So many people I know fail with their diet when they stare down at their dinner plate and realise they’ve eaten exactly the same thing every evening for a week.
But there are easy ways to add some variety to even the most common dishes or smoothies. Plus that variety will also add a vitamin- and nutrient-rich punch to any meal, instantly making your meal more delicious and nutritious.
I’m talking about seeds. Sesame, flax, chia seeds etc are all teeny tiny sources of a rich array of vitamins and nutrients that anyone dedicated to healthy eating should consider adding to their diet.
Here are four of my favourites:
Sunflower seeds: Offers high concentrations of vitamin E, antioxidants, thiamin, magnesium, copper, niacin, selenium, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus and fiber.
Sesame Seeds: are rich in zinc, fiber, iron, and calcium. There’s also evidence that they can lower blood pressure. The next time you’re making a stir fry, add some sesame seeds to the mix.
Teff: is surprisingly nutrient rich. Abundant in aluminium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, among other minerals, teff is also a source of all eight essential amino acids. Although teff is a grain, it is safe for people suffering from celiac disease. Once cooked, teff can be eaten alone or as a cereal, or you can add it to soups or other dishes.
Flaxseed: . Omega-3s, fiber, antioxidants – flax has it all, combined with a subtle flavor that makes adding it to any dish a cinch. Just remember to grind the seeds before you eat them, since whole flaxseeds are not efficiently broken down by your digestive system. Once ground, add flaxseeds to your protein shakes, yogurt, soups, or salads.
Hemp seeds: Hulled crunchy seeds are packed with protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals that keep the heart healthy.
Pomegranate seeds: Red and juicy, offer vitamins C and K and folate, antioxidants and potassium. All help fight heart disease, prostate disease and help control weight.
Pumpkin/squash seeds: High in protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese that is good for prostate health.
Chia seeds: Rich in antioxidants and Omega-3s, chia seeds can add a nutrient kick to even the most basic meals. Their slightly nutty flavour also adds a nice, mild flavour to salads, cereals, or mid-afternoon shakes and snacks.
Written by Silva Kramska for AEFM.com.au ‘Australia’s Elite Fitness Models’