Foods to increase – Concentrate on what foods you should be eating instead of what you think you shouldn’t.
1) Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:
Choose a range of varieties and colours for a range of nutrients. Choose from red, purple, orange, yellow. These foods naturally contain carotenoids which are powerful blood and liver cleansers, beneficial for the skin and respiratory tract. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants that help protect the cells from environmental and internal damage. Make sure you eat at least a couple of portions at each meal and you are half way there!
·Peppers, squash, mangetout, cauliflower, apricots, carrots, peas, tomatoes, swede and broccoli.
Apples are a good source of vitamin C, magnesium and pectin. Pectin binds to toxins and heavy metals such as lead (pollution) and cadmium (cigarettes), and it can also help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Try stewed apples for a change. A great source of fibre beneficial to gut health and the health of your microbiota.
These generally have a lower sugar content than tropical fruits and are especially high in antioxidants.
· Cherries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, black and redcurrants, blueberries and raspberries.
4) Citrus Fruits:
These are good sources of vitamin C, bioflavonoids (which enhance the action of vitamin C) and beta-carotene. Squeeze lemon in your water or over your salad.
· Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit.
NB. B careful if you suffer from IBS, Endometriosis, dermatitis, arthritis or psoriasis as these may ascerbate your condition.
5) Tropical Fruits:
They are often grown in mineral-rich soil and therefore contain good levels of minerals. Pineapple and papaya contain enzymes that can help with protein digestion. Pineapple is also a great anti-inflammatory. Remember to eat them with a little protein such as nuts, seeds or yoghurt in order to keep blood sugar levels stable.
· Mangoes, papaya, lychees, guava, melon, kiwi and pineapple.
6) Green Leafy Vegetables:
These foods are good replacements for carbohydrates as they are fibrous, filling, full of nutrients and easy to digest. Cruciferous vegetables are also great for aiding detoxification and hormone balance.
· Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, cabbage, kale, endive and watercress.
These are good sources of fibre, B vitamins, chromium and trace elements; they provide a slow sustained release of energy that helps to keep blood sugar level stable.
· Brown basmati rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, spelt, kamut, quinoa, rye and oats.
8) Legumes & Pulses:
They are an excellent source of fibre, B vitamins and protein. Lentils provide iron and all types of beans can help to reduce LDL cholesterol, regulate colon function and help to control blood sugar levels. Soya beans and soya products contain isoflavones that can help to balance hormones and may prove especially beneficial during the menopause.
· Peas, lentils, butter beans, chickpeas, haricot beans, cannelloni and borlotti beans
NB. Avoid lentils and pulses if you suffer from Gout, as they contain purines that may aggravate the condition.
9) Onions, Garlic and Leeks:
They act as natural antibiotics, help reduce excessive blood clotting and lower the total cholesterol count while increasing the HDL cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol). Their action as ‘prebiotics’ (feeding the ‘friendly’ bacteria) can have a beneficial effect on the digestive system.
10) Organic Free-range Eggs:
Eggs are a good source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and iron and essential fats. The saturated fat content of eggs depends on what the chicken were fed, - eggs from organic free-range chickens have a lower saturated fat content and more omega 3.
11) Bio Yoghurt:
Or live yoghurt. Naturally occurring cultures can enhance digestion and maintain a healthy gut flora and bowel function. Live soya, sheep and goats’ milk yoghurt are available for those who cannot tolerate cows’ milk products.
12) Oily Fish:
Anchovies, herrings, mackerel, kippers, pilchards, salmon, sardines, trout and fresh tuna contain essential omega 3 fatty acids. These can help protect the cardiovascular system and have strong anti-inflammatory properties that may improve a number of skin and joint disorders. Where possible choose wild fish, if not, organic farmed varieties as these may be lower in antibiotics and other additives.
13) Nuts & Seeds:
Raw, unroasted and unsalted only! Try not to exceed more than a small handful per day as they do have a high fat content, but they do contain large amounts of essential fatty acids. Add them to cereals, salads, rice and grain dishes, or anywhere you fancy an extra crunch. Nuts and seeds also contain calcium, magnesium, zinc and fibre.
· Almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, help seeds, flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds.
14) Nori & Wakame Seaweeds:
For their selenium and iodine content. They also contain alginates which help detoxify the body. They can be added to stews and soups and added to beans and pulses during cooking.