When we think about healthy eating, many of us think more about how we can eat to lower our calorific intake, and that can be important, especially if you are trying to watch your weight but if you want to be truly healthy you should also be thinking about how you can eat to maximise the nutritional benefits of your diet.
Below are some simple things you can do to get the most nutritional value from your food for a healthier, happier you:
Eat locally sourced food
If you eat locally sourced produce that has been recently harvested, then it is always going to be higher in vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients than store-bought produce that has travelled halfway around the world and sat on the supermarket shelf for days simply because it is fresher.
Eat minimally processed foods
Buy olive oil online that is cold-pressed or extra virgin instead of highly processed rapeseed oils, choose whole-grain bread and rice instead of white processed versions, and basically do whatever you can to buy the least processed version of everything you eat and you will typically be eating as a more nutritional meal as a result of doing so.
Cut your fruits and veggies
Did you know that by cutting up most fruits and vegetables you can make the nutrients more available to you by breaking down tough plant cell walls? You do now, so remember to chop your fresh produce into smaller pieces if you want to really feel the benefits.
Soak legumes and grains
If you are cooking rice, lentils. Chickpeas or any other grains and legumes for that matter, it is always a good idea to soak them for a few hours first. Doing so helps to get rid of phytic acid which can make it difficult for your body to absorb various nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
When you crush garlic, not only do you release the flavour, but you also release a nutrient called allicin which can help to protect the body from disease.
Store in a cool dark place
Storing fresh produce, namely fruits and vegetables, in a cool dark place will slow down their degradation, which can mean that the nutrients they contain are present in lower levels than when they are fresh, It will also mean that you water far less food as a result too.
Pair your food
Some vitamins and minerals are only able to be used by the body when they are paired with other nutrients., For example, eating mushrooms and eggs with olive oil or butter will help to make fat-soluble vitamin D available to your body, and eating iron-rich food like spinach with food like orange juice that are high in vitamin C will help your body to better absorb the iron.
It is, as you can see, actually pretty simple to get more nutritional value from the foods you eat, simply by making a few changes to the foods you buy and how you prepare them, and you will feel so much better for doing so!