The Best Nutrient-Rich Foods and Drinks to Boost Your Health
How much do you know about nutrition? Although it can be overwhelming trying to read up on the latest scientific findings regarding the healthiest foods and drinks, the truth is that there are plenty of healthy options out there which are tasty and easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. From nutrient-rich foods to drinks, these nutrient-rich foods and drinks will help you boost your intake of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron and fibre which are all important for physical health – in addition to offering big antioxidant boosts!
Every winter, grocery stores begin touting red cabbage as a must-have side for your holiday dinner. This purple vegetable provides a powerful punch of nutrition—including high levels of antioxidants—and can help boost your intake of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron and fibre which are all important for physical health. Red cabbage is also versatile in that it’s delicious when eaten raw in salads or juiced, but also when it’s roasted or boiled with other veggies. There are many ways to use red cabbage throughout any meal! Here are some healthy recipes that include red cabbage
Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are a great option if you’re looking for a boost of protein that doesn’t come with a lot of other heavy carbs. The simple addition of hemp hearts to your salads can add big benefits to your diet—not only are they loaded with fibre, but they also contain calcium, magnesium and iron. Enjoy! (I like these.)
There are a few ways to cook them: in recipes, as spreads (like tahini), or blended into smoothies. They have an earthy flavour similar to sunflower seeds, so enjoy them on their own (raw) as well as added to meals and baked goods. You can even make hemp milk by blending hemp hearts with water! (This is my favourite recipe.) You can get started here: 10 Delicious Ways To Eat Hemp Hearts (Plus A Recipe For Making Your Hemp Milk)
Seaweed, especially sea vegetables like dulse, is a great source of iron, calcium, magnesium and iodine—it’s also low in calories. Adding a handful of seaweed or kelp to your dinner is an easy way to pump up your nutritional intake. Do be careful with those choices: too much seaweed can be high in sodium and lead to mineral imbalances if you’re not careful.
Nuts & seeds
In terms of minerals, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of magnesium. Magnesium is essential for building a strong skeleton, maintaining energy levels and preventing heart disease. Brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are particularly good sources of magnesium. It’s also essential for muscle function.
Red meat and eggs
Red meat is rich in zinc, a trace mineral that helps maintain your immune system. Eggs are high in choline, which is important for brain health. Both of these nutrients help keep you healthy by protecting against chronic diseases like heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Zinc also plays an important role in sperm production and can help prevent male infertility issues. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s especially helpful because it improves sperm motility (how well they swim). That said, too much red meat can cause inflammation—and while that may be good if you’re trying to fight off an infection or injury, it isn’t so great if you have chronic inflammation as a result of poor diet or lifestyle choices.
Sardines & other oily fish
The omega-3 fats found in fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies are particularly beneficial for heart health. They help lower triglycerides (blood fats) by decreasing inflammation in blood vessels, reducing blood clotting and lowering blood pressure. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory properties that can boost immunity and reduce pain.
Commonly known as the probiotic tea, kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened black or green tea with bacteria (usually a mix of bacteria and yeast). Some say it helps improve gut health by adding good bacteria that prevent bad bacteria from doing too much damage to your intestines. It also contains loads of antioxidants. Studies have shown it may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome-like abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea — which are common causes of constipation.
You don’t have to be vegan or a health-food advocate to know that fruit and vegetables are good for you. And you don’t have to be living in a yurt or eating only raw foods to reap their benefits.