Hello everyone out there how’s it going?Welcome back if you’re new here I’m a CertifiedHolistic Nutritionist and if you’re not new here then welcome back! In today Post I’m gonna be talking about a bunch of nutrition hacks, some things that wecan do to boost the nutritional value of the foods that we eat and just make thefoods that we’re eating a little bit healthier, things like that.
I’m alsopartnering up with iHerb for today’s video which is one of the world’slargest online health food stores. I have a bit of a special place in my heart forhealth food stores because I worked at one for many years.
They have an amazingselection of over 30,000 natural health products from food, supplements, to beautyitems and they ship to over 150 different countries. Also all of theirorders are shipped from climate controlled distribution centers toensure that the quality of their products remain, they also have 24/7customer support in ten different languages, so they’re amazing.
Be sure to check the description box below for links to any of the food items thatI will be talking about in today’s Post, so let’s get started. Number one is to use vegetables as abase. I love my rice I love my spaghetti but sometimes it can get a little bitmonotonous and what we can do is actually use a couple of vegetables inplace of those things to get more veggies in our diet and also more fiber.
So some of my favourite things to do here are, for example, you can use spiralizedzucchini or spaghetti squash in place of pasta noodles, you can use cauliflower asa rice which you can just do by grating it up or putting it into your foodprocessor or using it as a base for pizza crust, even almond flour is greatfor this as well, and really this is just a great way to reduce the amount ofmaybe excess refined carbohydrates that we are eating. Steep your herbal tea witha lid on it.
When you are steeping your teas with the steam all going up in theair you can actually lose some of the beneficial properties of the herb, theactive constituents can actually be released through the steam, so just pop alittle lid on your mug when you have your tea bag in there with the hot waterand then let it steep with the lid on to preserve some of that goodness. This isespecially important for medicinal herbal teas like peppermint and one ofmy personal favourites is green tea.
Right now I’m loving Yogi’s decaf green tea,I’ve been on a bit of a low caffeine kick these days. Grind your whole flaxseeds as needed when you are using them as opposed to buying big bags of pre-ground flax seeds or flax meal, and the reason for this is because once yougrind up flax seeds you’re exposing them to oxygen, to light, and to heat and thedelicate oils that are contained within the seed are now exposed.
I have thesewhole brown flax seeds by Bob’s Red Mill that you can get from iHerb, this isusually the brand that I like to buy and I just keep them in the fridge. I dosometimes like to have a little jar of pre-ground flax seeds that I grindmyself in my fridge but I make sure that I’m gonna be going through that jarpretty quickly and not letting it sit in my refrigerator for too long, like toomany weeks or months.
And by the way if you’re wondering what flax seeds aregood for they’re a fantastic source of omega-3 fattyacids, fibre, and they can even be used as an egg substitute in a lot of recipes, soyou can do this by just mixing one tablespoon of ground flax with twotablespoons of water and letting it sit for a few minutes to thicken. My next tipis to soak or even sprout your legumes or some of your grains prior to use.
Thisis such a great way to enhance the nutritional quality of things like beansand lentils and makes them a lot easier to digest as well. Probably my favoritelegume to sprout are green lentils, I love them they’re so tasty and it’s alsoso easy to do. All you need are some dried green lentils, I have this one herefrom Bob’s Red Mill, and you’ll just add some to a bowl, any amount that you likemaybe about a cup is a great place to start, let them soak in clean water for24 hours and then transfer them to a strainer or a fine mesh strainer andrinse them morning and evening for about three days.
You can put a little clothover it just to cover them, and then you’ll notice that they’re gonna startto sprout. But like I said there’s a lot ofdifferent beans and grains that we can sprout, if you are in a bit of a pinchyou can also get you get this from iHerb I have a package of sprouted quinoa byOrganic Traditions, that way you don’t have to go through the rinsing soakingprocess yourself.
My next tip is to let certain veggies sit after chopping, sowhat I mean by this is that some vegetables like garlic and onion andbroccoli and kale actually have specific enzymes that are activated after theyhave been chopped up or crushed or sliced and allowed to sit for 10 to 15minutes or so, just left kind of on your cutting board and those activatedenzymes help to increase the nutritional quality of those foods.
Broccoli andkale they contain an enzyme called ‘myrosinase’ that helps to convert some of theplant nutrients into their active form so it’s pretty cool. Also another littletip here is that vitamin C helps to also enhance that myrosinase enzyme with kaleand broccoli, so squeeze a little bit of lemon juice in your recipes that containthose foods and that will help to enhance it as well.
And speaking ofvitamin C, my next nutrition hack here is to eat vitamin C rich foods alongsideiron-rich foods. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron so this might beadding a squeeze of lemon juice or orange juice to a spinach salad (spinachis a good source of plant-based iron), or tossing other citrus foods orstrawberries or apples in with a lentil- based dish. Make sure that you are consumingadequate amounts of fat.
Fat actually helps with the absorption of fat-solublevitamins so vitamins A, vitamin D, E, and K. Also helps with the absorption of thingslike beta carotene found in sweet potato and carrots and squash, so you know evendrizzling a little bit of olive oil on those kinds of foods, but just in generaleveryday making sure that we are getting fat from things like avocado, eggs,coconut, olives, all different kinds of nuts and seeds.
Some of my favorites arepecans, walnuts, and Brazil nuts are really nice too, which by the way justone Brazil nut contains 96 micrograms or 175 percent of the recommended dailyintake of selenium, it’s pretty cool, selenium is a very antioxidant-richmineral. I have these organic raw Brazil nuts by Sun Food.
And really justconsuming enough fat is important for hormone health, it’s important for ourskin, for our brain, it’s also really important for blood sugar balancethroughout the day which brings me to my next point and that is to combine, fatfibre, and protein with most of your meals and snacks.
This is really gonnahelp to stabilize your blood sugar so that you don’t have crazy rollercoasterblood sugar spikes and crashes. This is especially great with meals containinghigher amounts of carbs, so for example oatmeal with a spoonful of nut butterlike almond butter, pasta with added veggies and lean meats, or if you’rehaving rice, adding things like chickpeas and avocado; just making sure that you’rebalancing out your meals in that way and also, when you’re doing this you are kindof automatically making it a much more nutritious, well-balanced meal too, andfeeling more satisfied throughout the day.
Make smoothies for really quick nutrition powerhouses. I know thatsmoothies are definitely nothing new these days, everyone and theirgrandmother are drinking green smoothies, but I want to mention it here because ifit’s been a while that you have pulled out your blender and made a smoothie, itreally is such an easy and quick way to just get such a powerhouse of nutritionespecially, you know, first thing in the morning to start your day.
If you wantyou can even pre-make a couple of smoothies or plop some ingredients intoa jar so that it’s ready to, you know, blend up in the morning to save you sometime. But also smoothies are such a great way to jam in some really good, you know,add-ons like hemp seeds or flax seeds like we talked about, or chia seeds. Ialways, always, always add hemp seeds to my smoothies, pretty much I never gowithout having hemp seeds.
I have these ones here by Manitoba Harvest you canget from iHerb, chia seeds are a great addition too, these ones here are from Nutiva.These types of seeds contain good quality omega-3 fats and fiber of coursewhich again, just like balancing our blood sugar in the previous point, addingthese kinds of things to a smoothie is a really, really good thing to do,especially if your smoothie is gonna be somewhat fruit heavy.
But greens areeasily added to smoothies, right, spinach especially baby spinach, you can also tryadding frozen cauliflower or zucchini to a smoothie even as a replacement for ice,they help to thicken and add creaminess to a smoothie without adding too muchflavor. Cook with better quality fats and oils.So especially when it comes to heating oils up, it’s just a matter of makingsome really simple swaps with the types of oils that you are using.
We want totry and opt for oils that are more stable at higher heat temperatures so agood rule of thumb here is to aim for oils that tend to be solid at roomtemperature, so coconut oil is a great one to be cooking with at higher heattemperatures, this one here I have by Nutiva,comes in a nice glass jar which I like. Butter or ghee are great options.
And because it has a higher saturatedfat content it’s not going to oxidize or go rancid as easily or createcarcinogenic compounds when it’s heated to a higher temperature like some otheroils like vegetable oils or canola oils, the ones that you find in those clearplastic packages that are not as stable to higher heat because those ones aremuch higher in polyunsaturated fats, but speaking of cooking, switch up yourcooking method by lightly steaming your veggies more often than boiling orfrying or sauteeing them in oil.
You can do this with a steamer or even tryadding a little bit of broth for more flavor to a skillet, add in your veggies,pop a lid on top and let them gently cook until they are ‘al dente’ which isbasically just still a little firm and bright in color, not mushy, this is alsogenerally a better way to preserve the nutritional quality of food.
And my last nutrition hack here issomething that you wouldn’t necessarily think would make it onto this list butthat is to chew your food thoroughly, and if you have seen any of my digestionvideos, Digestion 101 where I have talked about this, chewing your food thoroughly, you would know why it’s so important and the reason why just something as simpleas chewing your food better can help you get more nutrition into your body isbecause when you chew your food thoroughly you’re increasing the surfacearea of that food so that enzymes in our saliva and also in our stomach arebetter able to break down that food so that we can extract the nutrients muchbetter from those foods, it’s also a lot easier on our digestive system.
when we’re not swallowing huge chunks of food and, you know, not eating too quickly thatkind of thing, and I’ve definitely talked about this a lot on my channel too isjust generally eating slower.