March is Nutrition Month so we thought we’d offer you some easy ways to add a healthy punch to your everyday meals.
Creating healthier meals usually constitutes limiting saturated fats, processed food, sugars and salt (which is a good thing to do), but we’d like to offer you the option to ‘add’ to your meals too.
There are numerous ways to create healthier meals – here’s our top 6:
#1 Dob a dab of Greek yoghurt
The potential health benefits of Greek yoghurt include improving gut health, boosting metabolism, building muscle mass, improving bone health, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, just to name a few!
Whilst all yoghurts are good sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc and vitamins B6 and B12, Greek yoghurt is thicker and creamier because the liquid whey is strained from it. It contains probiotic cultures, is lower in lactose and has twice the protein content of regular yoghurts.
Don’t limit yourself to thinking Greek yoghurt is just for breakfast. Consider adding a dab of Greek yoghurt to your next pizza, baked potato, any dishes that ask for cream like soups, pastas and stroganoff, and use as a spread on crackers or bread instead of butter.
#2 Oils ain’t always Good Oils
Over the past few decades, households across the world have unfortunately embraced highly processed, industrial seed and vegetable oils for use in cooking. Soybean, sunflower and sesame oils are just some of the oils which can be too processed and very high in Omega-6, a type of polyunsaturated fat that when there is too much in our bodies, can cause inflammation.
Always choose an oil that is non-GMO and preferably organic. Extra virgin olive oil is our pick, along with avocado and pumpkin seed oil. Naturally anti-inflammatory with blood vessel-expanding action, these oils are best used raw, drizzled over salads, roasted vegetables, avocado toast, or use as a dipping sauce accompanied with a warmed, crunchy sour-dough bread and dukkah… Mmmm!
There is a minefield of conflicting information out there about which oils are best for cooking. We use extra virgin olive oil in our kitchen as we figure it’s been used for centuries but by all means, do your own research and feel good about what you decide.
#3 Opt for Gluten-Free
Gluten intolerance, leaky gut and auto-immune diseases are becoming more and more prevalent, and it’s often grains like wheat, rye and barley which are causing the problem.
Even seemingly healthy people are turning to gluten-free grains which are gentler on the gut.
Gluten has absolutely no essential nutrients so your body won’t miss it if you limit or eliminate it from your meals and snacks. In fact, your body will THANK you!
Try substituting with these gluten-free, preferably organic, grains – sorghum, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth or brown rice. Known as ‘whole foods’, rich in phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, these grains are known for their goodness and role in reducing some forms of inflammation.
Trust us – once you start, you’ll wonder why you didn’t opt for gluten-free grains earlier.
#4 Say Hullo to Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are now a legal food source in Australia. This is good news for people who want to eat healthier. With a lovely mild, nutty flavour, hemp seeds, though small in size, pack a mighty health punch when added to cereals, smoothies, cooking, bliss balls, salads and soups. They can even be made into a nutritious nut butter or your own nut milk.
Don’t worry about getting ‘high’ from hemp. Whilst hemp comes from the same species as cannabis (marijuana), it only contains trace amounts of THC and cannot cause hallucinogenic effects.
Hemp seeds are high in protein, low in sugar, naturally free from gluten and contain 20 amino acids, a rich source of vitamins and minerals and have an excellent balance of good fats. All in all, hemp seeds are a wonderful choice to add some good nutrition to your everyday meals.
#5 Snack on Smoothies
It’s 3pm and you’re feeling a bit peckish. Instead of reaching for that packet of chips or a sweet biscuit, opt for a blended smoothie or juice. Load them up with fruits and vegetables, add some powdered ‘super-greens’ and you have yourself a nutritious, tasty snack which will pep you up and sustain you until dinner.
It might be hard for you to blend up a smoothie at work so we suggest making a batch of smoothies at the beginning of the week and individually freezing them. Each morning, grab a smoothie pack from the freezer and take it to work. Whether you keep it in the fridge at work or on your desk, your smoothie will be waiting for you, nicely thawed and ready to drink.
Our favourite make-ahead smoothie has almond milk, protein powder, chia seeds, frozen berries, spinach and a scoop of Moringa Supergreens Plus. For more Wonder Foods smoothie options, try our Summer Smoothie Pack.
#6 Supplement for Surety
Choosing more nutritious foods and eating healthier is always a good thing. However, environmental and life stressors, and even genetics, can impact on our plans to live a disease-free existence. Taking good, quality supplements can help. Your mind and mood can be improved too.
At Wonder Foods, we pride ourselves on being able to assist people in their individual needs. We offer an array of products you can add to smoothies, plus nutritional supplements for all over body wellness, inside and out.
Don’t take these tips on just because it’s Nutrition Month. Do these every day of every month. Imagine how great you could feel if you kept it up until next March, and the next!