping to lower blood pressure and reducing stroke risk. If you eat the skin, which I’m afraid to say I don’t most of the time, you get a great dose of fibre too. I also love them mashed, with just a touch of salted butter, but I would like to add a few more recipes involving this delicious vegetable to my repetoire, as I think I’ll be able to find a ton more to do with it.
Recipes: Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto; Sweet Potato, Spring Onion & Feta Salad; Root Vegetable Rostis.
Almonds are my go-to healthy snack if I need to have something extra in between lunch and dinner. They are a rich source of protein, are high in calcium and monounsaturated fat (the heart-healthy kind) and a handful a day could help lower your bad LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease. I have also substituted quite a bit of the semi-skimmed regular milk I drink for almond milk, just to get some extra benefits.
Recipes: Simple Summer Smoothie; Granola; Gluten-free Apple and Almond Cake.
One of my favourite fruits and a famous ‘superfood’ blueberries are high in antioxidants, especially in heart-protective carotenoids and flavonoids, and they also encourage heart, memory and urinary-tract health. As well as that, they also contain high levels of vitamins C and E, so there really is no excuse not to add this amazing fruit to your diet right now. They can be eaten as they are, which is best, but also added to baking recipes for something a bit different and even more tasty if you would like it. Whatever way you eat them, you need to give them a go.
Recipes: Lemon Curd & Blueberry Loaf Cake; Blueberry & Oat Muffins; Blueberry & Greek Yoghurt Popsicles.
I’m a huge fan of beetroot, especially when paired with something like goat’s cheese, so I try to get it into every salad I make over the Summer months. An excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium, beetroot is a great health food, and is super versatile in what you can do with it, which is good in my book!
Recipes: Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnut Tart; Beetroot Risotto; Honey-Roast Beetroot.