If you're tired of eating the same foods all the time and you want to incorporate new healthy things into your diet, we have just the thing for you. Keep reading to find out what five foods you can add to your basket on your next grocery trip. Plus, all these products are locally sourced from Cape Town and surrounding areas, so not only will you be livening up your meals, you'll also be supporting local businesses. Take a look!
Canned Black Beans
A single cup of black beans gives you 30% of the recommended daily intake of protein and roughly 60% of the recommended daily intake for fibre (a lot of it is cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre) as well as 60% of the recommended daily intake for folate, a B vitamin that plays a vital role in circulation and good heart health.
Black beans also have antioxidants and scientists suggest that this fibre-folate-antioxidant combination is why a serving of beans daily seems to decrease cholesterol levels as well as the risk of developing heart disease. What's more, black beans are low glycaemic index (GI) food sources, which means their carbohydrates are released slowly and gradually into the body. Low GI food sources can assist with controlling blood glucose levels and enhance performance due to their consistent release of energy.
How to incorporate black beans into your diet: For a hearty quick soup, combine a can of black beans with frozen mixed veggies, chicken or vegetable stock and your favourite seasonings. You can also make a dip with black beans by crushing the black beans, adding salsa and then dipping cut veggies. Alternatively, you can spread this mixture onto a wholewheat tortilla for a healthy alternative to wraps. Adding black beans to cooked pasta or rice is a great way to get additional fibre and protein.
Product Recommendation: Black Beans 400g by Mr. Organic for only R 30.00
Frozen Mixed Berries
The colourful compounds that make blackberries a deep purple, blueberries blue and raspberries a rich shade of red are anthocyanins, a fantastic group of antioxidants that have properties that help to fight off Alzheimer's and some cancers.
Anthocyanins can help with post-run recovery and muscle repair, making frozen mixed berries the perfect snack after leg day. This is quite impressive for a food source that contains roughly 60 calories per cup. What's more, frozen berries are exactly as nutritious as fresh ones. However, they last for much longer (roughly up to nine months in the freezer), making it simpler to always have them available to eat.
How to incorporate frozen mixed berries into your diet: Frozen berries are the perfect base for a smoothie and you don't even need to defrost them. That said, if you do choose to defrost them, you can eat them right away or add some vanilla yogurt and almonds. You can even take your hot or cold oats to the next level with a handful of thawed mixed berries.
Product Recommendation: Mixed Berries Frozen 1kg for R120.00.
Most restaurants in Cape Town now offer you the option of switching out your regular fries for sweet potato fries. However you can make healthier oven baked sweet potato fries at home. A single 100-calorie sweet potato can give you more than 250% of the recommended daily intake for Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the fantastic antioxidant.
Sweet potatoes are also a decent source of Vitamin C, iron, potassium and the trace minerals copper and manganese. Suppose you enjoy doing park runs in Sea Point or going for jogs around the Rondebosch Common. In that case, sweet potatoes are perfect for you as many runners often fail to meet their manganese and copper needs, which can affect their performance as these minerals are essential for healthy muscle functioning. There are even new sweet potato varieties that have purple skin and flesh that contain anthocyanidins, a similar antioxidant that's also found in berries.
How to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet: sweet potatoes are as versatile as regular potatoes. They can be boiled, baked or even microwaved if you're in a rush or have limited cooking skills. You can fill sweet potatoes with low-fat cheese, bean chilli and your favourite toppings or you can incorporate your sweet potatoes into soups and stews. Try not to store sweet potatoes in the fridge, as doing so causes them to lose their flavour. Rather keep them in a cool, dark pantry for no longer than fourteen days.
Product Recommendation: Sweet Potatoes for R42/kg
Just one egg satisfies around 10% of your daily protein needs. Egg protein is a complete protein, this means that the protein in eggs contains every one of the vital amino acids your muscles need to help them recover.
You only need to eat one of these wholesome powerhouses to get roughly 30% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, imperative for healthy and strong bones. What's more, eggs contain choline, a nutrient that's important for your brain as it helps with memory, and lutein, a vitamin that's vital for healthy eyes. Plus, studies have shown that people who eat eggs have a decreased risk of getting heart disease than people who don't eat eggs.
How to incorporate eggs into your diet: Poached, scrambled, boiled or fried (in a non-stick pan to avoid using additional fats). You can use eggs as the base for skillet suppers like frittatas or add them into your sandwiches or wraps as you would meats, for example. You can likewise add them to goulashes and soups by cracking a few in during the last cooking moment.
Product Recommendation: Free Range Eggs Tray (20) by Boplaas for R105.00.
This is the snack that you never have to feel guilty about, no matter how health-conscious you are. Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants called flavanols that can support and improve good heart health. In a research study, soccer players had lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and less artery-clogging LDL cholesterol after only fourteen days of eating dark chocolate every day. Other research studies have recommended that the chocolate flavanols soothe inflammation and prevent blood substances from becoming sticky, which decreases the danger of having blood clots.
That said, not all chocolate is good for you. The best kind of chocolate is dark chocolate (the darker, the better). By and large, it contains more flavanols than milk chocolate. Additionally, the way that the cocoa beans are processed can affect the strength of the flavanols.
How to incorporate dark chocolate into your diet: Besides simply eating it by the block, you can add dark chocolate to your trail mix, dunk it in peanut butter, or dip fruit into it for a considerably higher antioxidant punch. We do recommend keeping track of the calories, though. Buying chocolate wrapped in little pieces helps with portion control.
Product Recommendation: 85% Dark Chocolate 80g by De Villiers Chocolate for R42.00. Their dark chocolate bars come in additional flavours such as coconut, nib & salt and orange.