Spring is the perfect time to bring some life back into your pantry. With new produce coming into season, this means more inspo for cooking and livening up your kitchen. When looking for new and unique ingredients to revamp your meals, don’t be turned off by strange sounding superfoods because more often than not, there are everyday alternatives that offer the same nutritional benefits.
Here is my guide to superfood substitutes which you’ll find are a little more accessible, and perhaps more appetising:
Flaxseed instead of psyllium husk.
Psyllium husk, often championed for its laxative properties, works by soaking up water in your gut and making bowel movements easier and more frequent. Well loved by sufferers of IBS or Crohn’s Disease, it’s a prebiotic that promotes a healthy colony of good gut bacteria. Unsurprisingly, you may not find it in your local supermarket, but flaxseed is the next best thing. Flaxseed boasts a high fibre content, and contains great portions of fat, vitamin b, and minerals. You’ll get plenty of use out of it thanks to its versatility, though best used in smoothies and baking.
Swap your hemp seeds for chia seeds.
Hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and high in healthy fats (over 30%), and protein. They are a complete protein, meaning they provide all the amino acids we seek to obtain in our diet. They are from the same species as cannabis, so if that is a deterrent for you, feel free to experiment with an alternative like chia seeds. Packed with fibre, healthy fats, and essential minerals, chia seeds are super adaptable within the diet. Try making a chia pudding, use them as salad toppers, and even as a substitute for breadcrumbs.
Hot tip: When using chia seeds in replacement of hemp seeds use roughly double as they differ in size.
Tumeric over marshmallow root.
Fascinating in both name and properties, marshmallow root is a perennial herb native to Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Most commonly known for its potential healing effects, evidence suggests it has the ability to reduce cold and flu symptoms, and assist in combating skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Admittedly you may not find this herb in your backyard, however, spiced turmeric should do the trick. It contains plenty of antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties, making it the perfect flavourful kick to any meal. MACROS has integrated this tasty ingredient across its range of ready-made meals, including the plant-based coconut, tofu, and turmeric soup. All meals are dietician approved and are delivered fresh to your door so you know you’re enjoying healthy food.
Kombucha aka kefir’s more attractive cousin.
Kefir is a fermented drink made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk and acts as a supercharged probiotic. It is made by adding kefir grains to milk and allowing them to rest for 24 hours, fermenting the milk’s sugars. Kombucha could be the go if you’re looking for a vegan, lactose-free alternative, or perhaps just something a little more fruity. The age-old tea comes in a range of sweet or savoury flavours, and similarly acts as a powerful probiotic. This works to support the presence of good gut bacteria, assisting digestion, inflammation, and giving you an always appreciated immune boost.
Before making any changes to your wellness routine, I strongly encourage you to seek guidance and advice from a trusted nutritionist, dietician, or healthcare professional to ensure you are creating a plan that is tailored to you and your personal health needs.
When giving your pantry a good clean out this spring (yes, it’s necessary) try incorporating some of these items and switch up your everyday diet as a result. No need to comb the supermarket shelves for the latest and greatest health foods, there are always more accessible alternatives to ensure you’re keeping up with the trends.
About James: James Halim has a Bachelor in Exercise & Sport Science and a Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics with over 5 years in the food industry. With a strong passion for fitness, health, and wellbeing, James has an aim to become an advocate for a balanced healthy lifestyle with exercise and nutrition.