Foods we enjoy for optimized health
1. Ground flaxseeds
With a slightly nutty taste that blends oh so well in almost any dish, ground flaxseeds are a great way to get our daily dose of omega-3 fats in from a plant source. We've gotten into the habit of having them every morning, either in our oatmeal, smoothies, or a breakfast parfait. Other plant sources of omega-3 fats include hemp seeds, walnuts, and ground chia seeds if flax seeds aren't desired.
A healthy gut is a gateway to good health. Since over 70% of our immune system is located in our intestines, we want to make sure we're treating it well. Here at PUL, we get our daily dose of probiotics mostly from unsweetened soy yogurt, usually blended into a smoothie or enjoyed with homemade granola and some fresh fruit. Coconut yogurt, almond yogurt, cashew yogurt, or whatever other yogurt varieties offered at your local grocery store are some other ideas to try if soy yogurt isn't your thing,
Another way we get our probiotics is from homemade sauerkraut. This delicious fermented cabbage is a salty and crunchy accompaniment to any dish, much like pickles. We like to make a batch every couple of months, We then store it in the fridge for up to 3 months. Other sources of healthy probiotics are refreshing kombucha, kimchi, and tempeh. Any source of probiotics, at least once a day, will be showing our gut some love.
3. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens top the list when it comes to the vitamins and minerals they offer. They're a great way to get some extra fibre in and add some beautiful colour to our plates. Dark greens can be incorporated into a variety of different recipes. They can be blended into a smoothie in the morning, added to a wrap or sandwich for lunch, or enjoyed in a side salad. Our peanut butter and banana smoothie is a much-loved recipe for those of us new to greens. It's one of our favourite smoothies, and is perfect for any pickier eaters out there!
4. Fortified plant-milks
Having enough calcium in our early years is an important step to keep our bones strong for our later years. Plant-milks like almond, soy, or rice milk can be great sources of calcium. When enjoying plant-milk for calcium, make sure the label says calcium has been added. Learn more about how much calcium we need and how to read food labels in our short and uncomplicated article on calcium. We love to enjoy plant-milks in smoothies, porridges, oatmeals, and homemade lattes!
5. Antioxidant-rich foods
Antioxidants play a role in preventing disease and keeping our metabolic functions in check. We get our antioxidants from various fruits, vegetables, and spices. Berries are an especially antioxidant-rich source. We enjoy fresh berries in the summer months and frozen berries in the winter months. As for vegetables, we find it fun to try and eat the colours of the rainbow. This means we aim to enjoy vegetables with a variety of colours to benefit from the array of antioxidants in them. For those of us not familiar with spices, we suggest experimenting with one or two new spices at a time when cooking from home. We find that dried oregano goes well with pasta dishes and ground turmeric is lovely with curries.
We aim to enjoy these foods daily to help nourish our cells. There's no such thing perfect diet or way of eating. We find comfort in eating these foods daily to get in some important nutrients for our overall health.
Each one of these items can be incorporated into a breakfast meal. If desired, choose one item from the list above, and try to include it in your breakfast routine. Happy cooking and eating!