Enrich Your Diet With Essential Minerals
The millions of minuscule cells in your body need essential nutrients to grow, develop and work. These nutrients include minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and selenium, to name a few. They are vital but your body cannot produce them so you must get them through your diet. They work synergistically with each other and other nutrients and exist naturally together in whole, unrefined foods.
Fresh vegetables are some of the largest contributors of vital minerals as well as fruits, meats, nuts, beans and dairy. The way you prepare and eat your food has just as important a role in getting these minerals into your body as what you eat. Certain cooking and preparation methods can damage and severely reduce the nutrient content. Check the following guidelines to get the most out of your food;
- Eat raw as often as possible. Heating foods damages nutrients as well as the vital enzymes needed for digestion and thus the absorption of vitamins and minerals
- Only peel and cut fruits and vegetables immediately before eating and drink fresh juices straight away. If you have to cut and prepare them in advance, use larger chunks to reduce the surface area exposed to air and water.
- Use an array of different coloured vegetables to get the largest variety of minerals and include sea weeds, fermented foods, herbs and spices as often as possible.
- Rather than cooking pulses, try sprouting them and adding to salads. Sprouting seeds, grains and pulses makes them easier to digest, increases nutrient absorption and helps to decrease anti-nutrients like phytates that interfere with mineral absorption.
- Steaming food retains the most amount of minerals so use this wherever possible for vegetables, meat and fish. The shorter the cooking time the better. Avoid frying and boiling as much as possible. Slow cookers/crock pots are also better for nutrient retention as you consume the cooking liquids too.
- Use as little water as possible when poaching or boiling to reduce the amount of nutrients leeching into the water. Don’t throw this water away – drink it or add to soups and sauces.
- Use home-made bone broths as a mineral-rich base to all soups and sauces you make and replace coffee or tea with a nourishing cup daily.