They say you are what you eat.
And if you include certain everyday foods in your diet, you can eat your way to looking and feeling your best.
From brain-boosting walnuts to tomatoes for a healthy heart, eating the right nutritious foods can be beneficial to the whole body.
Here, Sydney nutritionist Lyndi Cohen reveals the foods we should eat to improve the health of certain body parts – from your hair and eyes to your bones and skin.
‘People give way too much attention to acai bowls and goji berries, where everyday foods like tomatoes and legumes are the real superfoods,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Rather than cutting out foods from your diet, simply focus on crowding in more fruit and vegetables. Naturally, you’ll fill up on more healthy stuff and won’t have as much room for the less healthy foods.’
From the brain-boosting walnuts to the healthy heart tomatoes, eating the right foods can certainly be beneficial to the whole body
Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen reveals the foods we should eat to boost our health
For radiant skin, Lyndi suggested eating cauliflowers, oranges, carrots, capsicums and kiwi fruits.
‘Cauliflower are loaded with vitamin C, an important antioxidant for your skin health. Vitamin C boosts immunity, but it’s also essential to produce collagen,’ she said.
‘You can also interchange with one of the other vegetable or fruit mentioned.’
‘Tomatoes are an everyday superfood loaded with heart-healthy lycopene. Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their bright red colour,’ Lyndi said.
‘If you’re looking after your heart health, add in a serve of tomatoes. A tin of tomatoes to soup or baked tomatoes are an easy way to boost heart health.
‘While other red fruit and vegetable such as watermelon also contains lycopene, it’s estimated that two third of the lycopene in our diet comes from tomatoes.’
‘The yolk of eggs contains lutein, a substance that research shows can help prevent macular degeneration,’ she said.
‘Many people advise eating an egg white omelette, which means you miss on nutrients found inside the yolk.
‘For years we were told to avoid egg yolk because of cholesterol, but it’s better understood that eating an egg yolk every day doesn’t lead to high cholesterol.’
Tomatoes are an everyday superfood loaded with heart-healthy lycopene – while walnuts are great for your concentration and mood
Lyndi explained that ‘people give way too much attention to acai bowls and goji berries, where everyday foods like tomatoes and legumes are the real superfoods’
‘If you want to boost your immune system, including probiotics is a good idea. Your gut health and immunity are closely related,’ she said.
‘You don’t need to take an expensive supplement and Greek yoghurt is the best source of probiotics found in food.’
‘Walnuts resemble the brain and thanks to the high concentration of omega-3 fats, including DHA, walnuts may also be great for your concentration and mood.
‘Including foods like walnuts and fatty fish may also help prevent cognitive decline later in life.’
‘Most people don’t eat nearly enough fibre, essential for healthy digestion,’ she said.
‘Think of fibre like a broom for your gut, helping to sweep out the stuff you don’t want sitting around.
‘Including a serve of legumes into your diet will provide an excellent source of fibre.
‘Add a tin of chickpeas to your salad, kidney beans to your soup or enjoy beans on toast.’
For luscious hair, avocados and olive oil are recommended, salmon is associated with a healthy lung while nuts and seeds can help you fuel your muscles
‘Your muscles are made up of protein so getting enough protein from sources like nuts and seeds, dairy, tofu, legumes and meats can help you fuel your muscles and help with recovery after a workout.’
‘Dairy foods are one of the best sources of calcium, which your bones need to be strong and avoid osteoporosis,’ she said.
‘Most people don’t get enough calcium in their diet. You can have plant based sources of calcium but the easiest way to get the daily calcium requirements is with three serves of dairy like yoghurt, cheese and milk.’
‘As well as being good for your brain, the healthy fats found in oily fish are associated with a healthy lung. Enjoy oily fish like salmon twice a week.
Legumes are the easiest and cheapest way to boost your fibre intake and help support bowels
‘Legumes are the easiest and cheapest way to boost your fibre intake and help support healthy bowels,’ she explained.
‘The majority of people don’t get the recommended 25-30g of fibre per day. Add a tin of chickpeas or beans to your salad or casserole.’
‘A lot of the foods that are good for your skin are also good for your hair and nails (as they are all connective tissue),’ Lyndi said.
‘There are a lot of reasons to include healthy fats in your diet and strong, healthy hair is just one of them. People who don’t get enough essential fatty acids may find their hair breaks and fall out.
‘Healthy fats can help your scalp and keep your hair shiny and hydrated. I like to include salmon about twice a week, I’ll eat around an avocado over the week and eat seeds, nuts and extra virgin olive oil daily.
‘I also buy a dozen eggs once a fortnight. I always include the egg yolk which contains biotin, a B-group vitamin that may help your hair, skin and nails.’
For more details about Sydney dietitian and nutritionist and Lyndi Cohen, please visit her website or Keep It Real program.