Easy ways to add nutriational density to your diet.
Increasing the nutritional density of your diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. If you made the transition to a plant-based diet and have concerns about getting enough calcium, protein and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, these tips will give you new sources of essential nutrients.
It’s also beneficial to review your favorite foods and brands to ensure you’re getting the nutritional value that you expect from each item. Food is the best way to get your essential nutrients but unfortunately, labels can be misleading.
Five foods to eat regularly to increase nutritional density.
The foods are relatively easy to incorporate into your diet and relatively inexpensive.
Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids [polyunsaturated fat] and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods. They’re an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including copper, folic acid, phosphorus, vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin E.
Walnuts can be eaten alone or added to some of your favorite foods such as oatmeal, cereals, granola bars, salads or grains for additional texture and flavor. Walnut oil can be used in a variety of salads. Check the label to ensure it’s a high quality oil.
2/ Chia Seeds
The seeds can be eat whole but eating them dry is probably not the best thing to do. Chia seeds absorb liquid and expand rather quickly which reportedly, made it difficult for at least one person to swollow. Pudding is the most popular way to consume them because it’s easy to make and delicious. Plus it’s a good plant-based alternative for yogurt. Otherwise, you can create a jelly substance to use as a thickening ingredient or as an egg alternative.
3/ Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids and also high in fiber and protein.
The seeds should be ground to derive the most nutritional value. Once they’re ground, you can add them to many of the same things as chia seeds. If you like to bake, add some ground flax seeds to the batter to increase the nutritional density of your baked goods.
Matcha is similar to green tea in that it has a high concentration of antioxidants, including catechins, which may help prevent cell damage and lower your risk of chronic diseases.
It can be used to flavor your chia seed pudding, homemade ice cream or your morning smoothie. Matcha also makes a lovely latte or tea.
5/ Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is reportedly one of the best sources of antioxidants. Chocolate can be eaten alone but most of us prefer the nutritionally diluted form. The challenge is finding a brand that is both nutritionally dense [containing 70% chocolate or more] but not too tasty especially if you have a sweet tooth.
Cocoa nibs are a good solution because they have high nutritional value but are not all that satisfying when eaten alone. However, when you sprinkle them on your hot cereal or add them to a smoothie, they’re delicious. Hot cocoa is another good option if you skip the whip cream.
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