8 Healthiest Foods of All Time (Pilipinas Edition)

May 17, 2022
Created by: Julianne Stefani Malong, RND, ACE-CPT, NLPP
What am I supposed to eat? This is the million dollar question when it comes to determining which foods will get us the outcome that we want. Whether it is to get a slimmer waist, more radiant skin, lasting energy, or just a general improvement in wellness, many resources are available to us. In fact, there are way too many resources, and way too many “seemingly healthy” options that make us more confused than ever. Finding clarity in this chaos is one of the reasons why you might consider booking with a nutritionist-dietitian.

 

   

Which factors contribute to diet anxiety and confusion?

Once you’ve committed yourself to a health goal, you might find yourself scouring different references for answers and strategies to help you reach them. But take note that sometimes, what we find out there can lead to more confusion. These include the following:
  • Influencers who tell you to follow exactly what they did so you could get the results they got. Note that you have entirely different genes and very different lifestyles so you need a plan that is tailor-fitted to you.
  • Products and services that promise quick weight loss. Weight is not a guarantee for good health; changes in behavior and building new habits is what makes weight management sustainably successful.
  • Food with sparkly health claims such as “organic” or “superfood”. Items like these are usually overhyped and overpriced as they are most likely imported. There would always be local counterparts to these foods that can provide the same level of nutrients if not more.
   

Which local foods are a nutritionist’s dream in terms of healthiness?

Before we get into this, keep in mind that there is no one food or food group that can make you healthy; Vice versa, there also is no one food or food group that can make you unhealthy. However, nutritious foods that are available locally would always be the best because you are winning in the aspects of health, affordability, and sustainability. A registered nutritionist-dietitian will help you create a food plan that is tailor fit to your life. But for now, here are 8 local foods that you can regularly include in your diet:

   

1. Pumpkin

   
Why it’s good for you:
Pumpkins provide a huge amount of Vitamin A that is needed for eye health, radiant skin, and strong immunity. It contains copper that allows our body to recycle iron when retiring and creating red blood cells. It is also high in Vitamin E which is a great antioxidant that cleans up the waste products of metabolism. 

   
How to eat it:
Pumpkins can be served sweet or savory, and can be boiled, stir-fried, baked, or grilled. Try making pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin wedges, or these pumpkin cookie protein balls. 

   

2. Peanuts

   
Why it’s good for you:
Like other legumes, peanuts provide a good amount of protein, carbs and good fats - the kind that helps neutralize the bad cholesterol in the body. They’re a high fiber low glycemic food which means that they are good for people with diabetes. They’re also a great source of minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

   
How to eat it:
Boiled unshelled peanuts, or shelled roasted peanuts are amazing on their own. Try making peanut butter overnight oats, peanut butter chicken, or peanut hummus.

   

3. Bananas

   
Why it’s good for you:
Bananas are nutrient dense carbohydrates whose carb profile changes as it ripens. And this doesn’t mean that they are unhealthier when ripe - ripe bananas are great for a post-workout snack! Bananas are known for containing high amounts of potassium that helps our kidneys and cardiovascular system by balancing the sodium levels in the body.

   
How to eat it:
Always best to eat is as is when it’s moderately ripe. Try turning it into healthy cookies, flourless pancakes, and use your overripe bananas for banana bread.  

   

4. Guavas

   
Why it’s good for you:
Guavas contain the highest amounts of Vitamin C compared to most fruit - twice the amount you get from oranges. They are high in fiber and are great for promoting digestive health. In addition, guavas are also a good source of Vitamin A, iron, calcium, and potassium.

   
How to eat it:
Wash, keep the skin-on, slice into wedges and serve with a little bit of salt. Try making guava juice, Thai guava-mango salad, or use it as a souring agent for sinigang.

   

5. Eggplant

   
Why it’s good for you:
Eggplants are a good source of fiber and potassium at just 25 calories per serving. It contains antioxidants such as vitamins A and C that provide cellular protection from premature degeneration. They also contain beneficial polyphenols that may help manage diabetes and cognitive decline.

   
How to eat it:
The key to preparing eggplant is to use little to no oil in cooking. Try making this grilled eggplant salad, baba ganoush, and the crowd pleaser eggplant parmigiana.

   

6. Spinach

   
Why it’s good for you:
Dark green leafy vegetables are an exemplary source of iron, especially for vegetarians. Aside from spinach, moringa or malunggay and local spinach counterparts such as talinum and kulitis share this benefit. All of these leafy vegetables are also a great source of vitamins A, C and K that contribute to optimal cellular health.

   
How to eat it:
Baby spinach would be amazing when eaten raw in salads or sandwiches, while more mature leaves would be great for cooking. Try making spinach & bleu cheese pizza, watermelon spinach super salad, or a strawberry green goddess smoothie. 

   

7. Sweet Potato

   
Why it’s good for you:
Sweet potatoes contain the B Complex vitamins that our body needs to process energy properly and efficiently. They contain vitamins A & C which are known to support the immune system. They also pack a good amount of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

   
How to eat it:
Sweet potatoes are versatile and can be steamed, boiled, roasted, grilled or baked. Try Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes, sweet potato coconut curry, and roasted sweet potato salad. 

   

8. Tomatoes

   
Why it’s good for you:
Being a brightly colored fruit, tomatoes contain pigmented phytochemicals such as lycopene and beta carotene that are greatly beneficial to the body. One benefit is the lowering of bad cholesterol levels and promoting heart health. In addition, they also provide protection against certain types of cancer.

   
How to eat it:
Tomatoes are refreshing when served raw and add umami to food when cooked. Try making this fresh tomato & basil pasta, creamy tomato soup, or pico de gallo (fresh salsa). 

   
Final Words
Everything boils down to observing a proper diet. This means eating a variety of food balanced with one another in terms of micronutrients and energy, and considering the amount and frequency of consumption. It is ideal to consume food that is fresh, minimally processed, and most of the time, prepared in the home. Try out the recipes we shared on this article and tag us on Instagram @nutricoach.pro A proper diet will look different for different people. If you need a nutrition professional to help you assess your lifestyle and provide individualized advice, check out Nutricoach to connect with experienced and trusted dietitians and nutritionists.


 
Julianne Stefani Malong, RND, ACE-CPT, NLPP
Julianne is a nutritionist-dietitian and a holistic lifestyle coach specializing in behavior coaching for weight management. She helps people turn complex fitness facts into simple life hacks for sustainable long-term change.
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