How many of these nutrient dense foods have you incorporated into your diet?
Vegetables that are found in the sea contain essential omega 3 fatty acids, which can be great for your body. From combatting heart disease to strengthening your bones, the calcium, zinc and iron packed into seaweed will boost your day-to-day fitness – as well as keep your body healthy over longer periods of time. Seaweed is commonly used as an addition to sushi but, if you’re looking for other ways to get it into your diet, there are plenty of exciting recipes to try out – including some delicious snacks!
Recipe Idea: Seaweed Crisps
- 12 nori seaweed sheets
- ¼ cup of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 275°F/140°C. Place nori seaweed sheets on a baking tray and sprinkle with water, adding another layer of nori each time. Use scissors to cut the sheets into your preferred shapes and sizes. Mix the garlic and sesame oil together in a bowl – adding salt and pepper to taste. Gently rub the mixture across the seaweed crisps and bake for around 20 minutes for a delicious snack you can enjoy any time of the day.
Many people are put off from incorporating coconut oil into their diets because they’re concerned about the calories it contains, but not all calories are created equal. By restricting your intake, you could be depriving your body of essential nutrients found in more calorific foods. Coconut oil can be used for just about anything. From adding it to a stir-fry to give your noodles an extra kick to injecting some flavour into your chicken satay, the options are limitless.
Recipe Idea: Protein Pancakes
- 1/2 banana
- Handful of blueberries
- 30g oats
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. flaxseed
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp of water
Chop up the banana and add the flaxseeds, peanut butter, water and oats to a mixer and blend until creamy. Set your frying pan to medium heat and add the coconut oil. Pour in the mixture and cook for one minute on each side. Serve with blueberries for a quick, easy and protein-packed breakfast.
Noted as being one of the most healthy foods around, chia seeds are packed with fibre, fat, and protein – among many other healthy nutrients. Like blueberries, chia seeds contain antioxidants, which help to fight off diseases. If you’re looking for healthier after-dinner options, try baking some flapjacks and adding pumpkin and chia seeds for a delicious dessert alternative.
Recipe Idea: No Cook Peanut Butter Dip
- 1 pot Greek yoghurt
- 2-3 tbsps. peanut butter
- 2 tbsps. chia seeds
- 2-3 tbsps. honey
Pour Greek yoghurt into a bowl and mix in peanut butter and honey, adding chia seeds as you go. Serve with fruit and use as a dip for a tasty after-dinner treat.
When it comes to antioxidants, berries are among the best foods around. Açai berries are packed with fibre that’s proven to aid digestion. These berries also contain oleic acid, which is a healthy fat thought to combat heart disease. Açai berries are highly perishable – but you can mix them with other fruits to make tasty juices or shakes, which you can refrigerate.
Recipe Idea: No Cook Açai Berry Truffles
- ½ cup dried açai powder
- 1 tbsp. almond butter
- 2 tbsp. cacao powder
- 2 tbsp. palm sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp. coconut oil
- 8 dates
- 1 small plate of desiccated coconut
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and mix until you’re left with a doughy texture. Roll individual balls to a size of your choice and refrigerate. Once chilled, roll in a plate of desiccated coconut to dust and serve as a decadent dessert.
Loaded with nutritional values, the avocado has a number of proven health benefits. Avocados are packed with vitamins K, C, and E – among others – and are extremely low in saturated fat. Avocados are an acquired taste – but try mashing up a ripe avocado and mixing in lemon juice and black pepper to make a tasty dip for your snacks.
Recipe Idea: Avocado Baked Eggs
- 1 avocado
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. chives
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to.425°F/220°C. Half the avocado and remove the pit. Place both halves into oven-proof bowls and crack an egg into each half. Bake for around 15 minutes. Finely chop the chives and sprinkle on top, adding salt and pepper to taste, for a healthy, hearty breakfast.
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be about implementing strict diets or spending all of your time in the gym. By mixing some superfoods into your daily diet, you can put your body on the path to a healthier 2016.