7 Simple Ways to Supercharge the Nutritional Value of Your Meals
Eating clean is something we all try to do on a daily basis, but did you know that you could give your meals an even healthier boost with some simple food additions that enhance not only their flavor, but their wholesome nutritional value? Here’s how you can supercharge what you already love to eat...
Become best friends with beneficial bacteria ~
Add fermented foods to your meals as a condiment to aid digestion, enhance your gut health, gently detox, and boost your immune system. Mix it up and try any or all of the following: sauerkraut, miso, tamari, coconut yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, pickled veggies, apple cider vinegar, beet kvass, natto and kefir. Many of these fermented foods are a great source of B-vitamins, giving you an energy kick, as well as Vitamin K2, a nutrient that has been shown to protect your heart, bones and brain, as well as prevent cancer.
Get high on herbs ~
Add fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro to any savory meal, veggie juice or a green smoothie. Parsley and cilantro are ultra detoxifying and effective at removing environmental contaminants such as heavy metals from your body. Their chlorophyll content, which gives them their gorgeous bright green color, cleanses and purifies your blood. This is a great example of how food really is medicine, and a little addition of the good stuff can go such a long way!
Make peace with garlic breath ~
Cook with lots of garlic, ginger and onions to boost the immune system and help to keep your gut microbiome balanced and healthy. These foods crowd out undesirable microbes, such as potentially pathogenic yeast, and allow desirable microbes, such as beneficial bacteria, to thrive. These foods are extremely easy to cook with as they work well with everything and add a ton of flavor to any dish. Put them on the top of your weekly shopping list and use regularly to reap the amazing health benefits.
Eat like a Mediterranean goddess ~
Dress things up with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for an antioxidant kick to help tame excess inflammation and give your skin a sexy goddess glow. Olive oil has been worshiped across the Mediterranean for centuries, and for good reason. Consuming olive oil on a daily basis is a powerful preventative health measure, warding off illness, chronic disease, and even cancer. By enjoying ample beneficial fats in your diet from nutrient dense whole foods, you assist hormonal balance, create satiety, assist in natural weight loss and reduce your risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
Eat spinach like Popeye ~
Fight fatigue and boost your thyroid health by enhancing your iron absorption in pairing iron rich foods with those rich in Vitamin C (they are a happily married couple). Iron rich foods include nuts, lentils, black beans, and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C rich foods include tomatoes, lemons, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, and hibiscus tea. These Vitamin C rich foods also boost your immune system (yippee!).
Terrific turmeric ~
Use antioxidant rich turmeric in your cooking to combat excess inflammation, improve brain health, clear up your skin, detox heavy metals, and help balance out the microbes in your intestines. Turmeric works well in soups and curries, salads made with lentils or chickpeas, as well as any and all veggie dishes. You can make golden milk, turmeric lattes and turmeric tea too!
Detox with cruciferous veggies — true super foods ~
Include cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, arugula and Brussels sprouts in your meals for their high sulfur content, which assists the liver in deep detoxification to cleanse and purify your entire system.
*Sarah is a Certified Health Coach and the proud creator of My Balance & Wellness. She is a passionate Aussie who moved to sunny California for love. Sarah coaches her clients to eat right for their unique body type, supporting them in slimming down naturally and healing from the root cause. She is also a writer and on-air host, creating articles and videos that promote healthy eating and lifestyle tips. Follow Sarah on Facebook and Instagram.