By: Brooke Bulloch, Registered Dietician, Food to Fit Nutrition
Ag Month is a perfect time to reflect and appreciate where our food comes from, and to share our stories about food, whether we grow it or love to eat it. There are many options to choose from, but in honour of Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Month, here are five of my favourite Saskatchewan-grown foods:
There are so many reasons to love oats. First, oats contain a key component called beta glucan which has been shown to help lower Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Secondly, oats contain resistant starch, which escapes digestion and provides fermentable carbohydrates that healthy gut bacteria use to grow. Finally, eight grams of protein per 1/3 cup of steel-cut oats adds a healthy dose of protein to your meals.
Lentils are a lean plant-based protein source and I love that lentils also contribute to a sustainable crop rotation. Nutritionally, lentils offer a meat alternative source that contains zinc and iron, yet also provide folate and potassium—two nutrients that many Canadians are not getting enough of.
Local root veggies such as potatoes, beets and carrots are easy to find at the farmers’ market or grocery store during the summer and fall months. Potatoes are a great source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Carrots, rich in beta carotene, are an important antioxidant which helps to scavenge free radicals that cause inflammation in the body. Beets contain nitrates (different from those found in processed meats), which improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Despite popular belief, the cholesterol found in egg yolks is not tied to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Eggs are an affordable, great source of high-quality protein and they’re affordable and contain important nutrients such as iron, vitamin E and choline.
Two qualities make flaxseed stand out—fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Just one tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains two grams of fibre and meets an adult’s daily recommended intake of the omega-3 called alpha-linoleic acid (an essential fat that we need to consume in the diet). Fibre helps to slow digestion, keeping us feeling full for longer, and supports a healthy gastrointestinal tract. It offers the best of both worlds in one seed.
Recipes can be found on the following websites: