In this Post:
- Tips for increasing nutrient density in foods you source
- Tips for increasing nutrient density in preparation, cooking, and storing
There are two basic “ingredients” if you will, used to arrive at a nutrient-dense meal – 1. The Food and 2. The Preparation & Cooking Process.
Nutrient density is a factor of the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, & vitamins in food. There are a few of these that are produced by the body, most of them need to come from the food that we eat. Nutrient density in our foods is impacted by the way the food is grown or raised, stored, treated, and prepared. As easy as it may seem to go with the lower price tag, your health could be the cost you end up paying later if you choose “cheaper” foods. So start small and take it slow, each step will be a move in the right direction.
Tips for Increasing Nutrient-density in the Foods You Source
With options from low resources to higher resources needed.
Once your desired nutrient-dense foods are sourced, the next process will be preparation and/or cooking for eating. There are many ways to prepare foods, some that increase the bioavailability of nutrients and others that may not be ideal for certain nutrients and foods.
Tips for Increasing Nutrient-density in Your Food Preparation & Cooking
- Preparing food yourself will go a long way in making foods more affordable.
- Soaking, sprouting, sour-leavening & fermenting foods you can find at your local grocery store or farmers market helps make the nutrients in the foods more bio-available. Fermenting also extends the usable life of some foods.
- Cooking your own food and eating mindfully, chewing each bite slowly helps your body digest your food properly which will also help you absorb the nutrients better.
- Another good way to keep nutrient-dense, whole foods affordable is to minimize waste in your usage of food.
- Buy the whole chicken – use the bones for bone broths and stocks and the organs in pâté or other recipes to get the full benefit of the highly nutritious organ meats. All of those vitamins and minerals your body’s organs need to run properly are kept in and around those organs so they are densely packed with nutrients in animals too.
- Cut down on plastic, Teflon, and aluminum when and where you can.
The utensils and cookware you have are usable until they start to fall apart and shed unwanted materials into your food, that’s when it may be a good idea to look for something new.
- Replace pots, pans, & utensils that are scratched or falling apart with like replacements to keep from contaminating foods
- Choose unbleached parchment paper over aluminum foil
- Wooden spoons and spatulas are a good choice for utensils
- Choose a glass or stainless-steel water bottle
- Choose glass when buying packaged foods, such as condiments and fats/oils
- Choose glass mason jars or food storage containers when packing your leftovers or lunches
- Choose higher-quality cookware that is less likely to leave behind any chemicals or other materials in your food. More expensive, higher quality cookware should last much longer as well, so you won’t have to replace it quite as often.
- A good quality cast iron pan is quite versatile and will last forever if properly cared for
Medeiros, D. & Wildman, R. (2019). Advanced human nutrition. Burlington, MA: Jones & Barlett Learning
Nutritional Therapy Association. (2020). Basics of Nutrition Student Guide [PDF document]. Retrieved from: https://nta.brightspace.com/d2l/le/content/10530/viewContent/108119/View
Nutritional Therapy Association. (2020). Culinary Wellness pt. 1 Student Guide [PDF document]. Retrieved from: https://nta.brightspace.com/d2l/le/content/10530/viewContent/108136/View
Tortora, G., & Derrickson, B. (2019). Introduction to the Human Body (11th ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.