Although there is a flicker of hope that life may be returning to ‘normal’ after weeks of lockdown, we are not there yet. And staying (and eating in) during the coronavirus outbreak, is here to stay for a while. Without doubt, the longer we have been staying at home, the more most of us have also been consuming. Here Orjiugo Oguguo Hourihan picks 5 nutrient-dense hunger busters to give your growling belly the shhh-ing it craves, while being kind to your waistline.
Say goodbye to the belly-growl with this power combo of fibre and protein. Just half a cup of lentils contains 6g of fibre, 10g of protein, 120 calories and is really all you need in terms of portions. Lentils are a slow-digesting carb. Carbs that digest slowly release glucose into the blood in a steady stream rather than as a spike. This keeps you fuller for longer and keeps your blood sugar levels even, making you less likely to sprint back to the kitchen anytime soon.
One 40g pile of shrimps is about 50% bigger than a 40g portion of chicken. Trust me, I’ve checked, and it is actually slightly less in calories. Wild caught shrimp is the healthiest and safest option. Shrimp from other sources may have contaminants such as dioxins, PCBs, hormones and antibiotics. By eating shrimp, you get the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid nutrient, astaxanthin, which supports both the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Shrimp is also an excellent source of selenium (an antioxidant mineral) known to balance against cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes, depression, and compromised cognitive function. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are antioxidants-rich, anti-inflammatory and are libido-boosting too. They also have fat-burning, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function benefits.
One hunger-beating egg, preferably from pasture-raised chickens, packs in 6g of protein. Protein is slow burning and keeps you full for a long time. It can be a challenge to eat more than three eggs so that helps with portion control, too. Studies have shown that an egg breakfast induces greater satiety and significantly reduces short-term food intake. They also show that an egg-breakfast can cause significant weight loss compared to bagels for breakfast. Eggs are high in all sorts of nutrients along with unique antioxidants that protect our eyes.
This high-volume food of soluble fibre helps slow digestion and promotes fullness. A 100g serving of oat bran contains 17g of protein and 66g of carbs – so maybe don’t have this all day every day. However, when looking for a quick energy boost that will last a while, oat bran is an excellent choice. Fibre, B vitamins and iron are other nutritional benefits not to be missed.
GRASS FED BEEF
Steak and eggs for breakfast might seem a tad indulgent, but research suggests it will be sure to help you feel fuller for longer and lead to less snacking later in the day. Grass-fed beef is nutritionally superior to even organic beef. Compared to grass-fed meat, grain-fed (organic or not) has only up to 25% as much vitamin E, half as much beta-carotene and only up to 30% as much omega 3 fatty acids. This boils down to grain containing less nutrients than fresh pasture. Grain-fed meats are also deficient in fat-busting and cancer-fighting CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Beef contains creatine (which forms energy reserves in the brain and muscles) and carnosine (an antioxidant responsible for protecting cells from degenerative processes). Vitamins B3, B6, B12, iron, zinc and selenium are just some of the nutritional benefits of eating these meats.