If you’re like me, you’re constantly trying to improve your eating habits and make healthier choices when you shop. With so much conflicting information out there, I thought I’d give you a starting place for a few easy swaps to get more nutrients and minerals in your diet asap. Check out my five recommendations below and get shopping! I’ve made all of these swaps and I hope you will too.
1) Swap OUT the agave and swap IN maple syrup.
Agave nectar is one of those foods that got trendy in the last few years, so people all over starting incorporating it into their diets, assuming it was healthy. In reality, agave is highly processed, has a higher fructose content than high fructose corn syrup, and retains almost no nutrient value whatsoever.
Real 100% maple syrup on the other hand, is high in manganese, zinc, and riboflavin, along with a ton of other minerals, nutrients, and 24 different antioxidants! These antioxidants are in the form of phenolic compounds and can fight inflammation and reduce free radical damage. Make sure to go for the higher grade (B) and darker maple syrups which have more of these beneficial compounds than the lighter syrups.
(Stevia is good to have around too for recipes in which a powder works well. Just be careful that you are getting pure stevia with no fillers and added ingredients!)
2) Swap OUT the whole wheat bread and swap IN the sprouted bread.
If you look closely, most “whole wheat breads” in the store are just white breads with some added whole wheat flour and mostly “enriched flour” which makes your blood sugar spike and crash with little to no nutrient value.
If you are a bread lover, go for a sprouted option that is truly whole grain. Sprouting grains increases digestibility, protein content, and nutrient content overall. Read the ingredients (the shorter the list, the better!) and don’t fall for “natural whole wheat” marketing tricks. (Same goes for tortillas, pasta, etc!)
3) Swap OUT the table salt and swap IN real salt.
If you haven’t made this change already, do this one ASAP! Common table salt is chemically stripped to remove “impurities” which means that it’s stripped of essential minerals and nutrients that our bodies need. Pink salt (aka Himalayan salt) and my personal favorite Real Salt (harvested right here in the U.S.) actually have a lower sodium content and are both unrefined. This means they contain over 60 minerals that help our bodies stay balanced, absorb nutrients better, get rid of toxins, etc.
4) Swap OUT the pickles and swap IN the fermented foods!
It’s a far too common misconception that pickles share the same benefits as fermented foods, which is totally not the case. While there is nothing inherently wrong with pickles (veggies + vinegar), store-bought pickles can be loaded with sugar and salt, and there is zero fermentation involved. Fermented foods like real sauerkraut contain live probiotics and enzymes that keep your gut happy and healthy and you can still enjoy that tangy sour flavor similar to pickles.
5) Swap OUT the same old same old and swap IN something new!
We all get into routines where we buy the same foods over and over and cook the same meals repeatedly. But the easiest way to make sure our bodies are getting all of the nutrients we need is by changing up our grocery carts! No one fruit or veggie has every single nutrient our body needs. Spinach has different vitamins than kale, which has different vitamins than chard! Apples have different vitamins than bananas, which have different vitamins than pomegranates. It doesn’t mean that any one is better than the other; it just means that we need to expand our horizons (and palates) and challenge ourselves to try new foods. Variety is your friend!
How many swaps have YOU made already?
For the animals,