Health foods consumption

With TikTok being a source for quick information, many of us are guilty of following nutrition trends that we see on our FYP. But hopping on a diet after watching a viral video isn’t the wisest decision without proper research.  

Rather than blindly following these supposed health food tips, we reached out to a certified nutritionist and sports dietitian Ang Sin Hwee, who has over 6 years of experience at Singapore Sport Institute, Sport Singapore, to debunk the science behind health foods and the right amount we should be consuming them. 

1. Granola 

Science behind health foods

You’re not alone if you indulge in granola thinking that its whole-grain ingredients like oats and nuts are a healthy combination. Sorry to break it to you, but it might not be the healthiest food option due to ingredients like sugar. 

While granola is indeed a source of fibre, healthy fats, and protein, overconsuming granola can lead to weight gain instead. As a pro tip, Sin Hwee recommends choosing granola with a variety of nuts and seeds which contain the highest fibre and protein content, and lowest in sugar. 

This way, you can benefit from not just the nutrition granola provides, but also lower your risk of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. 

Recommended intake: 45g of granola per meal

2. Avocado 

Science behind health foods

Avocado on toast sounds like a heavenly breakfast combination but consuming more than an avocado in a day might result in weight gain too ‒ which is why Sin Hwee suggests limiting your daily intake. 

“While avocado contains healthy fats that benefit our heart and gut health, we can’t deny the fact that all fats are calorie-dense so it is best to consume them in moderation,” Sin Hwee explains. 

Other ways of consuming avocado include making an avocado smoothie with your choice of milk for breakfast or post-workout. The protein from milk helps to repair and build your muscles, and improve satiety. Plus, you can throw in dates or bananas to sweeten your smoothie naturally.

Recommended intake: Half to one avocado a day

3. Kombucha

Science behind health foods

Water might be the key to life, but there are also many drinks such as kombucha that have health benefits.  

For the unacquainted, kombucha is a tea drink that goes through a natural fermentation process that gains probiotic properties. By consuming them, health benefits like improved digestion and a more balanced gut microbiome can be expected. That’s not all ‒ kombucha also contains Vitamin B, which is involved in various bodily processes like transporting oxygen.

However, Sin Hwee recommends starters to drink about 120ml per day since not everyone can tolerate large amounts of kombucha right away. As different kombucha brands use different ingredients, Sin Hwee also suggests going for those with low sugar content, containing only fermented tea, fruit juice, and fresh herbs. Examples include those from local kombucha brand Fizzicle. 

Recommended intake: 120ml of kombucha a day

4. Brown rice

Growing up, many of us are used to eating white rice and we only hear the benefits of brown rice later on in life. FYI, brown rice contains up to five times the fibre found in white rice, and its soluble fibre and oil have proven to reduce cholesterol levels. 

“Substitute white with brown rice as consuming the latter leads to an overall healthier and well-balanced diet,” Sin Hwee recommends. 

Apart from the aforementioned benefits, she also points out how brown rice contains selenium, which plays an important role in thyroid hormone production. Plus, brown rice is a source of magnesium, which helps with muscle contraction and bone development. 

The recommended intake of brown rice is also dependent on a person’s daily calorie needs. 

Recommended intake: Half cup of brown rice per meal

5. Almonds

Compared to other nuts in the family group, almonds are particularly high in Vitamin E, a nutrient with antioxidant properties that support heart health. Adding to its list of nutrients, almonds also contain calcium for the development of strong bones and teeth, iron for oxygen transport, and zinc for wound healing. 

For better ways of enjoying almonds, Sin Hwee encourages to pair them with a small piece of fruit or add them to a bowl of oatmeal or salad to increase your intake of protein and heart-healthy fats.

Recommended intake: 30g or 20 pieces of almonds a day

6. Soy milk

Science behind health foodsSource

ICYMI, there is an expanding range of non-dairy milk options like coconut and rice milk. But if you prefer to go old school and opt for soy milk, you can still reap the nutritional benefits like protein, calcium, vitamin D and B12 by drinking a cup of soymilk a day. 

Sin Hwee elaborates that “soy milk is great on its own as it contains all the nutrients essential for post-exercise recoveries like carbohydrates, protein, fluid, and electrolytes”. Other than drinking straight from the glass, Sin Hwee also recommends replacing milk in your daily cuppa or as a base for smoothies with unsweetened soymilk. 

Recommended intake: 250ml to 500ml of soy milk a day

Make changes to your diet by consuming the right amount of health foods like kombucha

As the saying goes “the first step is the hardest”. Rest assured by nailing down the right amount of health foods for consumption, you’ll be on your way to having a healthier diet. 

Like how Sin Hwee mentions that kombucha is beneficial to digestion, consider improving your gut health by introducing it to your diet. If you’re on the lookout for kombucha brands, choose to support local with homegrown brand Fizzicle.  

Science behind health foods

For the unacquainted, Fiziccle is an artisanal kombucha company in Singapore. To put it simply, they blend their own flavour creations such as Echinacea Hops Jun and Shiso Nutmeg from scratch. 

Science behind health foods

Made with ingredients like honey, echinacea and hops which are well-known antivirals, Echinacea Hops Jun is said to ease symptoms of common flu and even Covid-19. You can either drink it while showing symptoms or even before you develop any symptoms as prevention.  

Don’t be alarmed by its beer-like scent as hops is an ingredient used for bittering of beer and also a natural substance that aids your immune system.  

Crafted like a mocktail, Shiso Nutmeg is great for those who prefer something different from standard fruit-based kombuchas. It is made with ingredients like shiso and nutmeg that tickle your taste palette and perk you up with an extra energy boost. 

Science behind health foods

Instead of sipping on lattes or BBT the next time you catch up with your girlies, opt for a healthier alternative like Fizzicle, which comes in an aesthetic glass bottle. You get to recycle the bottles once you finish the drink too. Contributing to both the environment and your health? Yes, please. 

Note that opened kombucha needs to be consumed within 3 days after placing it in the fridge. 

Improve Your Health By Drinking Fizzicle Beverages

While many have the belief that undergoing a food diet equates to eating salads and drinking only water, bid farewell to those stereotypes with delicious health beverages like kombuchas. 

Interested folks who are curious to learn more about kombuchas and purchase Fizzicle can head over to Fizzicle’s official website. You can also follow Fizzicle’s Instagram and Facebook for updates on new flavours and promotions. 

Find Out More About Fizzicle Here!

Photography by Gan Guat. 
Cover: The Smart Local, Eatbook
This post is sponsored by Fizzicle.