Readily available all year round, okra is a pod-shaped green vegetable that’s high in vitamin C, folate and magnesium, and a good source of fibre. “It tastes a little bit like zucchini,” says naturopath, nutritionist and celebrity chef Janella Purcell. “It also thickens when you cook it, so it’s great to add to stews, soups and casseroles.”
How to eat okra:
- Make a gumbo-style vegetable casserole
- Stir-fry okra like you would broccoli or bok choy
- Cut it in half, stuff it with cooked grains and grill
2. Chia seeds
A natural source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are also rich in protein and soluble fibre. “The fibre content helps slow digestion and give a feeling of fullness, as well as helping to moderate blood sugar levels, which benefits people living with diabetes,” says Weight Watchers Nutrition Advisor Emma Stirling.
How to eat chia seeds:
- Mix chia seeds through your breakfast muesli or yoghurt
- Add to bread mixes or muffins
- Blend into a smoothie or fresh vegetable juice
Although it looks like a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a highly nutritious seed that, when cooked, has a similar consistency to rice or couscous. Quinoa is a good source of protein and has a low glycaemic index (GI), making it suitable for weight loss and people with diabetes. And it’s gluten free, which is great for people with coeliac disease. Cook it as you would rice: one cup of quinoa to two cups of water. Rinse the seeds under cold water before cooking to remove their naturally bitter coating.
How to eat quinoa: (Next page)