Let’s be honest, our kids aren’t the only ones who need healthy, nutrient-dense foods sneakily placed into unsuspecting meals. We want to show you how to fool even the most stubborn of adult tastebuds by loading your everyday favorite meals and snacks with far more nutrients than they would typically have. The trojan horses of health and wellness are on their way!
Granulated Kelp, or Dulse
As much as we love our seaweed salads here at 22 Days, we are well aware most people feel no remorse for the absence of this food in their lives. However, even with a blissfully ignorant conscience, we implore you to remember our iodine-rich friends. Iodine is the mineral that fuels the thyroid. Inadequate levels can cause many serious health issues. Rest assured, you can easily get this essential nutrient by adding a small number of granulated flakes in any of your meals. For example, just 1tsp of Kelp granules yields a whopping 970% of the daily recommended value! Purchase this product from your local health food store and keep it next to your seasonings at home so you remember to use it.
We recommend pairing this powder with smoothies or something sweet, unless you find yourself with a strange craving for the flavor of swamp water. Using spirulina or chlorella in a fruit smoothie or alongside something sweet will completely mask the taste, so have no fear! The recommended amount to use in a serving is one tablespoon for spirulina, and one teaspoon for chlorella. Smaller amounts can be used if the portion you are consuming is smaller, or if you just want to get used to it. Here's why you should be excited to include this in your daily routine:
- Considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
- Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
- Has been shown to lower “bad” LDL and triglyceride levels
- Has been shown to protect “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation.
- May have anti-cancer properties.
- May reduce blood pressure.
- May be effective against anemia.
- May improve blood sugar levels.
- Assists the body in the detox of heavy metals
- Immune enhancing capabilities
- May help improve cholesterol.
- Acts as an antioxidant.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Has the potential to improve blood sugar levels.
- May help manage respiratory diseases.
Cooking mushrooms found in the grocery store can yield amazing benefits to your health, however, certain species have even stronger, more therapeutic effects on the body. Since these medicinal mushrooms typically come in powder form and are far less tasty, it is important to get creative with how we ingest them. Smoothies work amazingly well as a concealing vessel to less flavorful superfoods, but there are many other ways to hide ingredients if you aren't a smoothie person or are just looking to change things up from time to time. Try adding a serving of your preferred mushroom to your daily tea, coffee, or plant milk latte. Additional spices are welcome!
- Reshi can be used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. People also use this mushroom to manage high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Turkey tail contains a variety of powerful antioxidants and other compounds that may help boost your immune system and even help fight certain cancers. It has also been shown to improve gut bacteria balance, which can strengthen immunity.
- The ultimate brain booster! Some studies have found that lion's mane may protect against dementia, reduce mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, and help repair nerve damage. This mushroom is great to take when you need help concentrating and improving mental focus.
- Some compounds in this mushroom have been shown to help fight the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. Agarikon also exhibits antiviral activity against cowpox, swine and bird flu, and herpes.
Omega 3 Foods
Feed your brain, fight depression and anxiety, and support heart and eye health with these high omega 3 ingredients. Buy them pre-ground, or grind them yourself in a blender for easier absorption of nutrients and an improved texture in meals.
Chia Seeds Added Benefits:
- High antioxidant content, fiber, iron and calcium
Flax Seeds Added Benefits:
- Fiber, and can be used as an egg replacement! 3tbs water, 1tbs ground flax (three to one ratio).
Pumpkin Seeds Added Benefits:
- Fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin K, iron, copper, and zinc.
Walnuts Added Benefits:
- Protein, fiber, phosphorus, and B6
Nutritional yeast flakes have a nutty/ cheesy kind of taste that most people actually enjoy. This food is almost exclusively used as an addition to savory meals for this reason and provides a large number of essential vitamins. Here is the nutritional profile for one-quarter of a cup:
- 60 calories
- 8 grams (g) of protein
- 3 g of fiber
- 11.85 milligrams (mg) of thiamine, or vitamin B-1
- 9.70 mg of riboflavin, or vitamin B-2
- 5.90 mg of vitamin B-6
- 17.60 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12
In our pursuit of healthier eating, we don't always have to reinvent the wheel. We can make slight alterations to the dishes we already know and love with no sacrifice whatsoever. The ingredients mentioned in this blog will help picky eaters get more nutrition in their day to day lives, but they are also wonderful improvements for everyone else. Do your best to make the most out of what you eat, it couldn't be any easier!