The healthiest foods in your supermarket

When you’re looking to boost your health, look no further than your local supermarket. If you bypass the sweet treats and other temptations scattered around the aisles, the supermarket can become a world full of superfoods, with nutritional benefits that can seriously improve your health, writes Ellie McInerney.

The best part about knowing how to hunt for the healthiest items is that you are armed with knowledge about which foods serve you best. For example, if you’re feeling a little down, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids – like dark chocolate and salmon – can give you a pick-me-up without the energy crash (you know, the one that always follows after one too many sherbets or gummi bears!)

Perhaps you’re feeling low in energy? Head straight for the bananas! Just like we learnt from our favourite Bananas in Pyjamas – B1 and B2 – bananas are an awesome way to increase your energy levels as the glucose, fructose, sucrose and fibre will boost your brain function, while the magnesium and B vitamins will boost your mood at the same time.

If that’s not enough reason to get the low-down on your local supermarket gems, read on to find out which are the healthiest foods you need to pop into your trolley today!

Spinach

Spinach might not be everybody’s best friend, but we don’t have to eat it in the same quantities as Pop Eye to reap the nutritional benefits. Spinach is rich in zinc, protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, calcium and iron. It’s also packed with manganese which is essential for building healthy bone structure.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a girl (and guy’s) best friend. Aside from its superfood qualities like vitamin E – which has been proven to reduce cholesterol and risk of cancer – coconut oil is a beauty secret that’s no longer a secret. Use it as a hair mask, makeup remover or moisturizer. Coconut oil will not only have you looking and feeling healthy, but it can also improve immunity and digestion too!

Parsnips

Parnsips are from the same family as carrots, which explains why they are similar in taste and have a sweeter texture like their orange siblings. Parsnips are super healthy, full of dietary fibre, folate and vitamin C. They are a great choice for a healthy snack or side with lunch or dinner. Parsnips are also high in potassium, which is known to give relief from heart and kidney disorders, while also reducing the effects of anxiety, depression and stress. They can also enhance the strength of muscles and the nervous system. Baked parsnip chips are a delicious alternative to regular potato chips.

Eggs

Everybody loves eggs – am I right? Scrambled, fried, boiled or baked, these protein-rich babies are super healthy. Eggs boast vitamins D, B, B6 and B12, minerals zinc, iron and copper. If you can, opt for free range eggs where possible, as this will ensure your eggs are coming from happy hens!

Oats

Last but not least are oats! If you’re intolerant to gluten, the good news is that you don’t have to miss out on enjoying oats anymore. Gluten free options of oats are now available in supermarkets, so you too can benefit from the antioxidants, fibre and low GI carbohydrates which are available from these tiny pieces of yumminess. Oats are also a versatile way to enjoy breakfast as you can dress them up in fresh fruit and coconut flakes, or enjoy them with just a sprinkle of brown sugar, a dash of maple syrup or some sliced strawberries for a sweeter breakfast.

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