9 Simple Ingredients That Are Nutritious And Yummy For People Who Are Always Too Busy

Just sprinkle some on your food!

Cover image via Ambitious Kitchen/Greatist

Are you always too busy to eat proper, nutritious meals every day?

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You're definitely not alone! Whether you're a university student, working adult, or both, life gets busy and your diet can suffer. If you're the kind of person that turns to junk food and fast food to keep you fueled, now is your chance to change. 

Here are 9 ingredients to add to your meals that are simple yet nutritious:

1. Turmeric - the antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties

Turmeric (locally known as kunyit) is a staple spice in Malaysian cuisine, making it super simple to get your hands on. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant, which makes this spice good for your heart health and helps lower your risk of infections.

Sprinkle turmeric over some cauliflower and bake them in the oven or order ayam kunyit from your neighbourhood restaurant.

2. Eggs - one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones

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Scrambled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, sunny side up... Eggs are so versatile, easy to cook, and delicious. They only take a few minutes to cook any way you want.

Plus they are packed with protein, riboflavin, and selenium. Eggs are also one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D paired with calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth.

3. Fresh vegetables - your favourite nutrient-packed eats

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So many vegetables to choose from! At home you can stir fry Chinese cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and bean sprouts to add nutrients to your favourite pack of ramen in just 10 minutes. Getting take-away? Add a veggie side dish or opt for a build-your-own salad!

Most vegetables are naturally low in fat, none have cholesterol, and all are important sources of nutrients including potassium, fibre, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Each of these nutrients have health benefits ranging from reducing blood cholesterol levels and lowering risk of heart disease, to reducing constipation and keeping skin healthy!

4. Bananas - the perfect on-the-go fruit, rich in vitamin B6 and potassium

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Bananas are absolutely packed with goodness. They are rich in vitamin B6 and potassium. Vitamin B6 is good for producing red blood cells, remove unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys, and more. Meanwhile, potassium is good for your heart health and blood pressure. Bananas also have vitamin C, dietary fibre, and manganese.

Just grab a banana before you head out in the morning and have it as a snack! Or you can get banana pancakes, healthy banana bread, banana muffins... So many places and so many ways to enjoy this nutrient-packed fruit!

5. Kimchi - the best Korean side dish is a probiotic for a healthy gut

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Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish, which usually includes pickled cabbage, radish, scallion, and cucumber. The fermenting process results in creating probiotics, which make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients from food. By introducing this good bacteria into your gut, you increase the nutritional value of all your food!

Most Korean restaurants serve kimchi as a side dish for free, or you can just pick up a jar from the supermarket.

6. Peanut butter - a quick protein snack with vitamin B6

Peanut butter has loads of nutritional benefits, including being a good source of protein and vitamin B6, as well as magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Vitamin B6 is important for your body as it is needed to maintain the health of nerves, skin, and red blood cells.

Throw together a peanut butter sandwich in 5 minutes and you've got a yummy snack to keep you fueled at work!

7. Mango - a delicious source of iron, fibre, vitamins, and folate

Not only is mango super yummy, it's also a low calorie fruit that's high in fibre, and a great source of vitamins A and C, folate, iron, and antioxidants. One cup of mango provides 10% of your daily vitamin A needs and 75% of your daily vitamin C needs. These immune-boosting nutrients helps fight infections and keep you healthy.

Eat the fruit as is, add it to a salad, or grab a smoothie from the nearest fruit shop. It's such a tasty way to get your nutrients!

8. Edamame - a soy protein that's rich in healthy fibre, antioxidants, and vitamin K

Add nutrients to your meals by ordering edamame when you eat at Japanese restaurants, or buy a bag of frozen edamame from the supermarket (you don't even have to cook them, just let them defrost then enjoy!). Toss them in a salad or pasta, blend them to make hummus, or eat them as is.

On top of being a great source of soy protein, fibre, and antioxidants, edamame is also rich in vitamin K. This vitamin plays a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.

9. Salmon - one of the most nutritious foods in the world!

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Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, in addition to selenium and choline. It's one of the most nutritious foods in the world! Omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stoke, and may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bake salmon at home in just 15 minutes, order salmon sashimi from your favourite restaurant, or make smoked salmon sandwiches. The sky's the limit with this healthy fatty fish.

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