With all the issues I’ve had connected to my hormones, as well as getting healthy after the period I spent over exercising and under eating, I’ve been focusing on eating lots of nourishing foods. I think that what makes a food nourishing depends on the person, so my list below could be different to yours. Of course some foods have more nutrients than others, and I think each of us may need more of certain nutrients in different ratios for our bodies to function at their best. I know that when I eat these foods on a regular basis I feel like my body responds extremely well. Part of it could be psychosomatic, as many of these foods are bigged up as nutritional power houses and superfoods, but either way I almost intuitively gravitate to these foods now when I feel I need more nourishment – like right after Christmas for example!
Here are the top 10 foods that make me feel nourished!
1. Green veggies
I think my green smoothie obsession is example enough of my fondness of green veg! Kale, spinach, spring greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts etc are packed with nutrients and fibre. I know when I eat these veggies in the right amount – i.e. not too much nor too little – my digestion and energy levels improve. I love em blended in smoothies, salads, roasted, steamed, stir fried and sometimes raw and juiced. They are like the Brad Pitt of healthy foods – absolute superstars!
I can’t believe that just a few years ago I’d never tried an avocado! Oh how I adore them now. They may be high in calories but they are full of healthy fat which helps to keep my skin soft from the inside and out (see my feed your face smoothie and face mask!) I also love popping some on a salad, on top of chilli, with eggs (nourishing combo right there) or as I’ve been having recently, inspired by Dita Von Teese, simply sprinkled with pink salt
Not just any eggs, at a minimum free range ones, although better are eggs from my local farm shop which are insanely good. Whole eggs, including the yolks are highly nutritious packages of deliciousness that are a great source of protein and fat. I’ve been aiming to eat at least one a day to support my hormones.
4. Coconut products
Coconut is just the bomb! I can’t believe all the ways you can get a piece of it’s goodness – coconut water, coconut milk, coconut butter, raw coconut shreds, coconut flour, coconut sugar and my absolute fave, coconut oil. I cook with coconut oil every day. Coconut fats are medium chain fatty acids that act in a different way to other fats in the body. Lauric acid, which is found in coconut products that include the fat, has been claimed to help lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut water doesn’t contain the fat but has electrolytes that help to keep you hydrated. I could write an essay on how much I love coconut products and the different ways they can be good for us!
5. Organic (grass fed) beef
This might be a bit controversial but I love beef. I had some chronic cravings for it while I was starting to move away from veganism and vegetarianism and my health has improved a lot since I started eating it. I do make the choice to purchase organic (Sainsbury’s often to 3 for £10 on organic beef mince and diced beef) or get it from my local farm shop and as far as I can gain from my research, beef raised in the UK is usually grass fed during the spring and summer months. I do think it’s the iron content that makes it so nourishing for my body so I make sure that I eat 1-2 servings of organic beef a week. I often use beef mince to make homemade burgers by mixing it up with a beaten egg.
6. Bone broth
A weird one perhaps, but this is something I have to thank the Paleo and traditional foods movement for. I think it is respectful to use every part of the animal, and when you simmer some bones in water you can create a super nutritious broth full of minerals and collagen proteins leached from the bones and connective tissues. Here’s how to make bone broth. If you don’t like the idea of sipping a mug of bone broth try using it as stock in a soup – with lots of greens in of course!
Salmon is my favourite fish, I really enjoy it’s meaty texture. Obviously it is full of good omega 3 fats which most of us are lacking in. A close second to salmon is mackerel. I like to have salmon that is simply baked in a foil parcel, or to keep costs down I’ll buy tinned salmon and mackerel (with the skin and bones included) and have that on top of a salad, often with olives. It’s a great way to get more oily fish into your diet while watching your grocery budget. Sometimes I am lucky enough to get some locally caught wild salmon from my friends fisherman partner and that is out of this world amazing.
I have a thing for figs. I don’t know if they are particularly higher in nutrients than any other fruit, but I find that I can crave them sometimes which makes me think they must have something in them my body needs. Maybe its the fibre, potassium or manganese of which figs are high in. Figs are also known to support male fertility so feed them to your man if you are trying to get pregnant!
9. Almond butter
As long as I don’t overdo it, almond butter is another food I find very nourishing. Almonds are high in vitamin E and other fat soluble vitamins. I just adore the texture of almond butter!
10. Raw chocolate
Finally, I couldn’t leave out chocolate! However this isn’t the usual refined sugar filled stuff – raw chocolate is naturally sweetened. The reason I find it so nourishing is because I feel like I’m treating myself but in a very positive healthy way that doesn’t end in a sugar crash. Raw cacao is full of antioxidants and healthy fats. Alongside raw cacao in its chocolate bar form I love raw cacao powder, cacao nibs and cacao butter
What are your top nourishing foods? Do you crave any particular foods?