Ladies, we get it. You love to eat, but you love working your favourite little black number too. The problem is, how do you get away with both?
This is a puzzle that plagues the minds of many women. If you do your homework, you can choose food that tastes amazing and satisfies your craving, but still keeps you looking and feeling great.
We know no one likes homework, plus you don’t have the time for it anyway, so we’ve done it for you.
Here are the top five must-have foods you need to include in your diet.
1. Brain-Boosting, Mood-Managing, Magical Walnuts
Nothing is more attractive on a strong, confident woman than a mind that is alert and on-the-ball. Walnuts are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to the maintenance of normal brain functioning – something we all need to stay alert at work and at home.
Plus, it helps us pass on the legacy to our babies. Studies show that women who have a good intake of omega-3 during pregnancy help their baby develop a healthier brain and higher intelligence.
According to Authority Nutrition, omega-3 can also help fight depression, reduce menstrual pain and improve sleep; something we could all do with.
Just a small 30g serving of walnuts gives you 2.6g of omega-3. Whatever your stage of life, walnuts are a must to keep you looking your best.
2. Hearty Dark Chocolate
Craving dessert? It can be difficult to find one that lets you relish the sugary joy, without the crashing guilt. Dark chocolate is the perfect sweet treat that supports your lifestyle without busting your kilojoule budget.
According to Harvard Health Publications, the flavonoid antioxidants in cocoa-rich dark chocolate have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and prevent blood clots.
Don’t go overboard. Stick to no more than two blocks a day. Try two tablespoons of dark chocolate flakes with fresh berries. Yum.
3. Heart-Healthy Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil has long been linked to heart health as it is full of monounsaturated fats essential for a healthy body and mind. Monounsaturated fats are considered good dietary fats, as opposed to unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats, making olive oil the natural, healthier choice.
Include more olive oil in your diet by substituting olive oil for other fats. Use it on bread as an alternative to butter or as a light and aromatic dressing.
4. Magnesium Rich Pumpkin Seeds
No must-have food list would be complete without this tasty option. A handful of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of Magnesium, making this a great food choice.
Magnesium supports several crucial physiological functions, such as bone and tooth development, bowel functioning, blood pressure and the synthesis of RNA and DNA.
Pumpkin seeds have a great warm, nutty flavour, making them ideal for breads and salads.
5. All-Round Great Almonds
Many women stay clear of almonds as they mistakenly believe nuts are too high in fat to fit into a healthy eating plan. Well, think again.
Almonds provide many health benefits that vastly outweigh any damage to your fat and kilojoule counts. According to Authority Nutrition, just a handful a day provides you with fantastic antioxidants that support your cells’ protection against oxidative stress, aging and cancer.
These powerful antioxidants are largely concentrated in the almond’s brown skin, making Montagu’s unblanched almonds a perfect choice.
Plus, if you’re dairy intolerant, or cutting down on cheese and milk, but you’re worried about where your calcium source will come from – almonds have about double the amount of calcium (264mg/100g) that milk does (125mg/100g) so your calcium is sorted, without the nasal congestion!
Head down to your nearest Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts store and stock up on almonds. While you’re there, grab a bag of our pumpkin seeds and walnuts too. With Montagu on your side, you’ll be looking and feeling great in no time at all.
Happy Women’s Month!