Do you make consistent healthy food choices?
When life is busy and your routine is more on autopilot than intentional living, it must be hard to always cater to habits that promote a nutritious and balanced lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here on my blog, I do not miss any chances to share quick healthy recipe ideas keeping busy families like you in mind. It is possible to enjoy meals rich in nutrients daily that can increase immune and overall health in spite of your fast-paced life. And what is even better? These are recipes that go from prep to table in no time at all!
Mealtime is a great time to introduce your family to new ingredients containing antioxidants that are rich in vitamins, protein, and probiotics.
4 Quick Prep to Table Healthy Recipes #LoblawsFluCrew
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances found naturally in food. They protect your body’s cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.
Let me give you an example how antioxidants come into play in your body.
Think of your body like your car. It rusts when the metal in the car reacts with oxygen. If you cover it with a protective coating, it doesn’t rust as quickly. Similarly eating foods that contain antioxidants every day can help protect your body from free radical damage.
The top nutrients to look for to help maintain a good overall and immune health include:
Vitamins C and E have antioxidants important for the maintenance of good health and are found in citrus fruits and seeds/nuts, respectively. Not only are citrus fruits a good source of vitamin C, they’re naturally delicious. If fresh fruit is not an option, try frozen – they are just as nutritious and delicious in smoothies, on top of yogurt or cereal. Read the label to make sure they do not come with added salt or sugar.
Zinc, which can be found in nuts and seeds, helps maintain immune function. Beans and legumes are also a source of zinc and protein that can be added to your diet today.
Vitamin A, found as beta carotene in orange vegetables like sweet potato and butternut squash, has also been shown to help maintain immune function.
Probiotic foods, like kefir or probiotic yogurt contain probiotic bacteria, which may modulate immune function. Eating foods that contain probiotics is preferred to taking probiotic supplements because you also get the other nutrients in the food, like protein and calcium.
Protein, found in meats, eggs, seafood (e.g. salmon, tuna and trout), milk products, legumes, and nuts and seeds, helps build and repair body tissues and antibodies.
The B vitamins, which help to maintain good health, are found in abundance in leafy greens, whole grains, and winter squashes, to name a few.
Stocking up on the foods mentioned above and adding them to your diet can contribute to good overall and immune health during the cold and flu season.
Tip: Try ingredients of different colours and textures, adding them to multiple meals to make the family accustomed to eating them.
Run with these ideas:
Note: One 2/3 cup serving of this pasta has 25% DV of zinc
Note: Contains Greek yogurt, a source of probiotics
Note: Excellent source of vitamins A and C
Note: At 80 calories per 250 mL serving and no added sugar, it’s the ideal way to quench your thirst. It also provides 1 serving of vegetables and 100% of the daily value of vitamins A and C per 250 mL serving.
Did you know your local in-store Registered Dietitian at Loblaws offers nutrition services such as individual and family consultations, grocery store tours and meal planning/recipe tips?
That’s right! I met with my in-store dietitian a few weeks ago. Lauren was very knowledgeable and helped me make healthier choices right there in the grocery aisle! She provided me with insights on how to read food labels, shopping on a budget, information on heart health, diabetes management (boy I need that being on borderline!) and so much more!
Head to Loblaws to book an appointment with one of the in-store registered dietitians for more information on foods that help support good overall and immune health. While you’re there, visit the in-store pharmacist for your flu shot.
****Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with Loblaws but thoughts expressed here are my own and honest****