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Boost the nutrient density of your diet with these foods The Times of India

 Boost the nutrient density of your diet with these foods  The Times of India

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Last updated on – 28 October 2023 at 20:00 IST

A healthy diet nourishes your body, mind and muscles!

Eating a clean, nutrient-dense diet is best for your overall health, especially as you age, because it nourishes your body, muscles, and mind. For example, Harvard Medical School warns that older adults are more at risk of nutrient deficiencies than other age groups.

What foods are rich in nutrients?

Nutrient-dense (or nutrient-dense) foods are low in sugar, sodium, starches, and unhealthy fats. They contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Your body needs these essential vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients, to nourish your body and maintain good health. It can reduce your risk of chronic disease, and getting it through food ensures your body is able to absorb it properly.
By incorporating more nutrient-dense foods into your diet, you’ll enjoy many benefits: more nutrients per calorie, which may help you maintain a healthy weight; Reduced risk of common health concerns associated with aging and nutrient deficiencies, including lower risk of anemia, cognitive impairment, and osteoporosis; Improve sleep. Better mental health and mood; Enhance muscle strength. Additional benefits include reducing the risk of falls and injuries, improving joint health, and enhancing mobility and flexibility.


A few recommended food options

Here are some recommended nutrient-dense food options for your diet:

– Whole grains: millet, sorghum, and quinoa
– Vegetables: Roots and tubers, such as sweet potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale.
– Dairy: yogurt and cheese
– Seafood: salmon and other fish rich in omega-3, as well as shellfish such as oysters or mussels
– Meat: chicken, pork, organ meats (such as beef liver)
– Fruits: mango, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and other fruits rich in vitamin A
​Doctors have advised Shehnaz Gill not to practice yoga (because most of us do).

A few simple swaps you can make

By making simple changes to your favorite recipes or reimagining your favorite dishes, you can boost the nutrient density of your family’s meals and snacks. Sometimes, it only takes a small change to make a more nutrient-dense choice. For example:
– Switching from white rice to brown rice.
Replace sugary drinks with water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
– Instead of dolloping sour cream on chili or baked potatoes, try plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.
– When adding toppings to pizza, tacos, or sandwiches, consider adding additional vegetables instead of meat or cheese.
– Snack on crunchy vegetables or a handful of nuts instead of potato chips.
Satisfy your sweet tooth by eating naturally sweet fruits instead of candy and biscuits.

Why should you focus on the nutritional part more?

The basic concept of nutrient density is the amount of nutrients you get per calories consumed. Think of it this way: You’re comparing labels to choose between two packages of bread. One slice contains about 80 calories but provides few vitamins and minerals. The whole grain version contains about the same number of calories but provides more protein, three times the magnesium, and more than twice the fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and zinc. Whole grain cucumbers are the most nutrient-dense option.
By choosing more nutrient-dense foods, you’ll get the beneficial nutrients your body needs without consuming too many calories. Focus on your overall eating pattern, rather than individual nutrients, foods or specific food groups.

Never underestimate the power of good food

The power of nutrient-dense foods in a healthy diet cannot be overstated. Incorporating these foods into your meals is a great way to boost overall health. Nutrient-dense foods provide many benefits, including weight control, improved digestion, improved mental health, and strengthened the immune system.

Ultimately, the power of nutrient-dense foods is their ability to provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to function at its best. So, start incorporating these foods into your diet today and enjoy the benefits of a healthier, more nourished body and mind.
(Author: Ms. Shreya Mahajan, Senior Nutritionist, FITPASS)


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