In the past few years, I’ve been more intentional with my diet, ensuring that each meal, no matter how small, is nutrient dense and beneficial to me and my family. One of the things I’ve learnt is that watching your diet closely helps nurture your health from the inside out. You feel much better, lighter, and you barely get ill. As one gets older, there should be increasingly a conscious effort to eat nutrient dense meals especially in Nigeria where our food densely consists of carbohydrates and made with a lot of fats like palm oil.
In this article, I’d share some of the things I’ve learnt in the course of this journey for your benefit.
1. Embracing Whole Foods
I focused on incorporating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds, into my diet, because they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients that are fundamental for maintaining health, preventing diseases, and ensuring optimal functioning of our bodies.
2. The Nutritional Wealth of Traditional Nigerian Foods
One thing I noticed is how our traditional Nigerian foods like ugu, okra, and beans are nutrient powerhouses. By adding these foods into my diet, I’ve managed to create meals that are both culturally resonant and highly beneficial for my health.
3. The Magic of Dietary Diversity
Diversity in one’s diet is important for obtaining a wide array of nutrients. I’ve made it a point to include different foods like carbs and proteins in my meals. This not only ensures a comprehensive nutrient intake but also keeps my meals interesting and helps prevent dietary boredom.
4. Meal Planning for Balanced Nutrition
I’ve learned the importance of meal planning in ensuring a nutritious diet. Planning my meals ahead of time allows me to maintain a balance of macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), manage portion sizes, and maintain a healthy weight more effectively.
In conclusion, embracing nutrient-packed meals has been a transformative journey for me towards living a better and healthier life. In Nigeria, where the cultural richness of food is as diverse as its people, these lessons will help you live a healthy life too.