With all the diets and articles telling you what you should eat to stay healthy, it’s tough to pick and choose what makes it to your plate and what stays in the grocery store.
So who better to ask what you really should be eating every day than dietitians and nutritionists that, you know, do this kind of thing for a living? Take note, and you may just find a new favourite daily go-to food!
Get the kettle going, because tea is great.
“Tea is a good source of polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. That’s why tea is believed to promote cardiovascular health and support healthy vision, teeth, bones, memory, and cognition,” says Alexandra Miller, RDN, LDN, Corporate Dietitian at Medifast, Inc. “If left unsweetened, tea is also naturally low in calories and free of sodium and sugar.”
Tea is versatile, too, and isn’t regulated to mere beverage status: “Try cooking with tea or using it as the liquid for a smoothie,” suggests nutritionist Kayleen St. John, RD at Natural Gourmet Institute, a health-supportive cooking school in New York City.
Olives aren’t just for matinis: “Olives are a rich source of vitamins A and E, both of which protect the oils on the surface of your skin from free radical damage,” says Peggy Kotsopoulos, RHN, and author of Kitchen Cures. “Olives also help strengthen connective tissues, improving skin tone and protecting against UV radiation. The rich monounsaturated fat content is particularly helpful to the heart since it reduces the risk for atherosclerosis [a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries] while raising good HDL cholesterol.”
“If you can’t get enough of this winter favorite, you’re in luck,” explains Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Partner American Macular Degeneration Foundation. “Besides being delicious, brussels sprouts are a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin A, important for eye growth and development, and the antioxidant vitamin C. They also contain the plant chemicals lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that could help reduce the risk of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration.”
This creamy and savoury topping is perfect for pastas or coating a morning slice of toast.
“Pestos are a delicious blend of phytonutrient-packed green herbs, olive oil, a bit of high-flavor cheese, and in this case, walnuts for their distinct taste and omega-3s,” says Annie Kay, MS, RDN, Lead Nutritionist at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. “Herbs also have some of the highest ORAC scores (a measure of antioxidant levels) of any food.”
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