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Not all veggies are born equal. In fact, some are just a little bit better than others. So when you’re thinking about fitting in your five-a-day, it can pay off to play it smart and go for the nutrient-rich powerhouse veggies. How exactly are you going to wedge in these superfoods into your daily feed? With a little help from your friends at Cosmo!
Chia seeds. These little seeds are a mini-miracle. They are the richest plant-based source of healthy fats. Omega3 and omega6 are extremely important for concentration, focus and stable moods and vital for helping you absorb nutrients. They also encourage glowing skin and hair. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, protein and minerals, soluble and insoluble fibre. Better yet, they swell to five times their size when they are introduced to liquid and become almost jelly-like. That means they can help you feel fuller, faster.
How to get more in your diet:
Chia seeds are flavourless, so they are highly versatile. You can sprinkle them on everything and anything. Add them to your green juice or smoothie, add them to porridge or sprinkle over a salad. You can also buy an oil form, which is great for adding to your baked goods.
Soak them in a nut-based milk like cashew, add a dash of stevia (to sweeten the deal), a pinch of salt, and you can make healthy pudding – all you need is some fruit for flavour.
Cruciferous vegetables. The leafy vegetables are known for being high in anti-cancer ass-kicking phytochemicals, vitamin C, vitamin K and other nutrients. Good examples of cruciferous veggies include kale and cauliflower.
Kale. How to get more in your diet:
If you love creamy pastas, why not try replacing the cream with sheep’s yoghurt?
Kale is great in a green juice, but make sure you only have it raw once or twice a week. While it’s a nutrition powerhouse, raw kale can be hard on the digestive system, which means it can cause bloating and abdominal issues. For the other days of the week, you can enjoy kale chips as snacks. Yum!
To make kale chips, slow bake in the oven on a very low temperature until they are dehydrated and crispy. Your body needs fats to help absorb nutrients so it’s vital to coat the kale lightly in olive oil beforehand.
If you don’t feel like kale chips, try adding the veg to a hearty stew.
Cauliflower. How to get more in your diet:
Yes, you can add cauliflower to your veggie-crazy breaky juice. But wanna know what is more delicious? A bit of roasted cauli. When you’re chilling on sofa, chop up some cauliflower and bang it into the oven to roast. Wait for an hour, take ‘em out, and voila you have tomorrow’s work-day snack.
Blueberries. We’re calling it, blueberries are our fave fruit. They are packed with soluble fibre, disease-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and flavonoids. They are a great brain food too. In fact studies suggest that can boost concentration and memory for up to five hours after eating. Seriously.
How to get more into your diet:
The beauty of blueberries is you can eat ‘em straight out of the packet. Yiew! But if you want to get more fancy, you can sprinkle them over porridge, add them to smoothies, or include them in your salad. In fact they taste great with spinach, another nutrient-dense food.
Cacao. No, that isn’t cocoa. Cacao is the unrefined product of the cacao plant. It’s rich in antioxidants, potassium and zinc. Rather than gorging on chocolate because “it’s good for you”, it’s better to start using cacao powder as a healthy flavour boost.
How to get more in your diet:
Ever dream of chocolate pudding for breakfast? Well you can. Try making a chia-seed pudding, as mentioned above, and add some cacao powder. It’s so easy and will give you an even greater nutritional boost. You can also experiment with adding it to smoothies, and using it to replace cocoa to make healthier desserts.
Yoghurt. Not only is it packed with bone-strengthening calcium, it’s also brimming with good bacteria, which are essential for healthy digestion.
How to get more into your diet:
Luckily, yoghurt is a fast and healthy snack. The best choices are natural and free from anything artificial – always check the label. If you want a little flavour, throw in a handful of blueberries. If you love creamy pastas, why not try replacing the cream with sheep’s yoghurt? It’s the creamiest of all the yoghurts and lower in lactose for those with sensitive bellies. It’s still high in fat, so make sure you don’t use a heavy hand.
How do you enjoy your superfoods?
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