Photographs: courtesy Epermarket
Like anywhere, life in China comes with a particular set of challenges. Here, finding the foods you love from back home can be one of those challenges, especially when you are trying to quit greasy takeaways and get your eating back on track. Here are some types of foods that can kickstart your return to a healthier life.
Organic and naturally grown vegetables
There is a lot to be said about the benefits of organic farming, and produce that has been grown without use of pesticides, fertiliser hormones and genetically modified seeds has been proven to be more beneficial to your health. Some farms that have not undergone organic certification can be found under the label 'Naturally Grown' and offer quality products as well. Read up on the 'Dirty Dozen' and find out which veggies may contain high levels of pesticides. Making informed choices is the first step for being healthy. Explore Epermarket's offering of organic and naturally grown vegetables, like tomatoes.
Seeds and nuts
Sprinkled on your lunch salad or eaten as a snack, when you're feeling the mid-afternoon slump, seeds and nuts are extremely nutritious. Chia seeds, for example, are an excellent source of omega-3, fibre, antioxidants, iron and calcium, while pine nuts are high in monounsaturated fats (the same heart-healthy fats that make olive oil so beneficial). Add some healthy crunch to your meals.
For those who wish to cut dairy from their diet altogether or reduce their overall consumption, milk alternatives make a great replacement. Almond milk is a flavoursome source of heart-healthy fats and vitamins A and E. It is also lower in calories than cow's milk and is good for those watching their energy intake – just make sure that you are getting the sugar-free variety. Change things up with using other dairy-free milk options: oat, coconut and rice are some of the most popular choices.
Pulses and whole grains
Pulses and whole grains are highly nutritious. Research has shown that including them in your diet can lower blood cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and help with body weight management, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Green and red lentils, quinoa and black beans are all great additions to your meals, so ditch the white bread and pasta, and have some of these instead.
Healthy oils are easy to incorporate into your diet and offer a range of benefits. For example, avocado oil can improve heart health and skin quality and it neutralises free radicals. With high levels of antioxidants and a burn point that keeps from destroying nutrients, it's ideal for cooking and tastes excellent. Explore new recipes and salad dressings with flaxseed, hazelnut, walnut and coconut oils.