Every food is different and each can provide you with a range of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients to boost your health.
Check out the ingredients below to find out how they are good for you and what recipes you can use them in!
Arborio rice is used to make risotto. The rice is first cooked in oil then simmering liquid (usually stock) is added very gradually. The rice slowly begins to swell and develops a wonderful creamy texture. Even after cooking, arborio rice should always retain a slight ‘bite’ in the centre which is called al dente or ‘to the tooth’.
Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fats and are an excellent source of vitamins C and E and folate. Try avocado as a sandwich spread instead of butter or margarine.
Bananas are a great healthy food choice when you need an energy boost. They are high in carbohydrate, dietary fibre, vitamin C and potassium. Contrary to popular belief, they are not fattening.
Blackberries are not true berries but aggregates of several small fruit. They are a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins C and E and contribute smaller quantities of many other vitamins and minerals. Eat them fresh or lightly stewed for dessert.
Broccoli is closely related to cauliflower and is among the most nutritious vegetables available. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fibre and potassium. It also contains carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body), vitamin E and several B group vitamins, including folate.
Cashew nuts, like most seeds and other nuts, contain predominantly healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They are a good source of protein, B vitamins and vitamin E. Choose plain, unsalted varieties and store cashews in a glass jar in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Chickpeas have a nutty flavour and a pleasantly course texture. Dried chickpeas need soaking before cooking, but pre-cooked ones are widely available either canned or in vacuum packs. They are great source of dietary fibre and provide B group vitamins and phytoestrogens.
Lavash bread is a type of thin flatbread with a chewy texture. If the lavash has dried out, sprinkle it lightly with tepid water, wrap it in a clean towel and allow it to soften.
Lemons and other citrus fruit are high in vitamin C and contain flavonoids, which act as antioxidants in the body. Lemons and limes add wonderful flavour to dishes and are a great alternative to adding salt to cooking sauces.
Pork cuts are often very lean thanks to new breeding techniques. Lean pork has slightly less fat than skinless chicken, lean lamb or lean beef. Other cuts of pork and pork products such as spare ribs, bacon, salami and pork sausages, are significantly higher in total and saturated fats.
Potatoes are often accused of being fattening but they are actually fat free and a great source of carbohydrate. Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, and provide dietary fibre, potassium, thiamine and niacin.
Skinless Lean Chicken
Skinless lean chicken is a suitable food as part of a regular healthy diet. Chicken and turkey are both excellent sources of protein, niacin and phosphorus.
Sunflower oil contains predominantly healthy polyunsaturated fat. It is one of the richest oilseed sources of vitamin E. Sunflower oil has a mild flavour and can be used for cooking and in salads.
Tofu is made from soybeans. It is low in fat and an excellent source of protein. All soybean products contain phytoestrogens and soy protein, which can help protect against heart disease when used in a diet low in saturated fats and dietary cholesterol.
Tomatoes are wonderfully versatile. They can be eaten fresh, canned, concentrated as a paste, sun dried or used to make tomato sauce. They belong to the fruit family and used to be known as ‘love apples’. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body) and are a good source of dietary fibre.
Vanilla beans or pods are the fruit of a tropical orchid. To release their exquisite flavour, simply cut a bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the black seeds and heat both the bean and seeds in milk to make custard. The bean should be removed before serving, but the tiny black seeds are eaten.