This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Australian Bananas.
How to nutrient boost your daily nutrition
Modern life means that there are plenty of demands on the body’s energy systems – stress, long working days, commutes, the juggle of work and family, along with a poor diet can all contribute to leaving us feeling less than our best on a daily basis. The good news is that giving your diet a daily nutrient boost is as simple as adding a few key superfoods to your meal choices. You can often significantly increase your overall nutrient intake without even noticing!
As a general rule, there are those who enjoy breakfast cereal, and then there are those who are toast and eggs kind of people. If breakfast cereal is your thing one of the easiest ways to increase your nutrition is to add some fresh fruit such as a chopped banana or fresh berries to your cereal mix for a vitamin, fibre and antioxidant boost. If toast is your thing, simply adding some chopped veges to your avo or egg mix is another easy way to increase your nutrient intake. If you want to take it another step further, adding in some chia or nuts to your breakfast mix will also give you a dose of healthy and tasty fats.
If packaged snacks are your thing, getting into the habit of grabbing some fresh fruit or vege to go with your snack is an easy way to boost your intake of fresh food each day. Or if you are super organised, you can get into the habit of making your own healthy snacks each week such as banana bread (recipe below) or homemade protein balls.
Whenever we pick up lunch on the go, generally speaking our intake of processed food and refined carbohydrates increases, while our intake of fresh vegetables and protein is on the low side. For this reason, keeping nutrient rich proteins such as tins of tuna, or hard boiled eggs on hand, goes a long way in boosting our overall protein intake. Just as important is our intake of fresh food each day and simple ways to boost our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables include; ordering salad on the side of meals, ordering a vegetable juice or banana smoothie to accompany meals, or taking some cucumbers or tomatoes to work to add to crackers, salads or sandwiches.
Afternoon hunger means we need protein to keep us full and satisfied until dinner time and we often forget that nuts and seeds are not only protein rich but are also a rich natural source of the long chain plant based fats that have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. For this reason, a nut and/or seed based snack such as high protein bread with nut spread, a trail mix with fruit, seeds and nuts, or some homemade bites such as our banana nut bites (add recipe) are an easy way to give your afternoon snack a major nutrient boost.
When it comes to dinner, the key thing to remember is that the more colour you can fit on your plate, the better. This means brightly coloured vegetables such as beetroot, sweet potato, purple carrots and kale, cooked with extra virgin olive oil instantly offer you a nutrient boost of many key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Or if you find yourself eating out, make an effort to order extra vegetable sides to ensure that you do not miss out. When it comes to protein, seafood especially salmon and shellfish are rich sources of omega 3 fats and iodine, while meat eaters need lean red meat at least 3 times each week to get the iron they need to support optimal energy levels. And if you are craving something sweet after dinner, don’t forget that fresh fruit is the perfect sweet treat, especially if you dip a banana in dark chocolate and freeze it like I do – here you have a delicious ice-cream like treat with no added sugar.
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon light olive oil
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
1. Mix flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar in a bowl with mashed banana, vanilla essence, eggs, milk and oil.
2. Spoon mixture into loaf tin
3. Bake at 180°C for ~50-60 minutes, or until cooked through.
Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Australian Bananas. To learn more about the partnership, click here.