It can be so easy to maximize your meals and your wallet. Meal planning is definitely key to both of these. When you sit down to write out your meal plan for the week, be sure to include recipes with these foods.
Here is another post I wrote on meal planning basics.I like using Pinterest for recipe ideas – especially for incorporating specific ingredients!
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and black berries are magic – nature’s candy. They contain antioxidants, specifically anthocyanidans, which is a flavanoid connected with cognitive ability. Berries are high in fiber, lower cholesterol, are anti inflammatory, help improve blood sugar and insulin response.
Bell Peppers come in a multitude of colors – green, yellow, orange and red. They are full of Vitamin A, folate and potassium. One pepper can provide 169% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C! They also contain anti-oxidants called carotenoids, which helps with eye health.
Broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, to name a few. They contain phyto-chemicals, Vitamins A, C and E, folate and fiber. They also contain anti-oxidants that can protect against cancer.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach, kale and bok choy are among these nutritional powerhouses. Packed with Vitamin B and calcium, leafy greens can help lower cholesterol, improve bone health and prevent colon cancer.
Lots of benefits from tomatoes. They contain lycopene, an antioxidant, as well as beta-carotene. They are also packed with Vitamins C and K, potassium and folate, and are believed to improve heart health, skin health and prevent cancer.
Bananas are rich in fiber, potassium and Vitamins C and B6. They contain antioxidants and phyto-chemicals that promote heart health. They also help the brain to produce dopamine, which improves our mood.
Oranges, grapefruit, limes and lemons, are packed with vitamin C. They also contain B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper, as well as antioxidants. Make sure you eat the whole fruit instead of juice to get the benefits of fiber. (Grapefruit is known to interact with many prescription medications, so check with your doctor.)
I use garlic in almost everything I cook. It has tons of noted health benefits, like preventing and reducing the effects of colds, improving blood pressure and cholesterol. Its active ingredient, allicin, is also found in onions! It also contains selenium, magnesium and Vitamins B6 and C.
Like olive oil, olives are high in Vitamin E, iron, copper and calcium. They contain antioxidants and healthy fats. Avoid olives soaked in brine when possible, as these are higher in sodium.
Ginger contains a natural oil (called gingerol) that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which our bodies can always benefit from more of. It can help with all sorts of pesky problems too, including tummy upsets and muscle pain and soreness.
Ghee (clarified butter)
This is one of the best rejuvenating and longevity-promoting foods. It aids digestion and calms the nerves. Ghee’s rate of absorption is high, making it an excellent medium for transporting the nutrients of other foods to the tissues.
Following a mostly plant based, whole foods diet has immense health benefits like healing chronic diseases, cancers, and heart disease. Including as much of these foods (and principals!) as possible is so beneficial and something you should really feel proud of.
Another practice I have been diving into more lately is Ayurveda, which is an alternative Indian medicine that takes a holistic approach to prevent and heal stress, inflammation, unhealthy weight gain/loss, and more. It’s been extremely helpful and I highly recommend exploring it yourself! I will be writing about my findings and results soon. Xx