It can be hard knowing what to prepare for a meal when you’re on a healthy eating kick. You can get lost in the calories, fats and food group combinations- I know I do. Thing is, not everyone enjoys the same food and it can be hard to come up with meals that are both healthy and enjoyable. You shouldn’t have to compromise food you like in favour of what is deemed to be ‘better’ for you.
Personally, I am a seriously picky eater, I never thought I was but I am. For example, I hate raw tomatoes but will eat tinned chopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, ketchup and tomato soup, no problem. Weird, I know. If you haven’t heard, I’m trying to get more healthy and active this year and in doing so, I have to come up with some meals that will suit me. Thing is, it’s hard to come up with meals when I have no clue what food combinations to try.
Check out my weekly go-to recipe post for some cooking inspiration.
Having a list of foods that should be incorporated into your cooking is so much easier than learning them all by heart or taking a guess. These foods can be used in a combination of ways, as long as you include at least one from each list in your meals then you’re good to go! So whatever your motivation, here are a list of foods that cater to multiple health regimes.
The main motivation for eating healthy. It’s ok to want to lose weight through a healthy lifestyle, after all they do go hand in hand. But it’s hard to know what is good for you separated from what claims to be good for you.
Common knowledge right? They’re swimming in protein and healthy fats. It’s said that their ideal way to be cooked is either poached or boiled, that way you are keeping as much of the goodness as you can.
Not my favourite fish but one that is full of high quality protein, nutrients and healthy fats. You can flake into salads and pasta or eat whole with either rice or potatoes.
Chicken is a well known food that is universally liked and easy to incorporate into meals. For your other meats, switch to leaner options like turkey mince instead of beef mince. Turkey mince lacks the fat beef does but still retains its flavour. I like to use it in spaghetti bolognaise, enchiladas and homemade lasagne. That’s right, you can still eat the same meals you enjoy with substitutions of healthy foods.
Finally, a fish I enjoy. Luckily for me it’s a lean type of fish that is low in calorie but full of flavour. Can be used with lettuce in a sandwich, mixed with pasta, as a tomato pasta bake or on a baked potato, to name a few.
High in potassium that controls your blood pressure and helps to fill you up. A great source of carbohydrates, these will refuel you and keep you on the go. Can be boiled, roasted, mashed and cut into chips or wedges. You can have these with salads (again), fish, chicken and even with a cheeky steak.
– A few more healthy foods for weight loss are; avocado, different types of beans, cottage cheese, nuts, whole grains (rice, pasta, oats etc), chilli peppers, chia seeds and yogurt.
Healthy immune system
Health line have some great suggested foods for a healthy immune system that gives your body a boost. I always tend to get ill the first few months of a new year, but eating more foods like these below can help to prevent any nasty sickness.
Incorporate citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit into your work lunches as a snack for the day. The vitamin C acts to fight off colds and infections. Definitely needed for all these winter colds that are going around lately!
Broccoli does so much for your insides and is why it is one of the most popular vegetables on shelves. You can boil and roast broccoli, it’s so diverse you can use it in salads for lunches, incorporated into breakfast muffins or as apart of your last meal of the day. Same with spinach, you can use it raw in salads or wilted into warm dishes. It has a pretty bland flavour which I enjoy, so I use it in the majority of my cooking now.
This is one of the many food loves of my life. I love cutting it up, crushing it or using it whole in one dish or another. It adds so much flavour to your meal. You can even create garlic bread out of wholemeal pitta bread and crushed garlic cloves with a bit of olive oil. (garlic breath who?)
Clear skin seems like such a myth, like unicorns and white chocolate digestive biscuits. When it comes to skin care I’ll take all the help I can get, knowing specific foods can help with clear skin is just another perk of eating healthy.
Blackberries and blueberries are full of fibre for your body and antioxidants that contribute to clear skin. You can use them on top of your porridge or pancakes in the morning, or you can even make a berry smoothie to take to work with you. A food that it part of your 5 a day and helps clear your skin? Uh, gimme!
Some nuts like pumpkin seeds are known for being rich in minerals. So this is a great food for people with deficiencies such as zinc. Use for a midday snack or combine with a nice salad. I enjoy mine mixed in with some couscous and herbed chicken.
Tomato lovers it’s your lucky day. These are rich in vitamin C which keeps your skin firm and aids the circulation, giving your face a healthy flush. This is such a versatile food you don’t need me to tell you how to include it in your meals, there are so many different ways to go.
I know it’s technically not a food but water is so good for absolutely everything and clear skin is no exception. It flushes your body and rehydrates your skin cells.
So there you have it, some selected healthy foods that you can use to incorporate into your meal prep or general cooking. I find that having a list of healthy foods always helps me when I’m planning my next meal. Knowing what foods will help me reach my goal and live a healthy lifestyle makes everyday life so much easier. I hope this helps you all too!
Read how I took an interest in cooking here.
Has this helped you? Would you eat any of these foods?