10 Healthy extra bits to include in your shopping list whenever you can:
A lot of people always ask me what extra healthy bits can they pick up in to complete a healthy lifestyle aside from the usual meat, veggies, fruit, legumes, etc.
So here are my 10 favourite extra healthy products to pick up when doing your shopping. This doesn't mean that you HAVE to buy them or else you won't be healthy. NOT AT ALL. You can be just as healthy eating your fruit and veg from the supermarket. These are just little tips for our health that I think can be good to invest in. I personally don't buy this all the time. Just, whenever I can afford them. So please don't think I am pushing you to buy any of these. They are just extra bits that are good for us...
1. Nut butters
Unlike jams, jellies, butter, and margarine, seed and nut butters naturally contain healthful fats that benefit heart health, reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and even lower the risk of obesity despite their high fat content—2 T of a seed or nut butter contain, on average, 16 g of fat.
Pictured above are my favourite brand of butters. While all nut butters contain around 100 calories per tablespoon, not all nut butters contain healthful ingredients. Many brands contain only ground-up nuts, but some contain added salt and sugar. Some use partially hydrogenated oil—a source of unhealthy trans fats. Be sure to check the label before selecting a nut butter and make sure the ingredients are 100% nuts.
Make your OWN butter if you wish!
If you fancy doing your own butter you can do it by simply slightly toast the nut of choice in the oven then blend until you get a buttery consistency. You can add cocoa, goji berries, stevia to make it sweet or even chia seeds!
Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They're inexpensive, easy to store and easy to pack when you're on the go.
3. Vegetable Milk
Those looking for a dairy-free milk substitute have probably stumbled across almond, oat, rice, coconut or hazelnut milk and wondered, “are these milks good for you?” Whether you’re a vegan, sensitive to milk or just don’t like the taste, these milks are a fabulous alternative.
The benefits of for example almond milk are vast, especially for those looking to lose weight. It has a low caloric value, with an 250ml serving of Plain (which has no added sugar) only containing around 40 calories, which has a much lower impact on your daily calorie intake than skim milk. It is rich in vitamins, and also boasts an impressive dose of bone-building calcium.
You can also make your own nut milk by soaking 1 cup of the nut of choice overnight. Then blend with 2 cups of fresh filtered water. And lastly use a milk sifter and your milk is done.
I love these Alpro ones because they are cheap and I can get in my local super market. But when I have a bit of extra money I always buy the Provamel (pictured below) on Holland and Barret because is incredible creamy and tastes so good.
4. Dry fruits
Dried fruits offers some advantages over fresh fruits: a longer shelf life and portability. If you are watching your weight, dried fruits should be eaten in moderation as they contain significantly more calories per serving than fresh fruits. Some dried fruits contain sugars added in processing which increase its calorie content. However, dried fruits without additives offer numerous health benefits.
5. Apple Cyder Vinegar
The image above says it all. I have get a lot of e-mails of people telling me how they don't have to take any more medicines for their heart burn. How they cholesterol levels have reduced reduced since drinking this. I personally have seen a huge improvement on my asthma. I have been out of breathe when I go for a walk but not to the point where I need my inhaler so I am very happy about that. (I still use my inhaler when I exercise more intensively . My kids have had a cough the last 2 weeks which I always get and I haven't get sick at all.
I bought mine in my local health shop in the town where I live.
6. Spirulina & Maca Powder
Spirulina is a microscopic multi-cellular cyanobacterium, occurring naturally in rivers and lakes. It is a sustainable, easily digestible source of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Spirulina is widely recognised as being a natural source of many powerful nutrients.
1. Spirulina is Extremely High in Many Nutrients
2. Spirulina Has Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
3. Spirulina Can Lower LDL and Triglyceride Levels
4. Spirulina Protects LDL Cholesterol From Becoming Oxidized
5. Spirulina Appears to Have Anti-Cancer Properties, Especially Against Oral Cancer
6. Studies Show That it May Reduce Blood Pressure
7. Spirulina Improves Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
8. Spirulina May be Effective Against Anemia
9. Muscle Strength and Endurance May Improv
10. Spirulina May Help With Blood Sugar Control
Maca has a high mineral content, and is rich in iron, calcium and zinc. It is also high in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and a source of B6 (pyridoxine), and rich in amino acids. Maca is classified as an alkaline food, which allows it to counteract acidity in the body.
You can add both these products to smoothies, soups or tour morning glass of water.
Benefits: Decreases Menopause Symptoms, Improves Sexual Function, Aphrodisiac, Supports Mood, Fertility, Increases Bone Density and it is a natural Energy Enhancer
You can buy on: http://www.truefoods.ie
7. Bee Pollen
Bee pollen is a complete food and contains many elements that products of animal origin do not possess. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body.
(I buy mine in my local health shop)
9. Sugar alternatives:
Stevia is a South American herb used as a natural sweetener for centuries. The leaves of the Stevia plant have a refreshing taste, zero glycemic index, zero calories and zero carbs. It is nature’s best sugar alternative!
(This doesn't mean you can have as much as you want. Is just a substitution to enjoy in moderation)
Obviously, xylitol is a refined sweetener, so it doesn’t contain any vitamins, minerals or protein. In that sense, it is “empty” calories.
Sweet freedom is a good alternative for healthy desserts or to add on to porridge. Is made with fructose and 1 tablespoon contains only 13 calories. Again please don't use this in excess. This products are still processed and in moderation they help to maintain a low sugar diet and be healthier but nothing good could come if you consume this sugar alternatives in excess.
In addition to being a great natural sweetener, honey has a multitude of benefits. Honey has been proven to be a natural throat soother! is also anatural energy booster. Honey’s unique blend of natural sweeteners gives it the ability to provide quick energy in any circumstance.
Honey is slightly sweeter than sugar, so less can be used to achieve the same sweetness intensity.
10. Protein Powders
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are essential for a countless number of metabolic functions in the human body. For example, amino acids are needed for optimal immune function, tissue growth and repair, and to catalyze important enzymatic reactions in the body. Now, this amino acids doesn't have to come from animals. Protein sources can also be plant based.
*Disclaimer: Everything recommended above has been purchased with my own money and none of the brands above have pay me to post about them. They are all products I use, like and reccomend.