Are you often tired and do not want to lose weight? 9 tips for more nutritional value on your plate

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Are you often tired and do not want to lose weight? 9 tips for more nutritional value on your plate
I sometimes jokingly say: I don’t count calories but nutrients. Of course, you can’t count those, but I mean seriously that I make sure I get enough variety of nutrients. Only plenty of variety will give me plenty of energy in the long run. By the way, there are a lot of nutrients that we don’t know yet. Nutrition science is only in its infancy; they discover new substances in apples and pears every day. Fortunately, those apples and pears themselves know what substances are needed to make them into an apple or a pear.

Sufficient food is not the same as healthy food

For a long time, we thought that it didn’t really matter what you actually ate, as long as you got enough calories to stay at a normal weight and didn’t eat too much, because then you become fat. And if you want to lose weight: just limit calories and you’re done. Simple right? So no! It makes a big difference in which types of food you mainly eat. It’s not just about calories, but also about all the substances you ingest, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, plant substances, fiber, etc. Also for your weight.

There are several reasons why it is not self-evident that with sufficient nutrition you also feel healthy and energetic. It may depend on the type of food you choose, the ratio between the macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, or a lack of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. This can be exacerbated by the lack of nutrients in the soil on which our crops are often grown today.

The energy on your plate, how do you do that?

Are you often tired and do not want to lose weight? 9 tips for more nutritional value on your plate

You can boost your health and energy if you make sure every bite you take contains as many nutrients as possible so that your body actually gets everything it needs. Often you automatically get less need for ’empty calories, so calories and nothing else for good nutrients such as sweets.

Feeding yourself well can ensure that you can suddenly lose weight while you couldn’t before. Or that instead of feeling lifeless and tired, you suddenly start to feel much more energetic and vital, because all the systems in your body start working better again. Your body needs all these substances to keep you healthy and vital.

Eating empty calories often is not such a good plan, because your body then continues to crave ‘real’ food, which it then won’t get if you just have another march or a hamburger, or even a white sandwich with eat cheese to satisfy your hunger. In this way, your body continues to ‘whin’ for real food: you give it filling without providing nutritional value. But then what? Here are nine tips to ensure more nutritional value on your plate and thus energy in your body.

Nine tips to get more nutrients

Are you often tired and do not want to lose weight? 9 tips for more nutritional value on your plate

1. Organic makes sense

For starters, make sure to buy whole foods and organic foods that are full of healthy nutrients whenever possible. A meta-analysis of 343 studies found that there were clear differences between the composition of organically grown foods and conventionally grown foods. Compared to conventionally grown plant-based foods, organically grown foods were found to contain much higher levels of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavones, and flavonols. These chemicals have been linked in many studies to a lower risk of a variety of diseases, including stroke, certain cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Residues of pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium were found much less in organically grown crops. Because in organic cultivation much more is grown on the open ground, using natural compost instead of chemical pesticides, soil life is relatively healthier there, and this is reflected in the nutritional value of the products.

The organic variants also contain more healthy nutrients and fewer harmful substances for animal products. It often contains more healthy omega 3 fatty acids and the ratio between omega 3 and 6 is also better.

I often hear that organic food is so expensive. On the other hand, your body needs less to be satiated and is very happy with all the healthy substances it ingests! So if you want to eat healthier, start by choosing organic as much as possible and also plant-based as much as possible. And eat with the seasons, that makes a difference in your wallet!

2. Chewable Green Smoothies

A green smoothie gives you a delicious boost of healthy nutrients. Make your smoothie with lots of organic green leafy vegetables, and some fruit, and add some extra healthy fats and proteins such as avocado, nuts, kernels, and seeds. Easy and delicious! Because you use everything and don’t squeeze any juice, you also retain the fiber. It is best to make the smoothie so thick that it actually becomes more of a ‘drinking salad’ that you really have to chew. This ensures slower digestion and better absorption of nutrients. I often transfer a green smoothie from my blender into a deep bowl and eat it with a spoon.

3. Healthy snacks

I recommend eating about 5 to 7 servings of vegetables every day, about 350-500 grams in total. Preferably even more. If you consider that only a quarter of Dutch adults even meets the official guideline of 200 grams of vegetables per day, that is quite a task for many people. You can achieve this by including vegetables as a snack to start with. For example, a few carrots, tomatoes, celery, red pepper, or pieces of cucumber, possibly with some tasty hummus, nut paste, or tahini. I regularly snack on these types of vegetables with a nice lick of nut butter or (homemade) pesto or hummus.

4. Less stuffing, more nutrition

Some types of food are filling but provide our body with few nutrients so that we quickly get hungry again. These are the so-called ’empty’ calories such as refined starch products such as bread, pasta, chips, (breakfast) cake, and crackers. They are filling for a while, but they give your body far too few real nutrients, especially in the form of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy plant substances.

Are you often tired and do not want to lose weight? 9 tips for more nutritional value on your plate

If you want to feel full but also get enough of those substances, it is better to take some more starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and beet. The starch ensures that you become satiated and that you do not get hungry again too quickly. You can also replace regular pasta or rice with, for example, zucchini pasta or cauliflower rice. And an avocado is always great. Simple, fast, tasty and nutritious!

5. Nuts and Seeds

Sprinkle some mineral-rich nuts, seeds, and/or kernels in salads, in your breakfast or at lunch. Think of chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, almonds, cashew nuts or walnuts. The nuts and seeds also provide healthy proteins and fats in your meal. Make a mix of nuts and seeds in a glass jar, so you can always get something out of it. If you first briefly roast them in a frying pan, they will taste just a bit better. Also, consider coconut flakes.

6. Extra vegetables with every meal

Change the way you put together your dishes, by starting from now on with more and more vegetables instead of letting the choice depend on which carbohydrates or proteins you want. Plan your meal so that half or more consists of vegetables. If that makes you panic, start with a quarter of what is on your plate of vegetables. An easy option to start with is, for example, a mixture of (pre)cut vegetables and stir-fry, with possibly some meat or egg and whole grain rice, but then always reduce the proportion of carbohydrates (less rice or pasta for example) and increase the following times. the proportion of vegetables, until you have more than half of the vegetables on your plate!

7. More energy; also with your breakfast

Many people eat the same breakfast every day. Nice and easy of course. Everyday bread, a few crackers, or breakfast with muesli or cruel. Even if you eat a healthy oatmeal breakfast with fresh fruits and nuts every day, it’s not the best option. Variety is healthier, especially if you add vegetables to your breakfast more often. Try making a green smoothie or ‘drinking salad’ with lots of (leaf) vegetables, some fruit, and avocado, or bake a tasty frittata with lots of vegetables, eggs, and plant-based milk.

Are you often tired and do not want to lose weight? 9 tips for more nutritional value on your plate

8. Add Vegetable Protein

Many people suffer from sugar peaks and troughs; they feel shaky and light-headed, sometimes as early as an hour after the last meal and then have the feeling that something needs to be eaten immediately. The fast carbohydrates are often used, with which the cycle, of first a peak and increase in energy and then quickly a valley with sudden fatigue and drowsiness, continues. Ultimately, this pattern leads to insulin resistance and then to type 2 diabetes.

Break this vicious circle by ensuring stable blood sugar levels. You can do this by adding healthy proteins to your meal. These ensure that your food is absorbed and digested more slowly and that you feel full for longer. Good vegetable sources of protein are, for example, legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, unroasted nuts and seeds such as hemp seed or chia seed, or quinoa. If you still want to eat animal proteins now and then, choose (organic) fish, meat and eggs, but it is better for your health to get it as much as possible from vegetable sources.

9. More color on your plate gives more energy

The more color on your plate, the better, because different colors of fruit and vegetables also contain various important nutrients. More color, therefore, contributes to more ‘density’ of nutrients that you ingest. The beautiful color of red cabbage, for example, comes from the so-called anthocyanins and the bright red color of tomatoes is due to lycopene. These and other plant substances all have their own positive effect on our health. Colorful plant foods such as beets, pomegranates, turmeric, spinach, cabbages, and sweet potato are all very high in antioxidants. Eat all the colors of the rainbow and you will notice it in your energy level!

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