Protein rich foods play a significant role in repair and recovery – helping us maintain good health and vitality. Many protein rich foods are high in iron and zinc which aid the development of white blood cells, required to help fight off illness. Including a variety of protein rich foods like lean beef, salmon, poultry and eggs provide these important nutrients.
Legumes like kidney beans, lentils, chick peas and cannellini beans are a superb inclusion in the diet. Legumes are affordable and shelf-stable, and high in dietary fibre which helps to keep our bowels and gut healthy. Soluble fibre which can help lower cholesterol levels and are slowly digested by the body – energising us throughout the day. They delicious in soups and casseroles and can bulk out mince meals easily. Legumes are also a good source of folate, potassium, iron and magnesium.
Natural or Greek yoghurt contains probiotics, or healthy bacteria as well as being a good source of calcium. Probiotics in food contain live bacteria that can help to keep the digestive system healthy which in turn may help to maintain a healthy immune system. If yoghurt doesn’t take your fancy – other foods such as fermented foods, like Kimchi and sauerkraut are also packed with probiotics to help promote a healthy gut.
Oats offer many vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorus, thiamin, magnesium that help with optimising health. It’s lovely to warm up in the morning with a bowl of porridge; filling and a slow release of carbohydrate, particularly if made on milk. Oats are a good source of dietary fibre.
Garlic has been long touted as prevention for common colds but the jury is still out based on the evidence. The World Health Organisation recommends we eat a clove of garlic a day for general health. It has high levels of allicin and other sulphur compounds that are thought to be responsible for helping with good health.
Honorable mentions: Root vegetables, ginger, onion, pears and nuts
Lisa’s Spiced Chicken with Yoghurt (pictured)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 300g Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 Red Onion (146g), cut into wedges
- 2 Zucchini (204g), halved
- 500g Lean Chicken Thigh Fillets
- 4 Carrot (244g), quartered lengthways
- 1 Tablespoon Chilli Paste (12g), or dried spice
- 1g Pepper, freshly ground
- 70g Kale, torn
- 3/4 Cup Low Fat Natural Yoghurt (180g)
- 60g Low Fat Feta, crumbled
- 2 Cloves Garlic (6g), crushed
- 1 Tablespoon Tahini (20g)
WHAT YOU DO:
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Arrange cauliflower, red onion, zucchini, chicken and carrots over the trays and spray lightly with oil. Brush with Harissa paste or sprinkle with Harissa spice and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Add kale and bake for a further 10 minutes until lightly crisp and the vegies are golden.
- Meanwhile, combine yoghurt, feta, garlic and tahini in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Plate up chicken and vege with a dollop of the yoghurt dressing.
Eat a varied and nourishing diet loaded with plant foods – and you will be well set this winter.