Top five foods to put in the trolley during your next shop

IF YOU could only buy five healthy foods when you do your groceries this week, what would they be? Cancer Council spokesperson Katie Clift puts her top five in the trolley.

Grocery shops these days can be a battleground.

Between the product packaging, sale stickers and marketing hype, it can be difficult knowing what to buy. The aisles can feel like trenches, trapping you between shelves stocked to the ceiling in an almighty brand warfare.

But do not fear. We've mapped out five foods that deserve a fist pump. All of them are guaranteed to deliver health gains and are worthy of a permanent place in your fridge or pantry.

Oats. This hearty cereal, when free of sugar and low in sodium, has many health benefits. Oats contain insoluble fibre which stays in the stomach for longer and makes you feel fuller longer. They also contain more soluble fibre than any other grain, reducing absorption of cholesterol and reducing your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad one). Even better, they are an affordable winter warmer, and can easily be dressed up later with fruit or other accompaniments from your own pantry.

fillet of salmon
fillet of salmon Blainey Woodham

Salmon. This pink-fleshed fish is famous for being high in omega-3. Omega-3s help to regulate your vital functions, such as blood pressure, heart health and brain activity. Proven to enhance general wellbeing, we recommend one or two serves a week of salmon or other varieties of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

TENDRIL: The tendrils of salon spinach in Fiona Morris' organic garden, Gleneden. Photo Shirley Way / Central & North Burnett Times
TENDRIL: The tendrils of salon spinach in Fiona Morris' organic garden, Gleneden. Photo Shirley Way / Central & North Burnett Times Shirley Way

Leafy greens. Popeye plugged spinach for a good reason. Veggies such as broccoli, spinach, kale and bok choy are a rich source of nutrients, with essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Compared to other fruit and veg, leafy greens are particularly high in vitamin K, which is essential for a healthy circulatory system. A standard serve is one cup of raw leafy greens, or half a cup when cooked.

BERRY GOOD: Blueberries grown locally are your best bet.
BERRY GOOD: Blueberries grown locally are your best bet. Jamie Brown

Berries. Fresh or frozen, these pint-size powerhouses pack some serious nutritional punch. Just a handful of mixed berries is an excellent source of all-important antioxidants and dietary fibre. Dietary fibre keeps your digestive system healthy, and maintains stable glucose and cholesterol levels. Make them one of your two recommended daily serves of fruit.

Tea. We love a good cuppa - there are few better ways to relax and recuperate. Tea is a natural antioxidant, resplendent with vitamins B2, B1 and B6 and rich in potassium, manganese, folic acid and calcium. Drinking regularly can improve your concentration and alertness, helping to maintain cognitive function as you age.

These five foods are a great starting point to stay healthy.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or call 13 11 20.

Katie Clift

Cancer Council Queensland


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