A Dietician Says These Are The Five Foods You Should Be Eating Every Single Day

We get the healthy eating lowdown from dietician Orla Walsh.

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The world of healthy eating can be a minefield sometimes, with conflicting advice coming from all different directions. Low-fat or full-fat? Count calories or ignore them altogether? Eat gluten or cut it out?

To try and simplify things a bit, we decided to ask a nutrition expert one very important question – what are the five foods we should aim to fit into our diet every single day?

Dietician Orla Walsh is working with Uncle Ben’s to create #HealthyPlate recipes using the Uncle Ben’s Rice & Grains range, so she was the perfect person to ask. Here’s her top five…

Nuts and seeds for fibre
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts… A good variety of nuts and seeds every day is a great way to give your diet a boost of fibre, healthy fats and plant protein. “They’re the ideal snack,” says Orla, who recommends one or two handfuls a day.

Her pro tip for measuring a handful? “You should be able to place the seeds in the palm of your hand, close your fist fully and shake them around.”

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Wholegrains for slow-release energy
Keep your energy and mood stable all day long with fibre-rich wholegrains. “Grains should look as similar as possible to how they appeared when they came out of the ground,” advises Orla. So that’s a no to a crusty baguette and a big YES to rice and quinoa.

Stuck for time? Orla’s go-to is the Uncle Ben’s Rice & Grains range, which can be heated in the microwave in two minutes.

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Dairy for calcium, iodine and post-exercise recovery
Dairy gets a bad rap in the clean eating world, but Orla recommends two to three servings a day (and the milk in your morning latte does count as a serving – win!). “Milk, cheese and yoghurt are a great source of iodine, which helps make the thyroid hormones that regulate our metabolism.”

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Beans, peas and lentils to fight cancer
It’s not just Orla – even the folks at the Irish Cancer Society recommend three to four servings of beans, peas or lentils a week to protect against cancer and lower cholesterol. “I love swapping butterbean mash in for potato mash,” says Orla. “Rinse and drain a tin of butterbeans, blitz them with some seasoning in the blender, and heat up.” Sounds yummy.

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Berries for a naturally sweet high-fibre treat
A handful of berries is a perfect “low sugar, high-fibre” snack, says Orla, who adds that berries have a brilliant calorie to fibre ratio. Win.

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For more nutrition tips, recipe videos and advice on how to make your own #HealthyPlate, be sure to like Uncle Ben’s Ireland on Facebook!

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