How many different whole foods do you eat each week? Does your breakfast, lunch and dinner look the same most days? Toast for breakfast, coffee and cake, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner…..
Some of us are great at selecting different whole foods at the market and changing up the meals that we eat. However, many of us get caught up in life and just fall into the trap of eating the same convenience meals day in and day out.
Eating a diet full of variety is important for optimal health and well-being. Why? Well not one food contains all of the necessary nutrients to support your body. Therefore, it is important to have as much variety as you can everyday, each week and this even differs between each season.
By eating a wide variety of whole foods, you will naturally eat a more balanced diet. I am not referring to packet processed foods here either, this variety doesn’t count!
More variety will give your body a greater chance of getting the adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients it needs and their associated health benefits.
Some other benefits of having a varied whole foods diet include: a healthier microbiome, less inflammation in the body, less oxidative stress and better overall health. Sounds good doesn’t it!
I am not a big fan of superfoods as they too don’t give our bodies everything it needs, I am a big fan of a super diet instead.
So how can you and your family include more variety in your diet?
- Firstly you need to aim to eat 40+ plant foods each week (fruit, veg, wholegrains, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices).
- Put a chart on the wall and record all of the varieties that are consumed. Make it a challenge to try new varieties each week. Who knows, they may just become your families favourite?
- Try new recipes and write up a weekly meal plan to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of cooking the same meals again and again.
- Involve the whole family in the cooking and planning process.
- Go to your local farmers market and see what is on offer. Ask the stall holders how to cook a vegetable that you may not be familiar with.
- Try and eat all of the colours of the rainbow with each meal.
- Add herbs and spices to every meal, this is a great way to get your 40+ plant foods in no time.
So take action, get out of your cooking rut, buy a new cookbook, get inspired and be creative.
Getting into the kitchen and cooking your own food is the best thing you can do for your family’s health and it’s such a privilege too. Happy cooking!!