Looking for ways to power up your diet? We’ve got a few tips from leading dietitian Kate Di Prima on how to sneak superfoods into your diet to boost energy levels, improve your mood and metabolism. “You don’t need to overhaul your diet – just make some small changes. Once you start it’s easy to see how many opportunities there are to boost your nutrient intake throughout the day” Kate says.
Power-pack with spinach
It’s easy to get lost in superfood search mode, but Kate reminds us not to overlook the powerful health benefits of the tried and tested: Spinach. It’s packed with over 80 different nutrients and much easier to get your hands on than the latest magical berry from the Amazon – it has even made its way onto the permanent menu at Subway restaurants. Kate suggests adding spinach to an omelet, salad, wrap or sub if you’re on the go as an easy way to upsize your veggie intake and boost antioxidant levels.
Slam stress with strawberries
Starting the day with strawberries in your muesli or a handful for a mid-morning snack is great way to keep stress levels at bay. “When we’re stressed, our body releases cortisol, which can lead to excess weight gain around the stomach and other health problems,” Kate says. Red, yellow and green fruit and vegetables can help reduce the amount of cortisol in your bloodstream, plus vitamin C will help boost immunity, particularly going into the flu season.
Sneak in some seeds
While they may seem like one of the new kids on the block, chia seeds have actually been a part of Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Known as the richest source of omega-3 fats in any plant, these seeds pack a pint-sized punch of fibre, calcium and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. “The best way to add chia seeds to your diet is to sprinkle a teaspoon over muesli, porridge or your favourite breakfast cereal. They also go well in smoothies or salads, with quinoa or even to muffins and cakes,” Kate says.
Tuck into some turkey
Go for turkey the next time you’re at the deli and you might be surprised at how happy you’ll be with your choice. Kate explains that turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan which produces the cheerful chemical serotonin and also selenium, which can boost immunity and antioxidant levels. Turkey is a great source protein, low in fat, a source of nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus as well as vitamin B6 and niacin – essential for energy production. Tip: Turkey skin can be high in fat, so steer clear. Also beware of overly processed lunch meats and opt for 100 per cent turkey breast.
High fat, but good for your health
Almonds are a great source of monounsaturated fats, associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. One study has found 20 potent antioxidant flavonoids in almonds, some of which are found in other well known, good-for-you foods like green tea and grapefruit. Don’t know your flavonoids from your carotenoids? Nevermind. Just know they’re really, really good for you. “Mix in some chopped almonds and dried fruit to plain yogurt or add to curries or salads, or stick to a handful size for a quick snack on the go,” Kate says. Your body will thank you for it – in more ways than one!