By Reliv Key Director, Dawn Tucci.
Do you ever find yourself at the end of the day and nothing nutritious has passed your lips? If you’re snacking on food without much nutritional value, you’re probably still hungry. The solution? Nutrient-dense foods!
Let’s start by defining terms. What do we mean by “nutrient-dense?” Nutrient-dense foods have a high nutrient content in proportion to the calories they contain. Therefore, including these foods in your diet can increase the nutrition you get per calorie. For example, foods like kale, blueberries and quinoa offer a lot of nutrition without many calories.
The Nutritional Balance
If you only ate foods that were nutrient-dense, you’d have to say goodbye to most of your favourite snacks. By making sure that a few bites of each meal and snack contain some of these nutrition powerhouses, you can get away with occasionally eating things that are not so healthy. When you pack your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and legumes, you can have a treat every now and then while still staying on track.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, there are other benefits to eating nutrient-dense foods. Many of these foods are also high in fibre, which is a type of complex-carbohydrate that takes your body longer to digest than foods comprised of simple sugars. This means that you will feel fuller for longer when you eat them. Of course, if you’re looking to increase your fibre intake, Reliv’s FibRestore® offers 9.5 grams of soluble and insoluble fibre per serving. By adding FibRestore to your daily Core Nutrition shake, you can ensure that you’re getting all the benefits of fibre.
Snacking for the Win
Another way to keep you feeling full is to snack between meals. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and expect to stay healthy. Snacks should be high in nutrition and loaded with protein. Ideally, you want a combination of lean protein and healthy fat for staying power. Aim for about 150 calories of nutrient-rich foods and your snack will be satisfying and give you the “pick me up” you are looking for!
Here is a great snack from Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN:
Easy Yoghurt Bowl
Add berries or a tablespoon of chia seeds to plain Greek yoghurt to provide a filling combination of protein and fibre. You can also add locally-produced honey to sweeten the deal!
Examples of Nutrient-Dense Foods
- Legumes and nuts – excellent sources of lean protein
- Quinoa and sweet potatoes – healthy alternative to and more nutritious than white bread and rice
- Salmon – contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the body, especially the heart
- Kale and other greens – high in antioxidants
- Berries – rich in anthocyanin which may have metabolic benefits
- Others include garlic, sardines, eggs, dark chocolate, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, seeds, tomatoes and soybeans.
If you want lots of nutrients without calories, focus on foods like the ones above mixed into your diet. A more nutritious diet benefits your health, makes you feel better and increases your energy!
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