Natural Balance Foods

Top 10 micronutrient-rich plant foods

micronutrients

So now you guys know what micronutrients are! If you don’t, have a quick read over here and then you’re ready.

This “Top 10” has been selected based on their varied macronutrient balance (i.e. balance of carbohydrate, fat and protein), as well as being rich in essential nutrients and micronutrients needed for optimal health and functioning.

Avocado…

Contains lots of healthy monounsaturated fat as well as some protein and a little carbohydrate. Avocados boast good levels of fibre, many antioxidants and healthy plant pigments along with the vitamins C, E and B6 and magnesium. Many of these nutrients are vital for the efficient conversion of food into energy in the body.

Puy Lentils…

Puy lentils sit low on the glycaemic index which makes them great for balancing blood sugar levels. They also offer significant amounts of protein and fibre, as well as slow-releasing carbohydrates, balancing their nutritional levels perfectly. In regard to their micronutrient content, they are rich in “alkaline” minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium, which make them wonderful foods for bone and structural health. Like all lentils, they can be sprouted instead of boiled, which increases their alkalinity and nutritional value quite significantly.

Beetroot…

Beetroot is easily available from supermarkets, making this a great choice. This colourful root veg is highly nutritious, containing carbohydrates for energy and a little protein too. It’s quite high in plant sugars as it’s a member of the sugar beet family, but this doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Weight for weight, it has less natural sugar than bananas, yet contains greater amounts of potassium and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Enjoy beetroot cooked or raw in salads or winter stews, and it is also delicious roasted too.

Hempseeds…

Shelled hempseeds are an excellent protein source, even containing the branched-chain amino acids (unusual for a seed!). They also supply the ever-necessary omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, which can be converted to the longer-chain omega-3’s EPA, and DHA. Great on breakfasts, in salads or simply eaten right off the spoon, hempseeds are a perfect food in any plant-based diet.

Kale…

Kale is a chlorophyll-rich dark leafy green, full of calcium, as well as vitamin C and fibre. It can be eaten raw, or lightly steamed, makes a great base for salads, stir-fries or soups.

Chia Seeds…

Here is another useful and nutritious “seed addition” to the plant-rich diet. Chia seeds have a truly huge nutritional profile. They contain excellent amounts of calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and are a good source of healthy omega-3 fats. Chia seeds can be eaten whole and soaked for a little while to extract all the goodness. Chia seeds make a wonderful morning porridge, with almond milk and topped with fresh fruit.

Goji Berries…

Goji berries are not only rich in protein, relatively speaking, they are also wonderful sources of vitamin C, and vitamin A. They are rich in fibre and when added to salads, porridge, granolas or mueslis, they add colour and a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Potato…

Sweet potato is a carbohydrate-rich vegetable, but has lots of micronutrients too! These pinkish-orange veggies are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, a good source of vitamin C, B6 and magnesium, and contain plenty of fibre too.

Millet…

Over twice the protein content of brown rice or quinoa, millet makes a superb addition to any plant-based diet. Millet is also a good source of the magnesium and iron, as well as a good dose of B6 too.  

Tofu…

Tofu or soya bean curd is rich in protein and calcium and also contains iron, B vitamins, and selenium – nutrients that are often lacking in today’s diet. It is a wonderful addition to stir-fries and salads, makes nutrient-rich vegetable kebabs and scrambles well for a protein-rich breakfast.

 

 

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