Sneaky Ingredient Swaps That Boost Nutritional Value

Trying to eat healthy? Join the club. According to a recent survey, a majority of Americans claim to give “a lot” of thought to the healthiness of their diets. Even if you already understand the basics of healthy eating, you might be struggling for creative ways to make your everyday meals more nutritious. Instead of completely changing the way you eat, try using some of these superfoods as substitutes for run-of-the-mill ingredients.

Kale for Cabbage

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past five years, you have probably heard about the health benefits of kale. Because kale is so nutrient-rich, it can take less-than stellar dishes and turn them into stars. For example, coleslaw is a favorite summer side, but it is packed with mayo and sugar. Make your cookout contribution a little healthier by losing the cabbage and making kale slaw instead. You might still eat gobs of mayo and sugar, but at least you’ll get monster doses of calcium, vitamin A, and iron, too.

Sorghum Flour for Regular Flour

Wheat flour is the core ingredient for most baked goods. However, certain types of wheat flour leave much to be desired nutritionally. Next time you go on a baking spree, try supplementing your wheat flour with sorghum flour. Sorghum is an ancient grain that is rich in antioxidants and is easy on the digestive system. It has a natural sweetness, so baked goods containing it require less added sugar.

The health benefits of sorghum are becoming more well-known, but if you want to start enjoying those benefits now, look to food manufacturers who are ahead of the curve. For example, Hampton Creek has been using sorghum flour in their baked goods since 2014. Their cookies do not require as much added sugar as those of comparable brands, but they are so delicious that you would never know the difference. Oh, and their cookies come in four flavors, so even though sampling each flavor is a must, at least you will be getting some extra antioxidants while you do it!

Quinoa for Rice

Rice is an adaptable grain, so it is a valuable player in of many types of dishes. However, even the most valuable players need to step back sometimes. Although whole grain rice is good for you, the most commonly used variety is the nutritionally weak white rice. You can make more out of your meals by using quinoa anywhere you would use rice. Quinoa is a complete source of protein, is high in important vitamins and minerals, and has a pleasing flavor and texture. It is worth noting that quinoa is significantly more expensive than rice, but you should at least give it a try if possible. You can still enjoy the benefits of quinoa even if you only eat it occasionally.

Small Changes Lead to Big Results

Striving to eat more healthily is important, but there is no point in making big changes to your diet that you cannot maintain long-term. Instead of leaping headfirst into caveman cuisine or going absolutely organic, try beginning with small changes that feel manageable to you. Incorporating a small proportion of healthier foods will help you get to know their flavors and begin to feel their effects. As you grow more comfortable with these smaller changes, you will gradually be able to make more substantial and permanent ones.