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  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

7 Foods To Eat Every Week According To A Dietitian

These 7 humble health heroes are packed with goodness and deliver big health benefits that are backed by science. Make sure they are on your weekly grocery list. Some are pantry staples you can stock up on to ensure your weekly intake.



Whole Eggs


High in protein, providing 13 essential vitamins and minerals, alongside necessary omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, 2 whole eggs provide 80% of our Vitamin D requirements, 50% of your daily folate requirements, 25% of your daily riboflavin (Vitamin B2) requirements, 40% of your daily selenium requirements. Eggs increase HDL-cholesterol (also called good cholesterol) and are a great source of choline. Choline is important in brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy, cognitive development in infants and also helping to reduce cognitive decline in the elderly. Eggselent when boiled, scrambled, poached or fried in extra virgin olive oil and served with sourdough!




Low Fat Greek Yoghurt


Dairy gets a bit of a bad wrap these days. However, most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate yoghurt as it is fermented. The bacteria present digest (break down) a lot of the lactose. If you are still worried, you can choose a lactose free yoghurt. Lactose free yoghurt is yoghurt with the enzyme lactase that breaks down lactose. The probiotics (gut bacteria) in the yoghurt are key for good health. They will help you bounce back from illness, keep your immune system strong, boost nutrient absorption, even add a bit of courage to your day.


Yoghurt is high in protein, convenient (when you have a fridge) and so versatile. Keep it simple by serving it with a bit of fruit and oats, or use yoghurt to create dressings and top foods such as that avocado toast or homemade banana bread muffins. Great in smoothies and stews. Yoghurt has been found to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, aid with weight management and has heart protective properties.



Wholegrain Sourdough Bread

Although created using a probiotic, bacteria containing starter, sourdough does not contain probiotics. They have been cooked at the high baking temperatures! Despite this, sourdough bread has more benefits than regular bread. It is easier to digest, the body absorbs nutrients in sourdough bread more readily, it has 1000x less gluten and significantly less fructans than regular bread. This makes it a great choice for anyone who is sensitive to gluten. It is still not appropriate for people with ceoliac disease as it does contain gluten!


Wholegrains are higher in nutrients than refined grains. More fibre, more iron, more antioxidants, more carotenoids, phenols, and other valuable compounds compared to unfermented bread. This promotes bowel health, heart health, weight management, prevents yeast overgrowth. Bring back the lunchtime sandwich.




Beans


I appreciate the convenience of canned beans. Drain and rinse well as being in a can means build up of gasses that make us gassy! High in protein and low GI carbohydrates, beans make for a great side dish or addition to stews to save on cost of meat. Make your meals go further. Different types of beans have slightly different nutrients, Cannellini beans are high in iron for energy, chickpeas B6 important for healthy nervous system, red kidney beans deliver significant amounts of folate particularly important during pregnancy for the baby's development, black beans deliver anti-cancer properties.


Some research has shown eating beans twice per week may cut your risk of colon cancer in half! Add them to salads, rice or blend them into a spread such a hummus. One of my favorite ways to eat beans is to blend them with tuna and create a paste to put on sourdough toast with avocado. This will also make beans more tolerable if you are worried about bloating. Find my tuna & bean paste here.




Leafy Greens


Whatever leafy greens you choose, you're winning. The greater the variety, the better for your gut microbiome. Boosting your cognition, helping your liver detox, improve skin health, delivering anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-cancer properties. Iceberg Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Rocket (Arugula), Swiss Chard, Romaine Lettuce, Microgreens... You can't go wrong with adding some leafy greens to your wraps, sandwiches, making simple salads or boosting your smoothie.




Nuts


Heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, Antioxidants including vitamin E and selenium, Minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc, Vitamins including thiamine, folate, and niacin, Plant sterols and polyphenols. All the good stuff that helps with cognition and memory, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, better weight control, reduced risk of some cancers, reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, gut health benefits, reduced risk of depression, improvements in fertility. Just 2 brazil nuts deliver your daily selenium requirements important for thyroid health.


A portion of nuts is a closed handful, about 30 grams. Chop or crush them to add to salads or top your stew. Eat them as a snack with a piece of fruit or top your yoghurt. They are a convenient travel option. Portion control is important as you don't want to miss out on the goodness of other foods because you've eaten too many! Overeating nuts will cause a bit of a tummy ache as they take time to digest (been there, done that). Choose 100% nut spread, top your oats, or get some LSA meal (Linseed, Sunflower Almond) for the added benefits of the seeds too!




Extra Virgin Olive Oil


A pantry staple to keep in spray form for cooking and bottle for dressing. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, abbreviated EVOO is made by pressing olives. That's it. Extra Virgin olive oil is 100% natural – it is not refined or extracted using any chemicals or heat, leaving it high

in natural antioxidants and healthy fats. If the label does not contain the term 'Extra Virgin' then it has been processed in some other way and stripped of its health benefiting nutrients! EVOO has significantly more Vitamin E and polyphenols than processed olive oil and any other type of oil. The nutrients in EVOO contribute to weight management, reduce inflammation, slow down aging, protect from cardiovascular disease. Use in moderation as can add up given it is still a source of fat. Daily intakes of 30-40ml (2-3 Tablespoons) are recommended for health benefits.


Always use EVOO within 4-6 weeks of opening as oxidation occurs and decreases the health benefiting nutrient content. To check your oil is certified for meeting the Extra Virgin grade requirements, look for the Australian Olive Association symbol on pack.


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Did you find this blog helpful and informative? Tag & Share with your friends who would love it too! Sign up for my Free NuFit Wellness Newsletter to stay in the loop. Attend my Wellness Workshops. Promoting consciousness in food choices helping people heal. Dietitian & Wellness Coach, Health Presenter, Gut Health Specialist - Kathy Ozakovic.

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KEYWORDS: Mediterranean, Diet, Lifestyle, Traditional, Plants, Plant Dominant, Rainbow, Colour, Color, EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Eat, Eating, Health, Longevity, Healthy, Healthiest, Best, Dietary, Pattern, Wellness, Food, Weekly, Dietitian.

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