Photo: Jodi Pudge
Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, blueberries also protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of heart disease. Getting the recommended 1⁄2 cup serving three to four times a week is a breeze if you toss them in smoothies, add them to muffins and sprinkle them on a bowl of cereal.
When it comes to nut butters, reading labels pays off. You can buy versions with hydrogenated fats, salt and sugar (but why would you?), or you can get jars of just plain nuts. Add a spoonful to a morning smoothie for extra protein.
A fun alternative to oranges when you’re looking to make your vitamin C quota, mangoes also deliver a healthy dose of glutamine acid, which is known to boost memory. Try sliced over cereal or salads.
Applesauce is the way to go if you want to add more fibre to your children’s diet, and it contains vitamins A and C. Just be sure to select a brand that doesn’t add any bells and whistles that increase sugar content. Tip: Make your home baking a little healthier and sub applesauce for a portion of the butter.
If your reference point for these teeny seeds is the novelty animals, then meet your new superfood. Touted as a great source of protein and omega-3 and 6, these black or white seeds are like super-canteens, holding 10 times their weight in water, which helps you stay hydrated. Try tossing two tablespoons into baking, or on your morning yogurt or oatmeal.
Ground flax can boast about its mineral and vitamin content but where it really shows off is in fibre and omega-3’s (healthy fats), which promote heart health and brain function. Sprinkle it over yogurt, or add it to muffin recipes.
Going meatless at least one day a week is one of the single best moves you can make for your family’s health, as eating less meat is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Chickpeas, black beans and lentils all make dinners filling without the fat.
The fibre in oatmeal has been shown to protect against heart disease, regulate blood sugar levels, and may even reduce the risk of asthma. All in a little bowl of porridge. Serve it up for your family’s breakfast a couple of days a week.
Typically considered a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that comes close to chicken in terms of protein. It also contains all the essential amino acids, which are vital for body function. Give hot quinoa cereal in the morning a shot in place of your usual cold cereal.
Off the charts when it comes to immunity boosting vitamin A, sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre.
These tart berries may be tiny, but contain a major dose of vitamins C, A and E. Goji’s antioxidants help build strong immune systems and fight infection. Use them in place of dried cranberries in a batch of granola bars.
Almost every function of the body requires water to work effectively. Your family can get water from milk, vegetables and fruits, but take it easy on the juice and fizzy drinks. The sugar in even the purest fruit juice should make it a “sometimes,” not an “always,” drink. Save that title for water.
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