I'm on a roll of late trying to really simplify bloody good eating for those who have no clue - and I don't mean that in a derogatory sense... I have no clue about plumbing and so I ask for help. The thing with food is, we all have to eat so it pays to know a little about it.
If you're trying to vamp up what goes in your mouth but don't have a lot of cashola to splurge with right now, I'm gonna give you my top 10 bang-for-your-buck foods that will not break the bank whatsoever.
I can already hear moans and see eyes rolling. Hold up - this humble green veg is close to the best thing you can eat for your liver health. And when your liver is performing over 500 jobs inside of you; namely detoxifying alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, preservatives, additives, toxic skin care ingredients through your skin, the pollution you breathe in, and the chlorinated water you may be drinking... trust me when I say you've gotta be looking after it more. In comes broccoli. Cheap. Green. And packed with a substance called sulfurophane that is needed for detoxification to work, Get. Eating. This. Stuff. Don't love the taste? Steam it for a shorter length of time so it's still a little crunchy, then saute in coconut oil, garlic, sea salt and tumeric. Or throw into stir frys, casseroles, veggie juices... And be sure to cook it if you've got a sluggish thyroid.
2. Sweet Potato
This has gotta be my favourite veg and if you're not a fan of the regular spud (or even if you are) this one is a jazzed up version and so full of flavour. It's also loaded with caretenoids that make these babies the orange they are, and these substances are an integral part of the body’s immune system and help us fight against aging and other kinds of damage. Our bodies can’t produce these healthy antioxidants so we gotta get em from our food.
3. Green tea
As a short term fix to move away from so much coffee, green tea is perfect. However it's really the long term benefits that should have this inexpensive beauty in your pantry. From Alzheimers prevention, cancer prevention, brain boosting powers, anti-aging, lowering risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity (all of which are increasing exponentially thanks to our crappy diets and lifestyles in Oz), why not drink the stuff?
High in magnesium and calcium, these minerals are both alkalising and a great preventative against crampy muscles. Also high in protein to keep hunger pangs at bay. Throw in a trail mix, use to make almond milk, or - my fav - spoonfuls of almond butter.
5. Almond meal
Using this in place of refined white flour in pancake mixes, cake recipes, even bliss balls is more than ten times better nutritionally. It also makes recipes a little more filling so you're not as likely to eat all that cake (ps. best carrot cake recipe using almond meal right here)
High in vitamin C but also incredibly good for your liver, which seems to get the brunt of everything we eat, drink, wear, lather on our skin, spray on our neck, inhale, or immerse ourselves in. So a little extra liver love never goes astray. Squeeze half a lemon in warm water every morning to start your day (and digestion), add to salad dressings, jazz up a quinoa dish, or serve with an asian noodle dish. Local grocer's often sell a whole bag of lemons for a few bux which is always good value.
7. Tinned fish + Sardines
They're quick, easy, inexpensive, and loaded with goodies! Mainly essential fatty acids giving you smooth moisturised skin that glows, healthy functioning cognition (brain), and aiding absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Fish also has high levels of protein balancing blood sugar levels (so you're not sky high then down low), keeping hunger at bay, and repairing any muscle damage done whilst working out. Keep a couple at work, pop one in your handbag, eat as snacks or a lazy-dinner with salad. And the sardines from the fish shop... literally cheap as chips (I'm talking 8-10 for like $1.50) and with bones so soft you don't even know they're in there, you're getting loads more bang for your buck both nutritionally and financially.
8. Mixed greens
Another food that can be eaten just about any meal of the day, paired with just about anything, nutritionally amazing, yet pretty inexpensive. Grab a bag of spinach and rocket mix, or a variety of greens, and keep in the fridge. When I'm not feeling like massive food prep, a handful of greens, chopped tomato, and tin of tuna, I'm good to go. Another liver lover food.
Protein packed to go. Brilliant! Eggs are cheap as chips for what they are. You get 6-12 meals worth for about $5. Scrambled, fried, poached, boiled. For brekkie, lunch, dinner, or snacks. Containing the highest quality protein of all foods, eggs are in the gold standard for protein. All the essential amino acids are represented in an egg: lysine, threonine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, phenylanine, tryptophan, histidine and methionine, and their protein is highly digestible (meaning it can be retained and used by our tissues.)
Eggs are also rich in vitamins, minerals, Omega 3 fats and antioxidants, and contribute significantly to energy production, strength and power as well as muscle synthesis and recovery.
Yes, you read that right. Ditch the low-fat, heart-tick margarine and get some proper, natural, organic (and grass fed if possible) butter. The saturated fats found are necessary for brain function, they support the immune system and metabolism, as well as the structure and function of our cells. High in vitamins A, D, E and K as well as a substance called conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA in short) which is actually a substance sold in capsule form as fat loss - particularly mid-section fat loss. Bet you didn't know that one!
So enjoy the incredible flavour butter has to offer, the hormone production benefits, and the cheaper immune boosting option to coconut oil. Or better yet, make your own ghee.