Updated: Mar 15
Nutrition for Wellness | How to Create a Nutrient Dense Meal Plan
Want to make healthier food choices? Here are a few tips to help you choose better foods & create a nutrient dense meal plan every day.
Have you been struggling to eat as healthy as you know you should?
Let's be honest, eating healthy isn't always a walk in the park. After a long and stressful day at the office, coming home to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal isn't always in the cards.
The good news is that developing a nutrient-dense meal plan doesn't have to be so complicated. With the right planning and a simple change of ingredients, you can be well on your way to living a more healthy and sustainable life.
If you want to live the best and most healthy life possible, you're going to want to read this. We're uncovering five simple ways to ensure that you're committing to the most nutrient-dense meal plan possible.
1. Start Your Mornings With a Breakfast Smoothie
If you're itching to pack more fruits into your day, why not start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast!
A breakfast smoothie is one of the most simple and enjoyable ways to incorporate more fruit into your diet. Fruit, in general, contains a number of antioxidants and benefits from anti-inflammatory properties.
When it comes to mixing up your perfect smoothie, don't hesitate to get creative. You can combine fruits with vegetables and greens and still produce an enjoyable smoothie. For example, you might combine blueberries and bananas with kale and a touch of nut butter. From here, you can add a protein such as plain greek-style yogurt or even protein powder.
Choosing to begin your day with a handful of fruits and veggies is a great way to provide a much-needed energy-boost for the day ahead. You can even meal prep these smoothies ahead of time to make your morning all the more stress-free!
2. Opt for Healthy Oils
In today's day and age, highly processed oils have become to go-to in most households.
Of course, these oils are more inexpensive than alternate oils such as olive or coconut oil. These oils are also more available at today's supermarkets and come in higher quantities.
Unfortunately, oils such as vegetable oil and canola olive have proven to be harmful to human health. For the most part, this is because they're processed and lacking any nutrients. Instead, they often contain high traces of fat and even some filler ingredients.
This is why opting for more healthy cooking oils is so crucial for a nutrient-rich diet. This could be anything from extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil to avocado oil. Not only do these oils contain more flavor, but they're also higher in nutrients, healthy fats and Omega-3.
3. Snack on Crunchy Vegetables
When you find yourself craving that ever-so-satisfying crunch, what's your go-to snack?
Do you reach into the snack cupboard and opt for a bag of potato chips? Or, do you help yourself to a handful of salted crackers? Of course, no one can deny how satisfying these salty snacks are. But, you can also rest assured that these ever-so-popular snacks aren't exactly rich in nutrients.
The good news is that there are simple ways to satisfy your crunchy craving without consuming such empty calories. For example, you could try baking kale chips and flavoring them with a touch of salt. Or, you can opt for baked chickpeas and add your favorite spices.
This is a fantastic transition for anyone striving to lose weight or add more vegetables to their routine.
4. Try Your Hand at Juicing
Have you been struggling to consume your daily recommended dose of vegetables?
If so, you're not alone. After all, incorporating enough veggies into your day isn't always easy. In fact, only 9% of Americans consume the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.
The good news is that juicing will easily allow you to increase your intake of greens and other vegetables. The act of juicing extracts the liquid from both fruits, veggies, herbs and leafy greens. Although you're not consuming the entire fruit or vegetable, the liquid is packed with the majority of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals.
One common argument against juicing is that the liquid extracted contains very little of the vegetable or fruit fiber. However, this gives our digestive system a much-needed break from digesting fiber.
5. Swap Beef for Fish
For meat-eaters, it's not uncommon for the majority of your meals to contain some form of meat.
Despite the naysayers, meat has proven to have a number of health benefits when consumed responsibility. For example, chicken has proven to be an excellent source of low-fat protein. Likewise, beef has proven to be rich in minerals.
However, it's also important to understand that meat should be consumed in moderation. This is why meat-eaters who favor their health tend to opt for a diet heavy in fish and seafood.
Short and simple, fish is amongst some of the most healthy food in the world. Nutritionists recommend that both men and women strive to consume 8-12 ounces of fish or seafood per week.
On evenings in which you'd bake a chicken breast or fry a pound of ground beef, try replacing said meat with fish. Not only will you begin to feel better, but you can rest assured knowing that you're consuming some of the most nutrient-dense food in the world.
Nutrient-Dense Meal Plan
Who said that eating a nutrient-dense meal plan had to be so challenging and time-consuming?
In reality, the initial transition from a poor diet to a more nutritious diet is the hardest part. Once you've made the initial transition, you're going to learn to appreciate your new way of consumption.
Start by practicing the above tips. From here, you can transition to a more nutrient-rich lifestyle and begin to witness your body, mind and overall health transform for the better.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, don't hesitate to share it with your fitness-loving friends and family. You can also check out our workout videos for some much-needed exercise inspiration.