Good food for lunch

Lunchtime food swaps

By Kumud Gandhi

Here are some  interesting swaps that will keep the taste buds sizzling and tick the ultimate health checks.

Swap a sandwich for sushi

Although sandwiches are easy favourites, sushi is a healthy alternative, packed with key ingredients and perfectly balanced in terms of its nutritional content. Maki rolls is the traditional sushi rice wrapped in nori (seaweed) which is a sea vegetable rich in iodine, iron and protein. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin – and if all those weren’t enough, seaweed is also very low in fat. Both fish and vegetarian sushi will give you a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein as well as other minerals from vegetables. Iodine is important for thyroid function which regulates many of our metabolic processes, and most importantly is key to good mental health and wellbeing. A good swap for a balanced brain and calm afternoon!

Eat sweet jacket potato instead of white jacket potato

Use sweet potatoes instead of your normal white potatoes for jackets or wedges. Sweet potato contains root proteins which hold massive amounts of antioxidants (great for the immune system). They are also high in vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Sweet potatoes, in spite of their sweetness, have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes and keep you full for longer, without making you sleepy and sluggish – in other words fit for an active afternoon (and for weight loss).

Swap pasta for quinoa

Quinoa makes a great alternative to pasta. It is high in protein and amino acids which are essential for the body’s growth and repair. Quinoa is also gluten-free which is great if you have difficulty digesting wheat or are trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Boil quinoa in chicken stock instead of water to give it extra flavour and add some diced peppers or chopped french beans; it gives great flavour and adds wonderful texture to the dish.

Try homemade soup instead of canned soup

Homemade soup is nourishing for the body and soul. Swap this for the canned stuff which can often be loaded with empty calories. Make a healthy lentil and chicken broth which gives you warmth and comfort, but also protein and complex carbohydrate energy. The liquid will capture all the mineral value from the vegetables, and lentils will give you that earthy texture to stave of the winter ahead and warm you up.

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