These staples are available all year round!

  1. Strawberries
  • Of all fruits, strawberries contain the highest levels of folate and they get a second nutritional medal for the tiny amount of sugar they contain – in fact, they’re actually the lowest sugar fruit.
  • They’re also one of the richest sources of vitamin C, full of bowel-protective fibre and, according to emerging research, are beneficial for both our heads and our hearts.
  • And, as if you need any more reasons to snack on a punnet, they’re extremely low in kilojoules.
  1. Broccoli
  • Broccoli has to be one of the most nutritious foods in the supermarket. It’s bursting with vitamins C, E and K, iron, zinc, selenium and sulforaphane, an antioxidant that stimulates the body’s natural defences against cell damage for up to 3 days after being eaten, according to new research.
  • Broccoli also has significant anti-cancer benefits, and has been shown to protect the health of our lungs and heart.
  1. Kiwifruit
  • Just one kiwifruit a day can be an effective way to protect against a type of potentially cancer-causing DNA damage.
  • Eat two kiwifruits (which is one full serving of fruit) and you’ll get even more benefits: three times your vitamin C quota for the day, around 5g fibre (20per cent of your daily intake) and beneficial amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants that decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in Australia.
  1. Spinach
  • Spinach is a super-charged vegie, loaded with lutein, a fat-soluble antioxidant shown to help protect our eyes.
  • Apart from being an easy to use in cooking with other ingredients spinach is also a great source of non-haem iron. Just remember that non-haem iron foods (such as spinach) should be eaten with a source of vitamin C (like tomatoes) to boost iron absorption.
  1. Apples
  • With 10 times the antioxidant power of goji berry juice (not to mention being 10 times cheaper), this is one fruit you should always put on your shopping list.
  • Apples have serious disease-fighting power, playing a protective role against certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
  • With 10 times the antioxidant power of goji berry juice this is one fruit you should always put on your shopping list.
  • The vitamins in apples may also keep those winter colds and ‘flus at bay.
  1. Carrots
  • When it comes to superfoods, the humble carrot is often not seen as value. But of all the vegies, carrots have the highest levels of the essential nutrient beta-carotene; an antioxidant associated with stable blood sugar, lower risk of heart disease, healthy vision, a stronger immune system and better skin health.
  • Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in our bodies), with just one carrot providing double your daily vitamin A requirements.
  • Best of all, anyone can eat carrots (especially kids) because they’re wonderfully versatile. Try them as a snack with hummus, grated in a salad or hidden in the bolognaise.
  1. Avocados
  • Avocados used to be labelled as a fatty fruit, but studies show that swapping 30g fat (from margarine or oil) for a large (200g) avocado per day does not compromise weight loss plans.
  • They aren’t just for weight maintenance and loss – they also inject nearly 20 essential vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients into your diet, including oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in the blood.
  1. Mushrooms
  • Did you know that mushrooms are one of the highest antioxidant containing foods in the world? They also provide more protein than most vegetables, are a rich source of various B vitamins and contain vitamins B12 and D, two nutrients not usually found in vegies.
  • Technically mushrooms are a fungus – so they’re neither fruit nor vegetable – but they still count towards the goal of ‘2 fruit + 5 veg a day’.
  1. Bananas
  • Bananas are creamy and delicious but surprisingly they are actually around 88 per cent water, contain about 400kJ per fruit and are practically fat free (0.1g fat per 100g).
  • They also offer an abundant supply of healthy nutrients, including potassium; an essential mineral which slows the effect of sodium on blood pressure; vitamin B6, which is vital for a healthy nervous system; and fibre, to keep you regular.
  • Bananas are also a great source of low-GI, ‘slow release’, carbs making them the perfect on-the-go snack.
  1. Red Capsicum
  • Loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene, about half a capsicum provides a whopping three times the recommended daily intake for vitamin C.
  • They’re also slightly sweeter tasting than most vegies, making them a firm favourite with the kiddos.
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