Face it—a lot of health foods and meal substitutes don’t taste great. But depending on your nutrition goals, you may not need these alternative foods. Instead, you can embrace oils and add-ins that provide extra vitamins and nutrients and incorporate them into your favorite snacks and meals. The following oils, supplements, and natural ingredients all pair well with the foods you already eat, making them simple to add to your daily diet:
1. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed is full of omega-3 fatty acids and is said to help reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and improve skin health. You can use flaxseed oil in smoothies, salad dressings, and even apply it to your skin. However, it’s not optimal for cooking, as flaxseed oil has a low smoke point and can be harmful to consume when overheated.
2. MCT Oil
Improved gut health, mental clarity, and weight loss are just a few MCT oil benefits. Although most commonly added to coffee, MCT oil can also be used for smoothies, salad dressings, or virtually anything that calls for oil. Another advantage of MCT oil is that it’s odorless and tasteless. You can put a little MCT oil on any dish or beverage to get all the great benefits added to your diet, without really noticing its presence.
3. Walnut Oil
Walnut oil is another healthy oil that can add an extra layer of flavor and nutrients to your dishes. However, you should only use walnut oil as a finishing touch, as it has low smoke point oil that’s not ideal for cooking.
Walnut oil is loaded with polyunsaturated fats and has a rich, nutty flavor. Try drizzling some of this oil on top of grilled meat, veggies, or even your favorite desserts.
4. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants, making it a popular choice in the health and wellness community. Potential benefits of avocado oil include reduced cholesterol, improved eye health, easier absorption of nutrients, and better skin.
Avocado oil has a high smoke point, making it an excellent oil to cook with, and it also tastes great when added to smoothies and salad dressings.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. These little seeds are known to keep you feeling full longer and make an easy addition to drinks, smoothies, dressings, yogurt, etc. Just keep in mind that adding chia seeds to other foods can change their consistency, so you should sprinkle them in sparingly.
6. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds contain an abundance of protein, vitamin E, and fatty acids. They are said to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve skin health. Adding hemp seeds to your smoothie, salads, yogurt, or oatmeal is an easy way to get some of these delicious, nutty-flavored seeds into your diet.
7. Collagen Powder
Another excellent source of protein is collagen powder. Collagen is the building block of our body and is the protein that acts like the glue that holds muscles, tendons, and bones together. This powder is flavorless and easy to add to your morning coffee or other beverages, as it dissolves in liquid.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria and yeasts that your body needs to maintain good gut health. Many health and wellness brands offer probiotics in powder form, making them dissolvable in water or any other beverage you prefer.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
As one of the oldest home remedies in the book, apple cider vinegar has been a popular choice in the health world for years. Apple cider vinegar is said to help maintain and lower blood sugar levels, improve skin health, help with weight loss, and is high in acetic acid, a chemical known to help with countless health conditions. To incorporate more apple cider vinegar in your diet, add the vinegar to tea, dressings, glazes, or sauces.
10. Spirulina Powder
Spirulina powder is an alga loaded with protein, B vitamins, copper, and iron. Spirulina is an excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and easy to add to smoothies, sauces, and dressings.
11. Maca Powder
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, Maca root contains nutrients like iron, potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, protein, copper, and more. The powders are easy to make into a tea or mix into your drinks.
This common spice has surprising health benefits due to all the antioxidants packed in. Research shows that consuming more cinnamon can lower your risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, lower blood sugar, and fight infections. Cinnamon goes well with coffee, hot chocolate, oatmeal, fruit, and many baked goods and dishes.
13. Nutritional Yeast
With a cheese-like taste, nutritional yeast is popular in the vegan world as a source of protein. Try a dash of the yeast in your food when frying vegetables, cooking stews, baking, or garnishing a dish. For a protein-rich snack, try sprinkling nutritional yeast over popcorn.
Ease and Experimentation
With these add-ins and supplements readily available in stores and online, it’s easier than ever to get the nutrients you need without drastically changing your diet. Try experimenting with a few of the ingredients above and see how good it feels getting all the extra nutrients your body craves.