180 Nutrition: Natural whole foods are unprocessed and rich in key nutrients which continue to win converts around the globe. Their fans understand the benefits of ‘clean eating’ versus the adverse effects of eating a diet largely based on processed foods.
Among these healthy ingredients, there are five that stand out. They are green leafy vegetables, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and olive oil. When you consider the nutrients each provides, few others can come close. Here’s how these stars of the food world can help.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green is for go in the vegetable world, and green leafy vegetables are sure to go the distance in getting your motor running. In addition to offering a wide range of nutrients, supporting cholesterol levels, boosting circulation, they will also support gall bladder, liver and kidney function. Sadly, if it weren’t for the occasional hamburger platter, many would fail to notice that leafy greens exist. Greens can kickstart a healthy detox programme and also offer Iron and Vitamin A to support immune system function.
If greens aren’t your thing, you can still get the benefits in a good quality greens powder.
Who doesn’t love guacamole? If you’ve been avoiding avocados in fear of its fat content, don’t let those calories fool you. Avocado fat is one of the healthier fats, the monounsaturated kind that supports the heart by reducing the so-called bad cholesterol. High in protein, low in sugar, loaded with potassium and rich in vitamins K, B, C and E, avocados can keep you feeling full where other snacks fail.
Concerned that eating avocados will lead to weight gain? Read this article called ‘Can I Eat Too Many & Will They Make Me Fat?‘
3. Coconut Oil
There once was once a time when many saw nothing but danger in coconut oil, believing that for anyone who dared to consume it were well on the path to heart disease. In reality, experts advise that coconut oil can support viral, bacterial and yeast infections, bolster thyroid function and even reduce cholesterol. Contrary to the earliest beliefs, coconut oil offers many health benefits.
Contrary to popular belief, it can even be used as part of a healthy weight loss strategy which you can learn more about here.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Here’s another winner in the healthy fats department. Despite what many believe, just one handful of nuts a day can help support your weight loss program by making you feel fuller longer. Nut-eaters also have a great head start when it comes to consuming more nutrients each day as nuts are high in fat, low in carbs, and a great source of several nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.
Another easy way to consume nuts and seeds is to add to your favourite smoothie recipe.
5. Olive Oil
A third on the list of healthy fats, no one doubts its heart-protective proclivities. Nevertheless, some may be surprised to learn that olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and build strong bones. Even the brain can benefit as studies have indicated that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil benefitted brain function. Don’t forget this valuable oil when enjoying a salad, you could even add some nuts and seeds (as above) to supercharge your meal.
The Problem With Processed Foods
Although hidden sugars, salts and chemical additives might appeal to your sense of taste, your body has a different opinion. Enjoy them in moderation, and use common sense. We always advise to check the nutrition labels to avoid anything you can’t pronounce. Be sure to make fresh, simple ingredients the focus of your diet.
If there’s currently a difference between the foods that you do eat but shouldn’t and those that you should eat but don’t, switching to a diet based on whole foods can turn things around. Five superfoods wait in the wings for a chance to energise your day, and once you’ve embraced them, you’ll only be asking, “Why did I wait so long?”