In our article earlier this week about natural health supplements, we discussed how many people need to take supplements because most Americans eat a diet that’s deficient in major nutrients. If you’re one of the 8 out of 10 adults in America whose diet is lacking key nutrients, it’s time to add more nutrient-dense meals to your weekly routine.
“[Nutrient density] is a measure of the nutrients provided per calorie of food, or the ratio of nutrients to calories (energy),” explains Clemson University. “Eggs, for example, have a high nutrient density, because they provide protein and many vitamins and minerals in proportion their calories. Nutrient density is a way of evaluating the nutritional quality of a food by comparing the amount of nutrients supplied in relation to the amount of calories supplied.”
According to the university, some of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods include:
- Berries, mango and pineapple
- Bean sprouts
Today, we’ll share three easy recipes for nutrient-dense meals that incorporate the above ingredients. They’ll nourish your body, support the efficacy of your natural health supplements (including immune-boosting supplements like vitamin C, zinc, and BioPro-Plus 500), and fuel your daily activities.
BREAKFAST: Hawaiian Sunrise Smoothie
It might still be a crisp spring morning, but this antioxidant-rich, immunity-enhancing smoothie will instantly transport you to the sun-dappled shores of Hawaii with a burst of tropical flavor. It contains nutrient-dense pineapple, berries and mango. The addition of Greek yogurt adds lots of protein and some fat to keep you energized and feeling satisfied all morning long. Plus, yogurt is a great source of probiotics (beneficial bacteria), which helps jumpstart your digestion and may even improve your metabolism, immunity, and even your mental health.
1 ripe mango, peeled with the pit removed, then diced (or use 1 cup frozen mango)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
6 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Creamy Quiche
A quiche is your quintessential savory French pastry, and it’s perfect for a decadent, “fancy” lunch at home or work even though it takes just minutes to prepare. The well-proportioned ingredients make this an extremely nutrient-dense meal rich in flavor, high in protein, and a great source of antioxidants.
1 refrigerated 12-inch pie crust
6 large eggs, ideally local, organic and pasture-raised
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup cooked ham, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided
1 cup of your favorite veggies, diced
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
While your oven is heating up, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
Sprinkle in the ham, half the cheese, and your favorite minced veggies into the bottom of the pie crust. Great veggies for a quiche include bell peppers, spinach, and sweet yellow onions (these veggies are also all high in plant compounds and antioxidants that nourish your immune system).
Add half the cheese on top of your veggie-and-ham layer.
Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust, then garnish with the rest of the cheese.
Bake for half an hour, or until the quiche is golden brown on top and the eggs are cooked through. Enjoy!
DINNER: Bean Sprout Stir Fry
If you haven’t tried to cook with nutrient-dense bean sprouts, this is your perfect introduction.
Mung bean sprouts, available at most Asian grocery stores and many Western grocery chains, were originally grown in East Asia and are a common ingredient in Chinese food. While they are very low in calories, they’re extremely high in protein, vitamin C, folate, iron, and other nutrients. One reason they’re so nutrient-dense is because the sprouting process unlocks the mung bean’s nutrients (some estimate that sprouting a mung bean increases its vitamin C levels by up to 2400%)
You can also easily sprout seeds on your windowsill for the freshest sprouts available! Learn more in this article: How to Sprout Seeds in a Jar for Vitamins, Minerals and to Improve Digestion.
Now, on to our recipe…
1 lb mung bean sprouts
2 tbps toasted sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
2 green onions, roots removed and diced
1 lb cooked chicken, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar or honey
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
In a frying pan, heat up the oil and saute the garlic until it’s fragrant. Add the green onions and bean sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sprouts are tender yet still crisp.
Add the chicken, pour in the sauce, and toss. Let it saute for a couple more minutes, then enjoy!