Top five nutrient-dense foods you must include in your daily diet
Ageing is a natural process, but with it, the body’s requirements change. This is why experts recommend including nutritious foods in one diet and cut away the junk.
“What you eat becomes of utmost importance,” said functional nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan. “Our bodies are made of the food we eat, which means the majority of what we eat should replenish, rejuvenate and invigorate your body,” she added.
Here’s a list of the top five nutrient-dense foods that you could include in your diet everyday to ensure peak health even after you enter your 50s.
Bone broth contains a rich mix of nutrients such as collagen, glycine, gelatin, proline, glutamine and arginine. Collagen aids in keeping the skin healthy as it provides structural integrity and also helps in making the bones strong. Gelatin helps bones work smoothly without friction. It also helps over-burdened joints to function optimally as it provides building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones and bone mineral density.
Glutamine plays a crucial role in muscle building and maintaining good gut and immune health, liver health, brain health and improving the detoxification process. It also possesses a magical ability to heal the gut. Glycine in bone broth acts as an antidepressant and helps improve mood. Bone broth also supports healthy sleep. You can easily make bone broth at home with chicken feet, mutton trotters, or fish bones.
One of the cheapest and easily available forms of animal protein, eggs are often considered as nature’s original superfood. Apart from protein, they are packed with a number of essential nutrients. While the egg white holds about 60 per cent of the high-grade animal protein, the yolk is loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most people fear eggs because of the fat, nut there are no conclusive research papers proving that the fat and cholesterol from eggs can impact health negatively. Eggs are so versatile, they can be had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even as snacks when hungry.
It is one of the most naturally occurring nutrient-dense foods, and contains the highest density of vitamin A. Liver and other organ foods contain a high amount of folate, iron, vitamin B, vitamin A, and copper.
A single serving of liver is enough to meet one’s daily nutritional requirements and curb the threat of nutritional deficiencies. Consuming optimum amounts of the liver is helpful in preventing age-related issues such as eye diseases, inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, etc. It is also packed with minerals such as folic acid, iron, zinc, selenium, etc, and is beneficial for improving heart health and increasing hemoglobin levels.
Mutton, free-range chicken, seafood
Dietary proteins are the building blocks of our body. “Despite the differing schools of thought and contrasting opinions, research has proven that animal protein clocks the highest bioavailability factor, well ahead of plant proteins. This means animal proteins are the most easily assimilated and digestible form of protein for human beings,” said Pradhan.
Also, there’s no need to fear the fat from red meat; stearic acid in red meat can actually help lose weight since it signals the body to burn more fat. Dark chicken meat is rich in vitamin K2 and chicken skin contains collagen which is good for the body. Low mercury seafood such as pomfret, prawns is not only a good source of protein but also omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory in nature. If you want your body to repair and heal on a daily basis then including animal protein in your diet every day is a must.
Ghee, butter, and coconut oil
Several studies indicate that refined vegetable oils such as canola oil, groundnut, soybean, safflower, mustard, sesame, cottonseed, palm oil, corn oil, and etc lead to pro-inflammatory conditions when consumed, said Pradhan.
“Ghee, butter, and coconut oil on the other hand are devoid of inflammatory components. These good fats help in preserving the essential cellular integrity, which is what your body needs as you age. These fats also help your skin glow, making it more supple, younger, and taut,” she said.
Diets rich in saturated fats also prevent hormonal imbalances because most hormones depend on cholesterol as their base molecule.
Organic seasonal fruits
Including seasonal fruits in our daily diet extends a number of health benefits to the body. They are a great source of various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For those of us that have sweet cravings, fruits are a perfect dessert option. They are literally nature’s candy.
“If you are afraid of fruits because of the sugar in them, don’t be. The fructose in fruits is not the same as the harmful fructose found in processed foods. The only caveat is that if you have severe diabetes and insulin resistance, then fruits might trigger elevated blood sugar responses,” she said.