Choosing Nutrient Rich Foods For Lent
By Lia Threat
Click aqui para español- >Escoge alimentos ricos en nutrientes durante la cuaresma
As Mardi Gras season ends, many start thinking about Lent. During Lent, Catholics abstain from their usual indulgences, such as alcohol, sweets, or sugar. Lent also includes abstaining from meat on Fridays. Choosing a nutrient-dense replacement can help you stay full longer and avoid those dips in blood sugar that may lead to cravings for junk and sweets.
Choose a fiber-rich meal with legumes.
Seafood is popular on Fridays, but another option is to go meatless and even vegan! Choose foods rich in fiber, such as lentils, black beans, or green peas.
These options are high in iron, easy to cook, and full of nutrients like B vitamins and minerals such as zinc. Soaking your beans and legumes will help to lower levels of phytic acid, which impairs the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium. Cover your beans or legumes with water in a bowl for at least four hours or overnight. Make sure to rinse thoroughly before cooking!
Try to source seafood options that are local, wild-caught, or responsibly farmed and raised seafood has been the top choice for meatless Fridays during Lent. If you can’t afford to buy fresh, wild-caught seafood, there are other options rich in fatty acids, Omega 3s, and iron that fly under the radar. Some more affordable choices are clams (one of the most iron rich foods), mussels, canned salmon, or sardines (great for heart and brain health, as well as inflammation). Frozen seafood is the next best option.
Remember to add color and variety to your meal to avoid filling up on carbs! Most of all, enjoy this time with family and focus on abundance rather than restriction.
Happy Mardi Gras!