As a personal trainer in London and online nutrition coach, I’m keen for my clients to eat as healthily as possible. Here are 6 healthy foods to incorporate into your eating habits:
A powerhouse of protein, pumpkin seeds give you 19g protein per 100g. They’re also a good source of healthy fats (mainly monounsaturated), iron and magnesium. Try sprinkling a handful into a bowl of yoghurt and blueberries for a healthy breakfast.
A great addition to salads, beetroot is rich in folate (vitamin B9), which is good for the maintenance and repair of blood vessels, reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease. You can consume beetroot in juice form too. Beetroot also contains plant compounds which help fight cancer. If you’re looking to increase your heart function and muscular endurance, beetroot contains nitric oxide which increases blood flow to your muscles.
This green leafy vegetable is rich in iron, best absorbed when you add some lemon juice. It is also rich in several other vitamins and minerals, including calcium which is vital for bone health.
For a quick and healthy snack, try cottage cheese on rice cakes with a dash of tabasco or a sprinkle of pepper. Cottage cheese is rich in protein, great for muscle growth. It’s also a good source of calcium.
I prefer orange lentils (also known as red lentils, although they’re orange in colour) to green or brown lentils, because they’re so much quicker to cook, just 15 minutes. They’re a great source of magnesium, one of the electrolytes which regulates your fluid levels. They’re also rich in potassium, folate and iron. Lentil soup is perfect on a winter night, and in the summer you can cook and add cooled lentils to salads. Lentils are rich in soluble fibre, which helps lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
During this cost of living crisis, lentils are relatively cheap when bought in a large pack. They’re a great meat-substitute as they’re rich in protein. When combined with other non-meat sources of protein such as wholegrains (brown rice is a good choice) lentils can provide all the essential amino acids your body needs for growth and repair.
Available in powder-form in health food shops, spirulina is essentially blue-green algae. It’s rich in micronutrients, especially vitamins B1, B2, B3, and also the minerals copper and iron, magnesium and potassium. You can add it to smoothies, or sprinkle it onto soups or salads.
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London and an online nutrition coach)