Superboosting Your Meals
Superboosting your meals by adding extra goodies is a way to ensure that you are optimising the nutritional value of what you are eating. It is quick, easy and your body will thank you for it.
Here are a few foods and examples of how to add them to your meals:
CHIA SEEDS – these little seeds are a bundle of goodness! Chia seeds are a great source of fibre and aid to get things moving in the digestive department. Apart from their fibre content, they are a good source of omega 3’s and plant-based protein. Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to your morning muesli, porridge or smoothie. As with any fibre, if you add chia seeds daily, make sure that you drink enough water throughout the day.
FLAXSEED MEAL – a whole separate blog could be written about the humble flaxseed! They are truly the ultimate “superfood”. Similar to chia seeds, flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) are a great source of fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds contain high amounts of lignans. Lignans have the ability to block the effects of oestrogen and hence assist in the prevention of hormone-associated cancers such as breast cancer, endometrial and ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. They also have the potential to lower cholesterol levels, a risk-factor for heart disease.
Flaxseeds in their whole form do not break down in the gut, they have to be ground up for the body to utilise their benefits. The natural oils in flaxseeds are also quite unstable and can easily become rancid, so choose to buy flax meal that is well sealed and has been stored in the fridge. An even better option is to invest in a coffee grinder (cheap ones are around $15) and freshly grind your flax as you go along. Grinding 1 tablespoon of flax takes about 10 seconds, is better for you and also a lot cheaper than buying pre-ground flax. Add your flax meal to your porridge, muesli, smoothies, sprinkle on top of soups or salads.
BERRIES – a serve of berries a day will keep the doctor away! Berries are a powerhouse of nutrients. They contain fibre, a range of antioxidants such as ellagic acid (cancer preventative) and vitamin C (when eaten raw). One serving of berries amounts to half a cup, which can be added to your morning muesli, porridge or smoothie. Try them as a healthy mid-morning or arvo snack or even add to a savoury salad for some extra flavour.
FRESH HERBS – parsley, coriander, basil, mint, dill….these guys can add so much flavour to a meal and really turn it around from a bland plate of food! Flavour isn’t the only benefit of these culinary herbs. Fresh culinary herbs are high in polyphenols, an antioxidant compound as well as being a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. It is so easy to add fresh herbs to a meal and can be literally added to anything! Try chopping up some herbs and adding them to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, soups, casseroles, curries, roast vegetables, scrambled eggs, homemade dips, salad dressing…the list is endless!
Making sure your meals are nutritionally dense doesn’t have to be a hard task. By just implementing the above foods on a daily basis, you can make a big difference to your health. Try looking down at your next meal and ask yourself, “how can I superboost this meal?”