21 Must-Have Health Foods for 2019

21 Must-Have Health Foods for 2019 | MahahomeIt can be difficult to know the best foods to eat for optimal health when there are so many to choose from.

Don't fret. We have composed this list to make that decision easier. Handy cooking tips, tastebud tantalising recipes and the best cooking tools on the market are to follow.

1. Coconut Oil

Or 'In With the Lucy Bee' as Joe Wicks would say. Coconut Oil is the first must have for your healthy cupboard in 2019. As a medium-chain fatty acid (MFCA) it is perfectly digested by the body, assists in the lowering of cholesterol and can even lower your risk of heart disease. On top of all of this, for those of you that wish to keep trim this year, Coconut Oil can speed up energy usage, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day.

You can even use it as a skin moisturizer! Due to its high Vitamin E % and its positive antioxidants, Coconut Oil can be used to keep the skin healthy and supple, as it will reduce the drying of the skin as well as helping to treat such skin conditions such as acne, eczema, scalp dermatitis and even people prone to staph infections.

Coconut Oil is most commonly used when cooking, because not as much is required to keep food from sticking, this aids in keeping the fat % of a dish low and the calories lower. Mahahome has the great non-stick pans from Joe Wicks that are perfect for just that purpose.

Find them here: Joe Wicks Frying Pan Collection

2. Oats

Known as a breakfast staple since 420 BC, oats are incredibly rich in the powerful soluble fibre known as Beta-Glucan which can keep you fuller for longer meaning you won't feel the need to eat more. Oats can also be used to help sooth the itches and irritation of eczema or to even just keep skin soft and healthy. Why not try out this simple bathtub soak?:

  1. Grind Oats into a fine powder
  2. Add the cup of fine oats to a warm bath
  3. Sit in the tub for 15- 30 minutes
  4. Rinse with warm water, pat dry and moisturise

Oats are also incredibly diverse and can be added to nearly anything that it can be easily blended in to, such as, smoothies and pasta sauces. Even flapjacks are full of the stuff, sugar included, so of course, it is to be eaten sparingly.

3. Black Beans

Black Beans are not only delicious in your lunchtime burrito, they are a great source of fibre as well as being a great source of prebiotics which keeps your gut healthy and balanced. You can store them dry, where you need to soak them for 4-6 hours and then boil them for around an hour or you can buy them in tins for a couple of pence meaning they are much faster to cook as all you need to do it decant them into a microwavable container and heat them for around 2 minutes. Joe Wicks joined Jamie Oliver in creating a brilliant breakfast of Avocado, Eggs and Black Beans. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5txQMLb4gPE

4. Cashew Cream

Veganism has taken the world by storm in the last couple of years and out of that there has been an increase in the consumption of cashew cream. It provides the delicious creaminess of dairy but excludes the saturated fats that it usually brings. Cashew Cream can be added to your coffee, soups and desserts to give them an added kick of protein, iron and healthy-heart monounsaturated fats. Cashew cream can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days after opening.

5. Edamame

If you have ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you will have probably seen the option of sea-salted Edamame beans on the menu but did you know what they were? They are a lean plant-based source of protein. Just half a cup of Edamame beans will provide you with about 4g of fibre and 9g of protein, they are super delicious with some soy sauce or even sweet chilli sauce. You could also add them to any salad or stir-fry. They can be bought pre-frozen or from fresh where you could boil them for around 2 minutes (avoid overcooking them or they will go mushy. You just want to warm them through).

6. Avocado

It is no surprise that avocado is on this list. It was one of the best selling fruits (yes, fruit) in 2017 and lead the way for avocado-themed cafes, phone cases, desserts and even memes! The avocados creamy and delicious core is perfect on many savoury dishes and is a great source for healthy fats that can be added into any diet, they also help you feel fuller and can keep naughty cravings at bay by keeping your blood sugars stable. Unfortunately, avocados can be a hit or miss as they can go from unripe to ripe in the space of a day. However, they are worth it when you find that one perfect avocado to go with your poached egg on toast. Why not try making 'Eggs Baked in Avocado' from Joe Wicks (aka. The Body Coach).

7. Garlic

Sprinkle it, chop it, crush or grate it. However you add it to your dish, you can ensure that garlic is going to take the flavour of your dish to the next level. Garlic doesn't just add that powerful yet distinct flavour, it also provides you with extra vitamins such as B, C and Zinc which all contribute to the health of your immune system. A plus of garlic is that it can be kept in a cool dry place for up to a month.

8. Lentils

Green, orange, red, brown or black lentils are one of those food types that most people have in their cupboard, it is the dry food king and you most likely have a small packet in your dry food cupboard. Did you know that lentils are packed with minerals, manganese, iron, vitamin B6, protein and fibre. It is even thought that they could aid in the reduction of several heart diseases. They are also super easy to cook and add to different dishes. Simply add dry lentils to boiling water and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season and add to salads or soups for that extra protein punch.

9. Summer Berries

The selection of summer fruits available in the fresh or frozen section of your supermarket are more than just tastebud tantalising bursts of flavour, they are absolutely jam-packed with antioxidants and are not getting the shout out that they deserve. In only 1 cup of summer fruits, you consume around 50% of your Vitamin C recommended daily intake and around 47% of your RDI of Maganese. So, why not keep a frozen pouch of the magical fruits at hand add them to your morning Oatmeal or to a smoothie with a splash of Cashew Cream.

10. Tumeric

For those that grew up in an Indian family, the health properties of Tumeric will not be a mystery as it is one of the key ingredients of Golden Milk which has been used to treat colds and other common ailments for many generations. This is because of the Curcumin found in the spice that is the main active ingredient. The high natural anti-inflammatory compounds found in the spice allows the body to fight off foreign invaders that cause inflammation. 

Here is a super simple recipe for Golden Milk:

  • 1 cup whole milk (unsweetened coconut or almond milk for vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of honey (maple syrup or agave syrup for vegan)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a pan and allow to slowly simmer until warm
  2. Whisk to ensure it is smooth and even
  3. Do Not Boil
  4. Decant into a mug and enjoy
  5. Store for five days in the fridge in an airtight container

11. Mushrooms

Some people hate them, some people love them but whether you like it or not, Mushrooms are powerful and almighty when it comes to superfood. Full of important nutrients such as Vitamin B & D, potassium, copper, selenium. They are great sources of fibre and protein making them ideal for a vegan diet or an all-around healthy balanced diet. So, why not pop a punnet into the trolley next time you shop and add them to your soups, salad or pies. Joe Wicks easily incorporates the superfood into his 'Beef and Mushroom Pie'

12. Walnuts

Full of Omega-3 fatty acids and ideal for carrying as a light snack whilst on-the-go, Walnuts are full of the good kind of fat that assists in the lowering of the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL) and help to boost the good for you kind (HDL). Walnuts may also be able to help support weight loss as they are able to help control your appetite, on top of this they can help keep your gut nice and healthy as they can support the health of your microbiota by increasing the bacteria. Walnuts also produce butyrate which is a fat that nourishes your gut.

13. Steamed Vegetables

Having vegetables of any sort incorporated into your diet is never a bad thing, but did you know that boiling your veggies can remove and reduce the amount of vitamins that are contained inside. This due to the fact that the most common vitamins found in vegetables are water-soluble (vitamin C & B) meaning they degrade as soon as they meet the boiling water. With steaming, you are able to preserve the vibrant colours, vitamins and taste of your veggies. Seems like steaming is the best option right? It is also super easy and there are loads of brilliant steamers available on the market that make the process easier, such as the Saute and Steamer Pan from Joe Wicks.

14. Kombucha

If you are on any type of Social Media it is likely that you have seen videos about Kombucha and how it is made but did you know just how amazing it is for you? Kombucha is a fermented tea that was first developed in China over 2,000 years ago, like most fermented foods and drinks it is brilliant for your digestion and overall gut health. This is because it is rich in organic acids, enzymes and probiotics (good gut bacteria) that can help with problems such as IBS, constipation and diarrhoea. You are able to purchase this magical beverage in most health food stores and major supermarkets. So, add Kombucha to the shopping list and it will keep in the fridge (unopened) for around 3 months to kick-start the getting your gut healthy.

15. Almonds

Almonds are incredibly diverse and have been used in cakes, desserts, drinks and even bread for many years. Almonds are an incredibly popular snack food and for good reason, not only are they totally yummy, a 30g (23 nuts) serving of the delicious little nuts provide 6g of protein, 14g of good fat and only 160 calories. They are great for helping manage weight as they can help you to feel fuller for longer due to their high protein content, they can also help keep blood sugars under control as they are rich in magnesium.

16. Fermented Food & Drink

As mentioned multiple times already, gut health is super important and is one of the key aspects of health that people are going to be looking at in 2019. Fermented foods such as Sauerkraut, Miso, Kimchi, Kombucha and even Yoghurt have been proven to be super rich in all the kinds of bacteria that you really want to be living in your gut. Adding fermented foods to your diet can help you to add extra vitamins such as A, B, B1, B2, C, E and K which are seriously important parts of your diet that keep your body functioning properly as well keeping your mental health in check. Your gut is considered your second brain so keeping it rich in probiotics may lead to a healthier mind. Most large supermarkets will supply an array of fermented foods which you can consume first thing in the morning as your gut will be empty and you are able to absorb the probiotics more efficiently, they can also be added to salads, placed on bread or added to your morning berries (yoghurt). Try out fermentation for yourself with the Kilner Fermentation Set.

17. Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach, Lettuces, Chard, Broccoli, Kale and Cabbage are all examples of the types of dark leafy greens that you should and must be adding to your weekly shop if you want to get your health in check. Delicious raw, steamed, baked, fried or even sauteed with butter and garlic; greens are the key to a nice and evenly balanced diet. They are super dense in vitamins that are going to give you energy, a healthier gut and will also tap into the part of the brain that makes you feel good about yourself as you just know that you are doing good to your body. Try adding a handful of greens with your next meal, chuck them in a salad or blend them up in your soups. Your body will thank you for the nutrients.

18. Grapefruit

Stop! Don't turn your nose up just yet. Yes, we know that grapefruit tastes horribly bitter and sour but were you aware that it is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre making it one of the healthiest fruits that you could add to your daily 5-a-day. Low in calories yet full of vitamins such as Vitamin C & A, as well as, Potassium, Thiamine, Folate and Magnesium, it may also aid weight loss and these properties also help the body to feel fuller. So, hold your nose and go ahead and consume half a grapefruit in the morning (avoid adding sugar to get the most of the fruit) to help yourself lose that extra bit of weight. Some other ways you could consume your daily grapefruit could be added into a seafood salad as citrus and fish go hand-in-hand, or you could add it to a smoothie or even turn it into a delicious sorbet (sweetened with honey) and enjoy on a summers morning. 

19. Wild Salmon

I am pretty sure that ever knows that salmon is full of Omega-3 fatty acids which is one of the essential fats that your body truly needs, your body does not naturally create this fat meaning you will need to get in from your diet and salmon is one of the best sources for this. So, why should you buy wild instead of farming? Well, farmed salmon is nearly double the size of wild as farmed it is fed high fat, high protein fish food to make them bigger (meaning there is more of it to sell). Knowing this, I suggest that you buy wild if you can as it is better that you consume your Omega-3 without all the extra calories and fat, however, it is still very good to eat salmon at least 1-2 times a week for optimal health regardless of whether it is farmed or not, besides, it is super delicious. Why not enjoy it pan fried in coconut oil with some brown rice, sweet chilli sauce,steamed broccoli and avocado?

20. Dark Chocolate

Mmmmm Chocolate ... Who doesn't love chocolate? Mixed with milk, added to cakes or eaten by itself, chocolate has been around for centuries as one of the guilty pleasure of life, but you may not need to feel so guilty after all. Recent studies show that high-quality dark chocolate (higher the cocoa % the better) is rather nutritious as it is packed with minerals and soluble fibre. Chocolate may help improve your brain function as it contains certain stimulant substances such as theobromine (a bitter alkaloid found in the cacao plant) and caffeine. Of course, this doesn't mean you can stuff your face with the stuff but savouring one or two pieces of high quality 70% or higher dark chocolate after dinner will provide you with significant health benefits. Keeping a bar or two of chocolate in the house or office drawer might just more beneficial than you thought.

21. Sweet Potato

If you have tried sweet potatoes mashed, wedged or even cut and made into chips, you will know just how tasty they are, but this is just one of the perks of sweet potatoes. Did you know that they contain an array of vitamins such as, vitamin B & C as well as being stuffed with antioxidants, iron, calcium and selenium (protects the body from infection and aids in the function of the thyroid gland function). It is also thought that sweet potatoes may be able to help manage stress levels are they contain a significant amount of magnesium which helps the body to function normally and also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. A deficiency in magnesium and depression are highly linked so basically, a sweet potato a day keeps depression away.

Why not try out these 'Loaded Sweet Potato Skins' from Joe Wicks where the oven makes the skins using a Large Tray Bake to get them nice and crisp.

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