Delicious and Nutritious Micronutrient-Dense Meals

Delicious and Nutritious Micronutrient-Dense Meals

With all that’s going on around the globe, what’s really been brought to light is the importance of our personal health and safety, for both yourselves and your loved ones. Nutrition is at the cornerstone of good health, so now more than ever is the time to ensure you’re nourishing yourself from the inside out! 

We hear so often about the importance of micronutrients for optimal health, but what does this actually mean for us in relation to the current health crisis surrounding COVID-19? In a nutshell, our immune system works very hard to fight off infections, diseases and all other illnesses. For those with poorer immunity, they are at much higher risk of more severe health complications at present, or further down the track. Vitamins and minerals are critical for overall health and wellbeing, however our immune system relies on particular micronutrients more so than others to function optimally, hence the inclusion of a variety of nutrients through a well-balanced diet is so important. 

Essential nutrients supporting the immune system include Protein, Vitamins A, C & E, Vitamin B6 (folate), iron, zinc, beta-carotene and antioxidants as the front runners, as well as so many others! With loads of essential nutrients, it only makes sense that they would come from different food sources which is why VARIETY is key! We focus mostly on our fresh fruit and veg to pack in our micronutrients, however meat/poultry, dairy products and bread/cereals are just as important, containing other nutrients fruit and veg may be lacking in. Protein, iron and vitamin B-12 being just three. 

Fun fact: Did you know that it’s mandatory for all bread-making flour in Australia to be fortified with folate? Why? Because folate is essential in the making of white blood cells - key players in our immune system for fighting off disease and infection and is critical for periods of rapid growth (pregnancy, infancy and adolescence). Dark green vegetables are also an incredible source of folate, but why have just spinach when you can also have a toastie? It’s all about balance and variety! 

Hearing all the facts is one thing, but seeing what this looks like on the plate translates knowledge into practice. As part of our Immunity Fortnight, we thought we’d share some of our favourite micronutrient-packed meals which you can enjoy in the days ahead, keeping those key vitamins and minerals at a high. 

blueberry-smoothie

Breakfast:

Blueberry Bang Smoothie

- 200mL Skim milk

- 100g YoPro Greek Yoghurt 

- 100g Blueberries 

- 1x Weet-bix biscuit 

- 10g Honey

strawberries-yoghurt

Strawberries & Cream Yoghurt Bowl

- 1x Strawberries

- 1x Yopro

- 30g Special K Nourish Cereal

- 15mL Queens Sugar-Free Maple Syrup

What’s so special about these meals to power up your morning? You’re getting a valuable source of protein, calcium, probiotics and iron from the milk and yoghurt, berries are rich in fibre, antioxidants and Vit C, Vit E & Vit K. If you’re looking for a micro-nutrient packed breakfast cereal, Weet-Bix and Special K are the way to go! Weet-Bix is packed with iron, fibre and those all-important B-vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin & niacin) while Special K Nourish cereal includes all of these, as well as Vit D, folate and calcium.

spiced-chicken

Lunch:

Moroccan Chicken Salad 

- 150g Chicken Breast

- 5g Moroccan seasoning

- 40g Spinach

- 100g Pumpkin

- 40g Carrot

- 40g Capsicum

- 40g Tomato

- 30g Avocado

- 30g Chris' Tzatziki (garlic + greek yoghurt food for immune system)

- 15mL Lemon juice

tuna-salad-roll

Tuna Salad Roll

- 1x Wholemeal Bread Roll

- 1x Sirena La Vita Lite Tuna in Oil - 95g

- 20g Rocket

- 30g Grated Carrot

- 30g Tomato

- 20g Red Onion

- 30g Bocconcini 

- 15mL Balsamic Glaze

Two meals, both packed with plenty of nutrients to fuel you up throughout the day! A high-volume salad and filling roll - both just as delicious and nutritious as the other. The key nutrients we have here are protein from our meat sources, with tuna being an incredible source of omega-3 which is important for a healthy heart so you’re getting a little more bang for your buck! Loads of veggies, loads of micronutrients including our all-important Vitamins A, C & D, iron, selenium & beta-carotene. Another hidden gem in our Moroccan Salad is the garlic present in tzatziki. Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has been found to help the immune system fight off colds, flu and infection. Fresh is best but all forms will always be of benefit! 

herb-crusted-salmon

Dinner:

Lemon & Herb Crusted Salmon With Roast Veggies

-180g Atlantic salmon

- 10g Table of Plenty Lemon & Herb Dukkah

- 15mL Lemon juice 

- 150g Pumpkin 

- 80g Broccoli 

- 80g Asparagus 

lentil-stuffed-capsicum

Lentil Stuffed Capsicum

- 350g Capsicum

- 150g Cooked Lentils

- 150g Canned Diced Tomatoes

- 10g Italian Herbs

- 120g Cooked Brown Rice

- 50g Mushrooms

- 20g Onion

- 20g Nutritional Yeast Flakes OR 20g Danish Feta

Finish the day on a high with a nutrient-packed home-cooked dinner to enjoy for yourself, or with everyone in the household. The two meals are quite different from one another, but with the restrictions around purchasing red meat, pasta and a few other kitchen staples, this doesn’t at all mean you’ll be compromised in any way!

While it might be a little frustrating, we’re now presented with an opportunity to try something new, and with new foods comes an array of nutrients. Salmon is an incredible source of protein, omega-3, iron, zinc, selenium and B-vitamins to name a few, however lentils are also packed with protein (although it may not be as high as salmon) along with other vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, folate, thiamin & niacin as well as being high in fibre.

As a rule of thumb, orange/red veggies are generally sources of beta-carotene which is essential for a healthy immune system, so things like pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and capsicum would be our go-to! Vitamin C is important in the production of white blood cells, the key players in our immune system so keeping up your Vit-C is critical not only now, but over your entire lifespan. Where can we find Vitamin C? Almost anywhere and in these meals in particular, you’ll find your Vit C in lemon juice, broccoli, pumpkin & asparagus. Think there couldn’t be more? No way! Mushrooms are low in calories, so adding these to your meal will get your Vit B & zinc intake up for a minimal cost on your calories.

What about nutritional yeast? It’s high in protein, fibre, almost all the B Vitamins (folate, riboflavin, thiamin) so a great choice for vegans and vegetarians who might struggle meeting certain nutrients. If it’s not your thing, topping the stuffed capsicums with feta is a delicious alternative. While it may not be packed with micronutrients, eating is just as much about taste and enjoyment so enjoy that feta as you please - just not the whole block! 

With these meals in mind, let’s fuel through another week focusing on getting the most out of your meals, choosing those which are packed with nutrient-dense foods without compromising taste or enjoyment. We certainly don’t, so neither should you!



Yours in Health & Fitness,

The Equalution Team