Nutrient Dense Foods
Food is defined as ‘Any nutritious substance that people and animals eat or drink, or that plant’s absorb, in order to maintain life and growth’. Food is no longer seen as a source of fuel for the body to maintain its life and growth, nutrients are no longer considered whilst preparing a meal, and when we fall ill – we reach for a drug to relieve symptoms instead of reaching for nutrient dense foods to support our bodies in healing itself.
When did we forget that the concept of food is for nutrition?
The meaning of food has become warped. It has turned into a source of comfort – a tool to provide an emotional ‘band aid’ to a problem, or to temporarily numb a feeling. When we feel sad, tired, or craving comfort we reach for the gastronomic equivalent of a loving hug, a pat on the back, a reward.
Take cooking competitions and programs on television as another example. The celebrity chef can be viewed as an entertainer, however you rarely hear advice on the nutrition content or health matters around food. People have become so influenced through television shows and other media sources, that they no longer understand the concept of nutrition and food.
What Does ‘Nutrient Dense Food’ Mean?
Nutrient dense foods are foods that have a higher nutrient – to calorie ratio. They provide substantial amounts of nutrients with few calories. Plant foods have demonstrated to contain a huge variety and assortment of protective compounds, along with a rich source of vitamins and minerals. With all this goodness packaged into one product – there is barely any room left for unwanted calories.
How Can Nutrient Dense Foods Benefit You?
Adequate consumption of phytochemicals and nutrients are vital in ensuring the body’s ability to function properly. Detoxification, cellular repair and the immune system mechanisms are essential for protecting our body from chronic diseases. We can ensure these processes are functioning at their best through consuming high, nutrient-dense foods.
Our Favourite Nutrient Dense Foods
Organic Spirulina: Spirulina is described as one of the most complete food sources in the world, containing over 100 nutrients! It provides a rich source of protein (60-63%), essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and iron. It is one of the highest natural sources of vitamin E and beta-carotene. Spirulina also contains all complete B vitamin groups, and is rich in antioxidants and chlorophyll, making it a powerful free-radical scavenger.
Raw Cacao: If the Mexican Mayan kings used to drink up to 30 pure chocolate drinks a day to maintain their vigour, there has to be something special in it besides how good it tastes! It contains a wide variety of nutrients, including beta-carotene, amino acids, omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, and potassium. Cacao high antioxidant content promotes cardiovascular health and protects us from damaged caused by free radicals. It is rich in magnesium, assisting with muscle relaxation and stress reduction. Therefore there is some truth to why women crave chocolate around that time of the month!
Cruciferous Vegetables: As a group, the cruciferous vegetables are superstars in these conventional nutrient areas and are renowned for their phytonutrient content. They are unique due to their rich source of glucosinolates, chopping or chewing cruciferous vegetables results in the formation of bioactive glucosinolate hydrolysis products, such as isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol (great cancer preventatives & detoxifiers!).
They are full of chlorophyll – a great detoxifier, blood cleanser and oxygen booster and contain a rich source of vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin K, manganese and fibre.
We now have Nutrition consults available with Rebecca if you would like to know more information on how to include more nutrient dense foods in your diet.