With the New Year here, it is time to eat yourself into shape. Not only will you feel and look better, but with COVID so prevalent all around us, your immune system will thank you in the long run. These 10 power foods (with some preparation ideas) have some serious benefits for your overall health
So guys, if you add these 10 power foods, drinks and spices below to your diet, whilst cutting back on the sugar, vegetable oils and gluten that I spoke about in my previous blog, you will see your body fat begin to melt. 80% of your weight loss goals will come from nutrition so make it a priority and see the changes happen right in front of your eyes!
Eggs are a great option for so many reasons. Firstly they contain a highly bioavailable source of protein, as well as hormone healing cholesterol and saturated fats. They are also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins E and A, and beta-carotene. The key to making sure you are getting all the above nutritional quality in, is to eat organic, pasture raised eggs. Eggs will also keep you feeling fuller for longer due to their combined protein and fat content.
Scramble 3-4 eggs in some coconut oil or grass fed butter and add an avocado on the side for a power breakfast that will keep you focused and energised until lunchtime. Skip the bread to keep your blood sugar levels in check!
Coffee is a go to for me and it is loaded with free-radical fighting antioxidants and brain boosting caffeine. The benefits far outweigh the risks if consumed correctly. The key is to use only quality grown fresh Arabic coffee beans that contain half the acidity of Robusta beans. If you are drinking instant or pre-ground coffee you are unfortunately setting yourself up for failure and you won’t get all the benefits listed above. Coffee can also keep you feeling satiated in the morning if you are not a big breakfast person.
Try drink your coffee black or if that’s too much of an ask, with healthy sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol in order to keep your blood sugar levels intact. If you want something more satisfying that will keep you full until lunchtime try making a delicious bulletproof coffee or add some full cream coconut milk to your coffee for its anti-inflammatory effects. If you do go this route make sure to keep it to one or two coffees maximum and skip breakfast as you calorie intake will add up extremely quickly.
Avocados have so many amazing benefits and they are packed with nutrients including; vitamins K, C, E , B6, and B5, as well as folate. They contain more potassium than bananas
are they are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and oleic acid which helps reduce inflammation and absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Not to mention the fact that they are high in fibre meaning your friendly gut bacteria will love you. I personally eat at least one avocado a day as it so easy to add to smoothies, salads and eggs.
Try adding half an avocado to your morning shake for some creamy deliciousness and add the other half to you lunchtime or evening salad. You won’t be disappointed.
These little guys are extremely high in antioxidants and flavonoids that prevent free radical damage and fight inflammation, which is why it is one of my top 10 power foods. They are also high in fibre and low in fructose meaning that they won’t spike you blood sugar levels like other high sugar fruits such as bananas and mangos; but they will keep you feeling fuller for longer and hopefully reduce sugar cravings. Berries for the win all the way.
Add berries to you morning of afternoon shake to add sweetness or otherwise have a bowl of berries topped with macadamia or almond nut butter at night when you are craving something sweet.
5. Cold water fish
With our diets extremely omega 6 heavy, we have two options. Either cut out omega 6 rich foods which are pro-inflammatory, or eat more omega 3 foods. Enter the kings of omega 3’s. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and anchovies. These fish are high in DHA and EPA which are critical for overall brain health. Our cell membranes are also made up of essential fatty acids and with our cells constantly dying, regenerating, changing shape and dividing, the fatty acids we consume today, build our cell membranes of tomorrow, making the saying “we are what we eat”, 100% accurate.
Try making a big salad for lunch and adding in one of the above fish. If the taste is too strong for you then add in some homemade mayonnaise or pesto. Remember to use dressings that are made from olive or avocado oil and not vegetable oil.
6. Green leafy vegetables
It goes without saying that your diet should be at least 50% plant based. Protein, fats and the right carbohydrates are essential but nothing packs a punch quite like your green leafy vegetables for many reasons. They are high in vitamins A, C, and K as well as magnesium, folate, calcium, iron and potassium. They are extremely low in calories and high in fibre so they are a must have in any diet. There is a lot to be said for the antinutrients in these plants that reduce essential nutrient absorption, but in my opinion the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Try adding green leafy vegetables to your morning smoothie or eggs to increase your vegetable intake early in the day. Otherwise make a power salad at lunchtime adding at many of them as you can. Some health experts advise that they should be cooked in order to remove the antinutrients, but this is a personal preference and some people can do perfectly well eating them raw. See how you feel and listen to your body.
7. Cruciferous vegetables
Like their green leafy friends, cruciferous vegetables are just as important in maintaining a health balanced diet, rich in plant foods. Broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower and kale all contain phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help heal and detoxify the body. Vitamins and minerals are their game and if you treat them well they should hopefully return the favour. As above try to implement these vegetables into your diet as much as possible.
Make a stir-fry at night using broccoli, cauliflower and other green leafy vegetables like spinach and bok choy. Olive oil, garlic, ginger and greens are all you need to make something amazing in less than 5 minutes.
8. Organic grass fed beef
We as humans have consumed meat since the dawn of time. It is not the eating meat that is the issue, it is the way that we are raising the animals that is the real problem. Grass-fed organic meat provides our bodies with quality protein in the right amino acid balance, that is required for tissue and cell renewal. The problem comes in when we eat grain fed, commercially farmed meats that have fatty ratios that are higher in omega 6 fats than omega 3’s. The pesticide, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones that the meat holds adds to the toxic load on your body.
Eat less meat but eat quality meat that comes from sustainable farms where the farmers actually care for the animals they raise. There is nothing more satisfying than eating a juicy piece of rib eye steak covered in grass fed butter, but give the animal the respect it deserves. Animals and sustainable farming over profit.
Turmeric contains a bioactive compound called curcumin that contains powerful medicinal properties. It’s powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects have been linked to improved brain functioning. This versatile spice can be used in tea, in cooking or even taken as a supplement in the form of curcumin. I personally use all 3 methods.
Try adding it to the food you cook at night especially when cooking vegetable dishes. Also make an effort to buy a good quality curcumin supplement which will help reduce inflammation as well as increase your fat burning potential.
The last one of my top 10 power foods is kombucha. Which is a naturally raw and fermented beverage that is loaded with beneficial probiotics. This beverage is a great way to get your probiotic intake up by feeding your gut bacteria. It’s benefits include detoxification, strengthening of the immune system as well as helping to improve digestion. It is made from tea, water, sugar and a bacteria culture known as a SCOBY, which ferments the drink by feeding on the sugar. The great thing about kombucha is that if it is properly prepared, the sugar is eaten by the bacteria leaving you with a great tasting beverage that beats any soft drink out there hands down.
When that sugar craving hits, or when night time rolls around and you feel like that beer, try drinking a kombucha instead. You will be pleasantly satisfied. Say good bye to soft drinks forever and goodbye to alcohol in the weeks!
If you enjoyed this post, you should definitely check out my basic nutrition guide as well.
How these 10 power foods affected my life
As I’ve mentioned these top 10 power foods have made a huge difference to my overall health, which affects every aspect of my life. When I feel better I have more energy, focus and I’m also happier, so I can truly give my wife and kids the best of me on a daily basis. I know you will experience the same benefits, so are you going to give it a try?
If you are at the beginning of your health journey, or you seriously need some help, contact me. You can book a FREE 15 minute (no obligation) telephone consultation with me, so you can kickstart your health. There is no better time than now. You and your loved ones deserve the best YOU!
I am not a medical doctor or registered dietician. I am just a normal guy trying to share information on what has worked for me and my clients over the years. Always check with your doctor before making any radical fitness or nutritional changes. The author and this blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in the information and ideas provided above.