Hey There! It’s that time of the month again where we take a look at some of the delicious menu items and break down their nutrient density. One great thing about living a Whole30 lifestyle is that almost everything you eat has some sort of nutrient density to it. And by nutrient density, I mean both macro and micronutrients
While you might have heard about counting your macros or “if it fits my macros” as a hot term lately, it’s actually the micronutrients that are going to give us the most bang for your buck when it comes to true health and wellness.
For so long and even still today, we are often told that if we are skinny enough or weigh a certain number then we will be “healthy” however, that could not be further from the truth.
As a holistic nutritionist, I have seen people who are “skinny” but have so many health problems due to the constant yo-yo dieting or deprivation that has, in turn, caused issues like hormonal imbalance, brain fog, and fatigue, etc. and then, on the flip side, have worked with people who are “overweight” because they don’t fit into a size 2 and are as healthy as a horse.
So while macros, aka proteins, fats, and carbs are important, it’s the micronutrients aka vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients in our food that give us a healthy and vibrant life.
So let’s now dive into two menu items this week that will provide you with all of the health provoking benefits that macronutrients and micronutrients can provide.
Curried Chicken Salad + Roasted Market Vegetables
Now, I love me a good chicken salad or even tuna salad! It reminds me of the summer nights my mom would pack up sandwiches for dinner and take us to the community pool to play, nothing like the smell of tuna salad mixed with chlorine…
That’s actually pretty gross now that I think about it. Anyway, back to chicken salad! Not only is chicken salad a great option by itself because of the high-quality protein and healthy fats from the avocado oil mayonnaise used in the Model Meals kitchen, adding in the spices of the curry brings in a whole new layer of nutrition.
Traditionally, curry is made up of turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and chili pepper. Through those spices, we are getting anti-inflammatory properties from the turmeric, detoxification from the coriander, cooling effects from cumin, digestive support from the fenugreek, and then a touch of heat from the chili pepper.
The cooling and heating effects of the cumin and chili provide your taste buds with different flavors that actually light up different parts of the tongue and when we satisfy all areas or taste buds on the tongue, we actually feel more satisfied and satiated because with each taste bud comes certain micronutrients that nourish our cells.
If we provide the body with a balanced meal to satisfy all those taste buds, then the body knows it's getting an adequate supply of various nutrients. And let’s not forget the roasted market vegetables that provide vital antioxidants for our bodies to fight off the free radicals we come into contact with every day. Free radicals are one of those things that you can’t avoid, even exercising brings about free radicals in the body.
So while we can’t avoid them, we can certainly neutralize them by having adequate antioxidants in our diet.
Shrimp and Sausage Sweet Potato Paella
Now, let’s take a look at one of my absolute favorite dishes, Shrimp and Sausage Sweet Potato Paella. I was first introduced to this delicious dish back in Spain where I studied abroad for a semester during college. This meal is like one big nutrient punch to the gut, in a good way though of course.
Having diversity in the diet when it comes to fruits and vegetables is crucial! Research is even finding that women with the BRCA-1 and the BRCA-2 mutations (gene mutations for breast cancer) who consumed up to 27 different varieties of fruits and vegetables a week saw their cancer risk diminish by 73%.
So, not only is it important to get your fruits and vegetable servings in a day, variety is a huge factor as well for maintaining health and wellness and this paella is a great way to do that!
Let’s now take a deeper dive at the asparagus specifically, and what nutrients it provides the body. Asparagus provides B1, B2, Biotin, Copper, Vitamin E, Folate, and Vitamin K. We are finding through genetic research that folate particularly is so important for the proper function of multiple different genes and that 10% of the U.S population is actually deficient in this vitamin.
Having a deficiency in folate creates a lack of methyl groups in the body and therefore chromosome breakdown which can lead to all sorts of issues like brain fog, fatigue, depression, anxiety, anemia, allergies and more.
However, correcting a folate deficiency is very easy to do if identified early and can even be prevented by having a proper variety of fruits and vegetables specifically in the diet.
While today’s breakdown may have been a bit more scientific than normal, the key takeaways are to get in a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet throughout your meals and also remember that micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients.
Stay tuned for the Nutrient Breakdown. Doing Whole30 alone is a difficult process but totally doable. Be sure to look into a whole30 meal delivery service for help!
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