Sunday, 30 March 2008

Power foods: What to put in the shopping trolley each week

There are some foods which should form the mainstay of any supermarket shop. They are the 'power foods' - the ones which are packed full of good things. Below, fitness trainer Tinika van Dort sets out what you should stack in your trolley.

Broccoli: high in fibre, broccoli will keep your body regular. Steam, boil or microwave until tender so you retain vitamin C and folate.

Spinach: packed full of goodness spinach contains betacarotene, fibre, vitamin C, E and K and several of the vitamin B group. Spinach also contains potassium, magnesium a little iron and two antioxidants. Include spinach in your diet 3 to 4 times a week – throw a handful of baby spinach leaves in to a stir-fry or whip up a salad.

Blueberries: Blueberries contain plant pigments that destroy free radicals that damage DNA. A punnet of blue berries contains very little calories and virtually no fat however is full of vitamins and minerals.

Soy beans: Containing natural plant hormones that mimic the female hormone oestrogen and as such are valuable to women going through menopause. It can also lowers bad LDL cholesterol and prevents arteries from clotting and provides fibre, omega-3 fats, protein and various minerals.

Almonds: Containing essential nutrients, a handful of almonds provides nearly 80% of your daily vitamin E intake – a key antioxidant. Almonds are also known to lower blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease so make these your favourite afternoon snack.

Green tea: My favourite! Studies show that green tea can help to reduce heart problems, may prevent several cancers and maintain bone density in older people. The antioxidants group flavonoids in green tea are responsible for this. Green tea is a low caffeine hot beverage option, having one third to half the caffeine in coffee.

Salmon: Omega-3 fats from oil fish are the ultimate anti-ageing nutrient. They assist in maintaining eye sight, lower blood pressure and triglycerides. Eat salmon or other oily fish (fresh or canned) 2 to 3 times a week.

Lamb: Lean lamb contains vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid as well as providing a healthy source of protein. Lamb also contains iron and zinc which prevents anaemia and builds a strong immune system respectively.

Eggs: One of the few food sources which contain vitamin D, a vitamin that most young people get through sunshine. Vitamin D boosts your immune system and works with calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

Yoghurt: More easily digested and absorbed than milk, yoghurt contains protein, vitamin B (especially riboflavin needed for eyes and skin) and calcium.

Oats: Oats are full of soluble fibre which lowers cholesterol, they have a low GI index of 42 which delivers carbohydrates slowly to the blood stream , they contain vitamin B (especially thiamin and niacin) as well as minerals including phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. This is the grain for you.

Rye: A much better option that white bread alternatives, rye is another low GI option, it is high in soluble fibre and contains more antioxidants that wheat including vitamin E. Next time you are in the supermarket pop some rye bread in to your shopping trolley.

Extra virgin olive oil:
containing good ‘monounsaturated’ fats, this is the best heart protector option. Spend a little more in the supermarket and choose a cold pressed, green tinged olive oil – as it has not been heated it contains more antioxidants which thin the blood and keep it free flowing. Add it to salads and char grilled veggies.

Some other items to consider include cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garlic and lemon, these all contain properties which can aid a healthy body and taste good too. Enjoy.

If you have any recipes containing these foods why not send email them to: and we would be happy to share them.

1 comment:

family value said...

What a great resource! I'm always looking for articles on health & fitness and love the variety of foods that Tinika has listed. Small world though - I went to school with Tinika!