We often focus on weight loss when we talk about our diets, but the main priority should always be nutrition. The foods you eat should provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function effectively. With healthy eating, there’s often an assumption that you have to spend a fortune on exotic superfoods or devote hours to whipping up culinary masterpieces in the kitchen. In reality, it’s very simple to make your diet more nutritious. Here are some easy and affordable ways to give your weekly menu a nutrient boost.
Cook at home
Cooking at home is one of the most effective ways to take control of your diet and improve the nutritional value of the meals you consume. When you buy a takeout, or you put a ready-made meal in the microwave, you don’t really know what has gone into that dish. There could be a lot of added sugar or salt, as well as artificial ingredients and additives. When you cook from scratch, you decide what to put into the pan. There are hundreds of straightforward, nutritious recipes online, and you don’t have to spend the entire afternoon at the stove to rustle up a tasty homemade meal. You can serve a fresh pasta dish, grill a piece of fish or meat, put a salad together or create a stir-fry in a matter of minutes. As well as boosting your vitamin and mineral intake, cooking at home will also save you money.
Make the most of every ingredient
Many of us are guilty of throwing food away when we could be more resourceful. There are multiple ways you can make the most of parts of ingredients you would normally dispose of, for example, using bones to make stock for sauces and using juice pulp recipes to make smoothies for breakfast. Making the most of every ingredient you buy and using leftovers will reduce waste and lower your grocery bills. If you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll find some fantastic ideas, tutorials and recipes online.
Plan a menu
Planning a menu is a brilliant way to make your weekly grocery shop more budget-friendly and to ensure you’re hitting your dietary targets. Think about what you want to eat and write a list of ingredients. If you know which dish you’re having when, and you have all the ingredients you need, you’ll save time, energy and money. When you’re considering dishes for your menu, try and add portions of vegetables and fruit, reduce your intake of processed foods and include foods that are good sources of fiber, healthy fats and protein. Swapping sugary foods for complex carbohydrates will make you feel fuller for longer, so you shouldn’t have to snack to keep hunger at bay. Examples include whole grain bread, rice, cereal and pasta, oats, grains and seeds and vegetables.
A balanced, healthy diet is essential. If you tend to eat the same foods all the time, or you’re looking for easy ways to improve your nutrition, hopefully, this guide will point you in the right direction.