There are so many foods around it gets confusing knowing what will benefit us the most. So much so that we forget some of the best basics which provide us with life and vitality.
Exuberant physical strength or mental vigor: a person of great vitality. -- Vitality
What is not to like, it seems like the epitome of how we should want and strive to feel. I am a big proponent of eating for Vitality and feel there are certain foods that we often overlook but should be a staple in our diet. Let’s take a look.
1- Fish. A simple one but too often overlooked, in spite of eating healthy many of us don’t eat enough fish. We favour the easier to cook and simpler protein sources like Eggs, Chicken, Turkey and Beef and while these are all great they lack one thing which has the ability to improve the way we function and feel, Omega 3’s.
When Omega 3 fatty acids are eliminated from the diets of rats their behaviour changes radically within a few weeks. They become anxious, stop learning new tasks and panic in stressful situations.
While we aren’t rats this goes to show how detrimental simply eliminating or not getting enough Omega 3’s can be. Eating oily fish while not to the taste of everyone can help keep your brain supply’s topped up and more importantly keep the nerve cells fluid and flexible. My recommendation is to eat a few servings of oily fish like: Mackerel, Herring, Salmon , Sardines and Anchovies a week. Plus keep your diet topped up with Walnuts and Omega 3 Eggs which can help keep your stores topped up. If you can’t eat enough fish or are breast feeding (which depletes omega 3) then also supplement with 2-3 grams per day which is roughly 6-10 capsules, its probably a good idea to take some form of fish oil supplementation anyway.
2- Salad. How many of us eat a large salad everyday. It is something overlooked but hugely enjoyable and satisfying. I consider a salad a food as it contains many raw and healthy ingredients we would not normally eat, things like Spinach, Carrots, Cucumbers, Peppers, Celery and pretty much any other salad leaf you like.
I love starting a meal with a big salad made with a great honey mustard dressing and topped off with some spicy roasted seeds. Make a big bowl and share it with everyone at the table, you will probably all feel more satisfied and be less likely to binge or eat unhealthy foods.
3- Herbs and Spices. How often do your meals seem bland or lack flavour, if its more often than not your probably short of herbs and spices in your cooking. They have the ability to instantly lift your food and give it life along with a host of other beenfits.
I always joke, I wish Doctors handed out “spice racks” instead of prescription drugs…. -- Mike OD
Recently I have been keeping topped up on the following:
Cinnamon -- A potent anti-bacterial and great in coffee
Basil -- Awesome in anything tomato based plus great to make a fresh tea from
Ginger -- Helps with inflammation and circulation
Pepper -- A good pepper mill is an essential and can be ground over pretty much anything.
For a full run down on some of the benefits and favourites checkout this post 8 Essential Herbs and Spices, it gives a comprehensive run down of the benefits and uses of a variety of the best herbs and spices. So in a nutshell keep your pantry stocked with these and experiment while you cook, its pretty hard to go wrong.