Let’s get creative with what we have on the table, in the kitchen, and in our grocery stores. Everyday foods form the bulk of our diets, and they are packed with nutrients, goodness and a whole lot of energy. Use them in countless recipes, and reinvent them just like a celebrity chef! Yes you can, have you not heard of Sweet Potato wedges? When eating healthily we often think about including the unusual super foods like Acai, Spirulina or Seaweed, which are not traditionally found in most of our diets. I find that these can at times be either hard to source or expensive.
This is why I encourage my clients to use every day nutrient-dense foods which are easily available and affordable, so they can sustain eating healthily.
Below I share five foods everyday foods which you can include in your diets, and one recipe where you can include them all!
Turmeric has traditionally been used in our diets for thousands of years and is most commonly used when making curries. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and benefits are best achieved when combined with agents, such as Piperine (that is found in black pepper). You can also add turmeric to your soups and stews or when marinating chicken/fish or when making your fresh home-made juices.
Eggs are a good source of nutrition, including protein, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Selenium. Many people are concerned about the high cholesterol in eggs and will avoid the egg yolk. However, the British Heart Foundation states that current research has shown moderate egg consumption does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals and can be part of a healthy diet . So, you can have it for breakfast or add an egg into your salads at lunch time.
Spinach is a leafy vegetable that is packed full of nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Magnesium and Iron. You can get locally grown spinach where you live and include it at breakfast, lunch or dinner time. For instance, you can add it to make green smoothies. Or you can include it in salads, curries, stews or have it on its own, stir-fried with garlic and spices.
4. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially beta carotene. A regular baked potato without salt has no Vitamin A, where as a baked sweet potato has 19,218 IU (Source: USDA food content, both listed per 100 grams).
Sweet potatoes are also a better source of fibre and this supports a healthy digestive system. Sweet potatoes can be baked or roasted with olive oil and herbs and eaten with your main meal instead of mashed potatoes, fries or rice.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil has been traditionally used in the Mediterranean diet and there is much scientific evidence showing it to be heart healthy. This is due to the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activity of the polyphenols found in olive oil It is also associated with lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Olive oil is most commonly used in salad dressings. It can also be used for cooking, but do read the labels to check the smoke point of the oil you use.
I wanted to share how you can use these five ingredients to make a quick and easy meal for breakfast or lunch.
4 eggs, beaten
½ small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
2/3 cup sliced sweet potato
1 tbsp. olive oil
Green chili to taste
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
½ tsp turmeric powder
Cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
Here’s How to make it:
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic and chili for 2-3 minutes until browned. Then add in the spinach, sea salt, black pepper and turmeric powder and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Next add in the sweet potatoes and cover with lid and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the potatoes. Then pour in the beaten eggs and cook for 4 – 5 minutes.
When the frittata is set, but still uncooked put it under a grill for 3-4 minutes until cooked at the top and set. Cut into wedges and serve with a side salad.
So there you have it, a Spinach frittata that includes your 5 Everyday Foods – make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner – a complete meal bursting with nutritive goodness!
Sujata Din is a Certified Holistic Health Coach based in Singapore. Sujata assists clients all over the world through individual face-to-face consultation, as well as consultation over Skype, telephone and Email. She equips clients with tools, information and strategies that lead them to better health, higher energy levels and, ultimately, a happier disposition. On top of individual consultations, Sujata conducts workshops on nutrition, cooking demonstrations and pantry overhauls.