3 Easy Ways To Boost Nutrition
In the past several blogs, I have mentioned the connection between mental health and diet. I am not a nutritionist or a medical doctor, so the information I offer is based on my own needs, experience, and overall perspective. My nutritional approach is a whole foods viewpoint. There is plenty of research available to confirm that food, when consumed in its most natural state is the most optimal nutritional choice. I want to present a few ways to increase nutrient intake that are relatively easy. Before we do that, I want to highlight a few key areas to consider.
Most of us are aware of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids especially from salmon. Omega-3 may positively impact everything from joint health to symptoms of depression. B-vitamins may provide a calming effect on the nervous system as do calcium and magnesium. Tryptophan is one main substance found in turkey that may produce a more relaxed state. Part of the reason a whole foods diet is preferred is due to the complete nutrient profiles found in the foods. For example, if I have an apple or apple juice which one will provide the least amount of sugar and the most nutrition? Right. The apple would be the most nutritious choice. If I learn to make food choices according to this example my nutrition levels would most likely improve.
- Smoothies: Now for a couple of ways that I boost personal nutrition. The first thing I want to share is the flexibility of smoothies. For me, replacing one of my regular meals with a smoothie is a great option. You can do so much with a smoothie! So when I make mine, I use one cup of water, add a cup of frozen berries, a cup of greens (any mixture), and a serving of protein powder (your preference). This is my base. I want to suggest that any type of greens can be used according to your preference. Spinach, kale, watercress, and swiss chard are common. Depending on your individual needs, you may use whey, pea, rice, vegan, or other protein. Remember the omega-3 I mentioned earlier? I add mine to my smoothie which provides healthy fat, vitamin D, and vitamin A very easily. There are many options to include in your smoothie. Ground chia, flax, or hemp seeds can also boost your smoothie’s nutrition. I’ve heard from friends who include avocado, nut butters, coconut milk and/or oil as well.
- Almond butter and hummus: Almond butter is simple to make in a food processor and making it at home is more cost effective than ready-made. Hummus is also simple to make at home. If I have these two foods prepared, snacks are super quick and easy!
- Soup: Finally, the third food I rely on as much as smoothies is soup. Preparing a large pot of soup that is full of healthy vegetables can boost your nutrient intake and be especially comforting when cooler weather arrives. Depending on the ingredients, you can make soups and freeze in single-serve containers. This makes a healthy lunch convenient and satisfying. And, the options are endless!
If you suspect nutritional deficiencies or would like to rule them out, be sure to see your medical doctor and request the appropriate tests. Your physician will be able to help you navigate areas of concern and provide a referral to a licensed nutritionist.