Basic foods for your wellness

Monday September 9 2019

A balanced diet is one that gives your body the

A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly.  

By BEATRICE NAKIBUUKA

Wellness can be defined as the overall state of being in good health and it involves our mental and physical health. What we eat usually contributes a lot to our wellbeing. Although there are several healthy foods for us to eat, here are some of the top common foods everyone should include in their diet.

Avocado
According to Dr Paul Kasenene, a nutritionist at Wellness Centre, avocado is one of the superfoods in the world. The fruit is rich in a variety of nutrients such as monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart, for cholesterol and even in supporting weight loss.
He says, “It is rich in potassium that is good for blood pressure regulation. It is high in fibre but it is also high in vitamin C, E, K and antioxidants that are good for eye health. It is also good for brain development in unborn babies because it contains folate.”

Sukuma wiki
Also known as collard greens, Sukuma wiki are a non-starchy cruciferous vegetable. Others include cabbage and broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in 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. These can be prepared a sauces or side dishes or even added to smoothies.

Almonds
Eat nuts and almonds because they arehigh 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.
The healthy fats in the almonds are also linked to improved blood sugar, blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.
They are also high in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant vitamin) as well as 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.

Chia seeds
Chia seeds give great benefits. They are locally available and affordable. They are rich in fibre, have lots of magnesium, vitamin C, calcium and healthy fat.
Chia seeds support detoxification, brain health and focus as well as digestion and providing energy. These seeds are a must-eat for every adult and child over six years.
Aim to have one or two tablespoons of the seeds a day.

Green tea
Dr Kasenene recommends for matcha green tea because it has a lot of antioxidants. Green tea is one of the best beverages because it is very high in antioxidants. Of course, water should be your priority but green tea is good too. The antioxidants in green tea help with detoxification of the liver and improve immune function. Green tea improves focus, energy and brain function. It is also good for metabolism and helps in blood sugar control.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are also packed with several 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,”Dr Kasenene says, When you get the orange or purple varieties, you get extra health-promoting phytonutrients. Since they are rich in fibre, they will not have a negative effect on your blood sugar even for people who have diabetes.

Bone broth
Bone broth is rich 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.
“Bone broth 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,”Dr Kasenene adds.

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Balanced diet

A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. To get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should consume the majority of your daily calories in:
-fresh fruits
-fresh vegetables
-whole grains
-legumes
-nuts
-lean proteins

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