New year, new you… right? Kick the year off right by packing your fridge full of healthy ingredients that will fuel your body the right way and boost your health. We keep these ingredients on hand at all times.
I always have at least a few sweet potatoes laying around the house. For some reason people seem to not be a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but I have formed an obsession over them and prepare them all kinds of ways. Sweet potatoes are a slow digesting carbohydrates which means that they are a healthier alternative to their counterparts; when you eat them, you will feel fuller for a longer period of time. This helps curb appetite and stay satisfied after your meals. To make things even better, sweet potatoes are packed full of vitamins like Calcium, Beta-Carotene, Cyanidin Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium, and antioxidants. They’re also anti-inflammatory, and are full of vitamins and antioxidants that are said to also give them anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. I love chopping up a sweet potato and cooking it with some sweet onion and mushrooms with a bit of thyme. It’s filling, super easy to prepare, and has great flavor. Another easy option is to microwave your sweet potato like a baked potato and fill it with avocado slices, chives, greek yogurt, veggies, or whatever other toppings you’re craving.
Salmon has been my go to the last few months — this stuff is magical. There are so many different ways to prepare it and it’s so good for you. The beautiful thing about salmon is that you can bake it, sauté it, and even smoke it. It’s a pretty versatile ingredient that provides tons of great nutrients and protein. Now on to the health benefits…. Salmon is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, B12, selenium, choline, vitamin A, vitamin D, and DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for brain function and cognition, your skin, and immunity. Vitamin B-12 helps with serotonin and will keep you feeling happy. The vitamin D in salmon is great for your hair and scalp and your bones. Another perk is the protein content in salmon — when you have one 4 oz serving you’re getting a whopping 26 grams of protein. Finally, salmon is great for expecting and new mamas. The DHA in salmon actually helps boost fetal brain development if consumed while pregnant or breastfeeding. I’ve been eating smoked salmon constantly lately. We throw the salmon filets in our Traeger Renegade Elite for an hour and a half after brining it and it always ends up being so tasty. Salmon is a great option if you’re looking for a food to bring to the office for lunch; you can meal prep ahead of time and eat your cooked, baked, or smoked salmon cold the next day or two for lunch with some salad or veggies.
Another super food full of Omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados are a beloved superfood that are finally getting the recognition they deserve (hello avocado toast!) Avocados are also full of great antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, lutein, folic acid, and magnesium. Like salmon, avocado will help with cognition and brain function, your skin, and immunity. Vitamin E is also great for your skin, hair, and your immune system. Avocados are healthy fat and are higher in calories which will keep your body running long after you eat. Another perk is that avocados help regulate digestion with their high fibre content. For the little ones out there, folic acid is great for children’s bones and development and Vitamin D adds additional protection to your bones, teeth, and gums as you age. We could go on and on, but you get the idea. It’s great stuff for your body. Toast some sourdough bread, spread an avocado over the top, sprinkle with some sesame seeds, avocado oil, flaky sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper and you’ll be in business. You can really eat avocado with anything, its a super flexible ingredient that we now put on everything. Whether you’re making chicken tacos, eating sushi, or scrambling some eggs in the morning, I guarantee that you can find a way that you’ll enjoy eating it. After all, who could hate avocados?
Every morning I usually have 2-3 cups of green tea while waking up at the office. I can’t get enough of it. Green tea is full of antioxidants that help keep your body healthy and detoxified. The polyphenols (micro nutrients found in plant matter) carry the antioxidants so when you steep the leaves, you’re releasing all of these antioxidants. Green tea is great for inflammation, your cardiovascular system, digestive system, and has anti-cancer properties. Although you can drink your Starbucks Green Tea Fraps with Whip, we prefer the old fashioned method of drinking warm green tea. I personally enjoy steeping loose tea leaves and enjoying my green tea hot. It’s supposed to be the healthiest method of consumption.
Blueberries (and other berries)
Berries are a sweet and delicious treat that I like to have around the house for myself for snacks and breakfast. If I could, I would eat two cartons each of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries a day. I enjoy them so much. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids that keep your body healthy. The level of antioxidants is extremely high in blueberries, they are actually one of the highest among fruits and veggies. It’s said that blueberries possess anti-cancer and aging properties, aid cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and fight heart disease. We definitely need to be eating more of these. Throw some in a bowl with granola and greek yogurt for breakfast.
We’ll check in later about some of our other favorite super foods; there are so many options so this is not a complete list by any means. Cheers to a wonderful year of wellness!