From Tofu to Tomato: 15 Clean Foods You Must Include in Your Diet
(National Nutrition Week is observed in India from September 1-7 to increase awareness generation on the importance of nutrition for health which has an impact on development, productivity and economic growth of the country. FIT is republishing this story from its archives.)
Eating clean means cutting down on processed foods and eating more real foods.
The idea is to focus on produce like fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains, keep an eye on sodium and cut down on the consumption of sugar and meat.
Here’s a list of 15 clean foods to focus on for the rest of 2018:
1. Edible Flowers: For Multiple Antioxidants
It’s time to move beyond thinking of edible flowers as just a quirky and sophisticated garnish to a dish. Besides adding adding color and a touch of whimsy, they deliver a lot of health payback too.
Plus of course they all have fibre, and have almost nil fat - both are winning food strategies.
Banana flowers, borage, rose, calendula, chamomile and lavender are some great options to cook with.
Also Read: Eat These 5 Happy Foods to Make 2018 Happier
2. Mushrooms: To Score Vitamin D
Most of us find difficult to even begin developing a taste for mushrooms, but trust me it’s time to change that. Ignoring this humble food means giving the multiple health benefits it packs within it, a miss.
3. Tofu: For High-Quality Vegetarian Protein
Anything meat does, tofu can do too; it is very versatile and has a wonderful texture.
4. Homemade Yogurt: For Some Good Bacteria
Commonest fermented food, yogurt is milk that has been cultured with two very specific strains of bacteria: streptoccus thermophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus.
It must ideally be part of our main meals, both lunch and dinner.
5. Tomatoes: For Your Heart Health
If tomato is not your best friend already - please remedy that right away!
Research now links lycopene (that tomato is loaded with) with the reduction of heart diseases.
6. Buckwheat: To Score Gluten-Free Goodness
Buckwheat is not really a grain, rather it is a seed. Japanese have turned it into a kind of noodles (called Soba), but in India we mostly have it as flour.
Besides being a good source of vegetarian protein (100 gms gives 12 gm protein), buckwheat helps improve circulation, lower blood cholesterol and control blood glucose levels too, and it is gluten-free.
7. Chickpeas: For Hunger Control
Chickpeas are loaded with fibre, which helps fill up with less (research shows that urge to snack is lower after eating chickpeas) and also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, thus are extremely healthy for the heart.
8. Beetroot: For Taming Your Blood Pressure
Beetroot is also rich in antioxidant betaine, which has anti-inflammatory properties and keeps cholesterol levels in control.
9. Spinach: For Your Eye Health
This leafy green has to be the most underrated food around. Spinach is a great source of not only protein (surpise!), but also of extensive antioxidant coverage.
Two of the carotenoids - lutein and zeaxanthin, are great for your eyesight.
10. Bell Peppers: For Whittling Your Waist Down
Bell peppers have a metabolism-boosting compound, dihydrocapsiate, which can help you slim down.
11. Sprouted Brown Rice: To Fight Diabetes Better
Brown rice is as it is a reliable healthy option, but by sprouting it, you can score even more health beneﬁts.
12. Amaranth: To Cut Inflammation From Your Body
Go local with amaranth. It is one of the most protein-rich plant-based food.
13. Sattu: For Cheap High-Quality Protein
Sattu is a high energy and protein giving food which is a perfect mixture of all the necessary ingredients - protein, carbohydrate, iron, calcium, and vitamins.
14. Jackfruit - To Lose Weight Naturally
Jackfruit is a natural weight loss aiding food, if had the right way.
Plus, it is rich in dietary fibre, which pump up its satiety value (keep you full for a longer time) and an antioxidant found in it - resveratrol might actually be the key to trimming inches. Just don't fry it and eat.
15. Raspberry - For Maximising The Consumption of Antioxidant
Berries are toasted world over for their antioxidant levels. But it’s time to give due to a homegrown berry - raspberry - as it packs a punch with its antioxidant power.
(Kavita Devgan is a weight management consultant, nutritionist, health columnist and author of ‘Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People’.)
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