We believe that healthy eating should raise joy, as much as nourish your body. With that in mind, here are 8 fun and quirky tips to enhance your health and keep those joyful food vibes flowing!
1. Enjoy Oil With Veggies
Fat improves texture and carries the flavor. However, fat also helps us absorb certain vitamins and antioxidants from our diet. In fact, Vitamin A, D, E and K cannot be absorbed properly unless we eat sufficient fat.
Cooking with a good quality fat, such as cold pressed olive oil, also improves our absorption of antioxidants. This helps to explain why the Mediterranean Diet has so many health benefits.
TAKE-HOME TIP: Enjoy avocado, nuts or a small drizzle of oil over your veggies and salads on a regular basis. Your taste buds will sing and your body will be thankful for the boost in nutrient absorption, too.
2. Add Pepper To Your Curry
Turmeric, a common curry spice, is naturally high in a wonderful compound called curcumin. Curcumin provides many health benefits, ranging from anti-inflammation to anti-oxidant action.
To reap the maximum benefits of eating turmeric, we recommend adding a little pepper! This is because pepper naturally enhances the bioavailability of curcumin. Thus, we absorb it better.
TAKE-HOME TIP: For mega flavor sensation and a nutrient kick, add turmeric and pepper to your curries!
3. Choose Tea Time Carefully
We all love a hot cuppa from time to time, and there are many good health reasons to justify your favorite brew.
While tea provides antioxidants and other many health benefits, it's also a natural source of tannins.
Tannins are not a problem when consumed alone. However, if you drink tea while eating food, tannins can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals - particularly iron and calcium.
TAKE-HOME TIP: Enjoy tea on a regular basis, but drink it between meals whenever possible.
4. Drink Up Before You Eat
If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, new research suggests that having a big glass of water before you eat may help you lose weight!
A recent study of 84 people showed that drinking a 16 ounce (500ml) glass of water before each meal resulted in an average weight loss of 9.48 pounds over 12 weeks.
The ‘stretching’ of our stomach when we eat is a signal to our brain that we are getting full. Therefore, filling up with a big drink before a meal may initiate that fullness signal early.
TAKE-HOME TIP: Drink a glass of water before your meal and feel fuller, sooner!
5. Use the Meat Factor… (Or Vitamin C if you don’t eat meat!)
There are two types of iron in our diet. ‘Haem’ iron comes from animal products and is easier for our bodies to absorb. ‘Non-Haem’ iron comes from plant foods and is a little trickier for our bodies to assimilate.
For reasons that we don’t fully understand yet, plant ‘non-haem’ is vastly improved by eating just a little bit of meat in the same meal. Therefore, if you don’t mind eating meat, you can try adding just a little bit of meat to stir fries, curries and vegetable-based dishes to maximize your iron absorption.
If you don’t eat meat, that’s ok! Vitamin C also works really well to boost our iron absorption. You could have some Vitamin C rich foods such as orange, capsicum or kiwi fruit with your veggies instead.
TAKE-HOME TIP: Try adding a little bit of meat (a few strips) or Vitamin C rich foods to boost your iron uptake.
6. Fix Flatulence With This One Simple Trick
While gas is a completely normal by-product of human digestion, too much can be painful or just downright embarrassing!
The legume family is particularly notorious for having gassy side-effects. As lentils, chickpeas and other beans are incredibly good for our health, what to do then?
Try adding a little asafoetida (also called Hing) when you cook with legumes. Although this Asian spice is a little bit smelly in its raw form, asafoetida releases a mellow garlic-like flavor when it’s heated. More importantly, it helps to break down the culprit, fermentable carbohydrates, in legumes which cause gas and bloating.
TAKE-HOME TIP: Add a teaspoon (or more if you like the taste) of asafoetida when cooking with legumes.
7. Pre- Your Probiotics
Probiotics are excellent for digestive health. Without a good supply of friendly probiotic bacteria in our gut, we cannot absorb food optimally or keep the lining of our bowel in vital shape. Our immune function may suffer as well.
While probiotics are wonderful, they work best if you have a good prebiotic intake. Prebiotics are essentially the food and nourishment for probiotic bacteria and help our friendly gut bacteria to thrive.
Prebiotics are found in a wide range of natural foods including oats, certain legumes, cooked and cooled rice, bananas, pectin and garlic.
TAKE-HOME TIP: Make sure you are eating plenty of fruit, veggies, grains and legumes on a regular basis to support probiotic bacteria.
8. Catch Up On Some ZZZ’s!
Having a nutritious diet is fantastic, but you may not be reaping the maximum health benefits if you’re not sleeping properly.
Studies show that lack of sleep can adversely affect our metabolism and contribute to weight issues. We are also more likely to make unhealthy food choices to provide a quick energy fix when we are tired. And who feels like exercising when you’re sleep deprived?
TAKE-HOME TIP: This is the truly the best low effort way to get in tip-top shape... Make sure you’re getting at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis.
Our body works in beautiful harmony with the food that Mother Nature provides. It is nothing short of miraculous how our body absorbs everything it needs from the food that She creates. These 7 Health Hacks show us some incredible benefits we can get from a few fun tweaks to our lifestyle.