If you want an extremely tasty and nutrient-rich staple to include as part of your healthy diet, then sweet potato has to be the vegetable of choice. Despite their name, they’re not actually a potato!
Sweet potatoes are crammed full of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Dietary fibre
They also have a low Glycemic Index (GI), are low in saturated fat, low cholesterol and have low sodium content, so if you’re trying to achieve a healthy weight loss add sweet potato to your shopping list.
Pronounced keen-wah, this ancient gluten-free seed is a great source of protein and energy. When it’s cooked, it has a gorgeous nutty flavour.
- packed full of the nine essential amino acids that our bodies need to process and use the protein we consume
- a better source of protein than cow’s milk, making it perfect for vegans, vegetarians and people who are lactose intolerant
- safe for diabetics to eat
- antioxidant rich
- a fabulous source of many minerals including: magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and folic acid
Brown rice has more nutrients than white rice, so it’s a much better choice if you are trying to eat more healthily. The processes used to produce white rice strip it of all its goodness. Brown rice is only partially milled, preserving all the essential nutrients it contains in the rice kernel including the fibre, oil and fatty acids.
Brown rice’s fabulous nutrients include:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
Brown rice is a great antidote to feeling lethargic and tired. It contains the nutrient manganese which helps synthesise fatty acids, so promoting a healthy nervous system as well as helping our bodies create energy from carbohydrates and protein.
Lentils are a fantastic source of slow burning complex carbohydrates. They boost your energy levels and replenish your body’s iron reserves (great for the ‘time of the month’ ladies!).
By including lentils as part of a healthy diet, you can help lower your cholesterol levels and maintain blood sugar levels. This is because they have a high fibre content which helps stop your blood sugar levels soaring after eating.
Lentils are high in both types of dietary fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre helps the body remove cholesterol and insoluble fibre can help us to avoid constipation and protect us from disorders of the digestive system such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diverticulitis.
There are so many advantages to including chickpeas in your diet:
- Low in fat
- One of the very best sources of soluble and insoluble fibre
- Help lower your cholesterol
- Good source of carbohydrates
- High levels of calcium and magnesium
- Help keep hunger pangs under control
- Great source of iron
- Rich in minerals phosphorous and zinc
Vegetarians and vegans benefit from eating chickpeas alongside rice or whole grains as they can get an optimum level of proteins and also benefit from the calcium they contain, which can be difficult to source if you follow a dairy free diet.