We Are What We Eat
The food we eat plays a key role in our health and it’s something that we can do a lot about. There’s a huge amount of conflicting information in the press and it can be difficult to know what is good for us and how to cook it. At Health Champions we believe that lots of everyday foods can be “super” and we can all experiment to help ourselves to better health.
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods is a term used to promote certain foods – essentially it was a form of marketing – a non-medical term used a lot in the media. Nowadays it is considered to mean “a nutrient rich food
So Superfoods are really good sources of nutrients, but we still must make sure that we balance our food and drink between the different main food groups, and keep a check on how much we eat. Together these will help to lead us to good health. The amount of food that you eat is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. At Health Champions we advise people to remember to look at calories in food if this is what you are trying to do.
Some Superfoods (like nuts and seeds) can be quite high in calories, but they are packed full of nutrition. So eating small amounts of these foods as part of a meal is OK, but don’t overdo it!
Food that aids Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes (the most common form of diabetes) is a lifestyle condition and is linked to sugar (refined carbohydrate) intake and being overweight. It is caused when the insulin system in our bodies, which regulates our blood sugar levels, doesn’t function properly.
Foods such as sweet potatoes, basmati rice, wholegrain cereals, pulses and lentils are key to helping this condition. Combine a wholegrain cereal with a source of good quality protein, such as lean meat, fish, pulses or nuts and this will help slow the rate at which sugar enters your bloodstream, and will help you to stay fuller for longer.
RECIPES TO TRY:
- Superfood Salad
- Chickpea and Pepper Stew
Food for a healthy heart
There are also superfoods that are particularly good for our hearts:
Omega – 3 fatty acids are especially beneficial. These are found in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna and herring. If you don’t eat fish, then some omega-3 can also be found in walnuts, linseeds, soya or canola oil and some green leafy veg including broccoli, spinach and cabbage.
Also limiting the amount of saturated fat (found in butter, cheese, fatty meat) and especially trans fats, found in some processed foods, can benefit your heart.
And don’t forget plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables, and high fibre (whole wheat) cereals and breads, which we teach participants about on our cooking courses.
The British Dietetic Association produces more information on heart health in a fact sheet which can be found at www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts.
RECIPES TO TRY:
See more of our Superfood Recipes at Health Champions Recipes.