Celebrate Canada Health Day With Super Eats

In honour of Florence Nightingale, Canada has been celebrating her birthday on May 12 for more than 30 years. This year, why not join community health organizations and public health units in Gloria Tsang newcelebrating Canada Health Day by eating healthier at home!

What Are Superfoods?

How can we eat healthier at home? One very easy way to do this is to incorporate more superfoods in your diet. What does the term “superfood” really mean? In short, our bodies need the basic macronutrients: carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Nutrient-dense foods that provide beyond the basics:  vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre can be regarded as superfoods.

Colours = Antioxidants

Foods normally provide macronutrients, but superfoods like berries are low in calories and provide a high amount of antioxidants. Different colours provide us different antioxidants. For instance, red and orange-coloured fruits and vegetables provide Vitamin C and lycopene that can help to prevent heart disease. Purple foods, like concord grapes, eggplant, blueberries, and plums, provide a high amount of anthocyanins, a potent antioxidant that may prevent heart disease and even lower the risk for some cancers. This spring, start incorporating at least three colours every day!

Choose Low GI

We all need carbohydrates and protein to fuel our daily activities. Some superfoods like whole grains and lentils not only provide complex carbohydrates, but also a good dose of protein and fibre. With a nutrient combination like this, these foods are often low in glycemic index (GI).  Low GI foods helps maintain blood sugar and deliver sustainable energy to power our bodies. As Florence Nightingale was originally from England, why not celebrate it by making this Lentil Shepherd’s Pie. It is a delicious celebration dish and you also get the added nutritional punch from superfood lentils!

Glycemic index of red split lentils is 21. Other low-GI foods include beans and chickpeas, brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread, and pasta.

Load Up On Fibre and Potassium

A recent research paper published by Statistics Canada showed that the majority of Canadians do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day and about one quarter of us regularly eat from a fast food restaurant. This means that many Canadians do not eat enough fibre and potassium in their diet. Fibre not only helps to keep us regular and remove waste from our bodies, but it also helps to lower blood cholesterol. Potassium, on the other hand, has numerous health benefits but the most important one is that it helps to lower blood pressure. In Canada, 7.5 million people live with high blood pressure. Scientific studies have proven that high blood pressure can be reversed in many cases through a simple change in diet. Making sure our bodies get enough fibre and potassium can indeed lower blood pressure in our bodies. Most people think of bananas when asked about high potassium foods. In fact, bananas do not contain the highest amount of potassium. Indeed, a 100-gram serving of lentils provides twice the amount of potassium as found in a large banana! Other high-potassium foods include potatoes (with skin), white beans, sweet potatoes, beets, and avocado! To fancy and sweeten things up this Canada Health Day, get a double dose of fibre and potassium from these Lentil & Sweet Potato Tartlets.

Celebrate Canada Health Day with pride and enjoy eating healthy foods that will even make Florence Nightingale proud. What will you make this year?