What are nutrient-dense foods?
Think “superfoods”: whole, real, unprocessed foods which provide plenty of essential nutrients, including micronutrients (essential vitamins, trace minerals, electrolytes) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats) plus antioxidants and fibre. These are foods which have not been chemically altered, they are natural and not synthetic.
Such whole foods provide plenty of essential nutrients and have a low calorie count. Processed foods tend to offer the opposite – plenty of empty calories and little nutritional benefit.
How to get your nutrients:
As well as ensuring your diet is high in nutrients we must be careful to balance everything else – only eating nutrient-dense foods would mean you would lack healthy fats, plus if you have an active lifestyle you would ingest plenty of fibre but insufficient calories, which could be damaging to your health.
Therefore, in order to keep a healthy balance we must go for variety; look to all the different food groups when selecting your nutrient-dense foods to ensure you include protein, fats and fibre.
We must be self-aware and understand our own bodies to be able to give ourselves optimum nutrition. Think about how you feel after meals, during the day and after eating certain things. Keep a gauge on this and you will start to listen to your own body’s rhythm and feel what suits you best.
Quality of diet can be measured on the level of micronutrients and macronutrients (as mentioned above) obtained per calorie and to ensure you consume an appropriate amount for your personal needs. Replace supplements with a balanced, unprocessed diet as nutrients sourced from whole foods are far superior.
Nature provides nutrients:
On earth, there are thousands of edible plant foods, however currently most of our calorie intake worldwide consists of only four, highly industrialised and nutrient lacking crops; corn, rice, soy and wheat.
Try to source your food responsibly and locally making the most of farmer’s markets and the top quality organically grown produce, wild-caught fish, even look out for a community garden or grow them yourself!
The best nutrient-dense foods in the world:
- Liver (Beef and Chicken)
- Kale, collards and dandelion greens
- Exotic berries: acai, goji, camu camu
- Spinach, watercress and rocket
- Red peppers
- Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Wild salmon and sardines
- Bone Broth
- Grass-fed beef
- Green beans
- Egg yolks
- Wild mushrooms
- Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax
- Raw cheese and kefir
- Sweet potatoes
- Black beans
- Wild rice
Focus on getting the maximum (balanced for your specific needs) amount of nutrients into your body, in the most natural way possible. And enjoy your food!
Enrol with us and become a qualified Nutritional Therapist
At The School of Natural Health Sciences we offer over 60 courses in holistic health therapies, accredited in 26 countries. Seven of our courses are nutrition based – Clinical Nutrition, Advanced Nutrition, Child & Adolescent Nutrition, Sport & Exercise Nutrition, Nutrition for Age 50+, Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition and our most recent addition: Ethical & Sustainable Eating Course. Set yourself up for success with our diplomas – distance learning allows you to study at a pace that best suits your needs. No stress or deadlines, this is education the holistic way!