Did you know that some of the healthiest foods are often the most overlooked? We’ve put together a list of 6 delicious and nutritious foods that may be missing from your kitchen.
If you’re a reader of AppforHealth.com, you’ll know I can’t resist a corny catch-phrase. So please forgive the following: It’s hard to BEAT BEETS! Ok… that’s all for today… I promise.
Seriously though, beets are one of the best sources of folate. Folate is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth, such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. One cup of beets provides only 60 calories, NO fat, about 40 percent of your daily value for folic acid and 4 grams of fiber. Enjoy beets raw, sliced, or prepare a delicious beet salad by tossing them with olive oil and a splash of lemon.
Want more ideas on how to eat beets? Check out this link for a dozen great recipes!
Flax seeds are another nutritional gem. Early studies indicate that flax seed’s possible health benefits include reducing the risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular and lung disease. The lignans in flaxseed may provide some protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones, such as breast cancer. Also, the omega-3 essential fatty acids have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
While the science on flax is fairly recent, flax has long been considered a healthy staple. As far back as the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseeds that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume them! Obey the king – and make flax part of your daily routine! Try them in yogurt, cereals, salads, and breads.
With red stems, stalks, and veins on the leaves, Swiss chard just looks healthy. And it is! One cup of Swiss chard has 35 calories, 300% of the daily value of vitamin K, 109% of the daily value of vitamin A, and 52% daily value of vitamin C.
I must admit I’ve had some “bad chard” experiences in the past. It can taste a little bitter (for my palette, at least) if not prepared the right way. But with a good recipe it can be absolutely delicious! Now Swiss chard ranks as one of my favorite leafy greens.
Try this simple and scrumptious Swiss Chard with Lemon dish.
A nutritional All-Star — sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat. They’re loaded with carotenoids — important for eye health, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Plus they are delicious and super easy to prepare! Bake and then mix in some unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness. You needn’t worry about calories either — one medium baked sweet potato with skin contains just 140 calories! Nice!
One cup of chopped cabbage contains just 20 calories, 2 grams fiber and is loaded with sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting chemical that’s been shown to decrease cellular damage throughout the body.
Add cabbage to your salads or order steamed ‘moo shoo vegetables’ at your local Chinese restaurant (request sauce on the side and go easy!) or make a home-made low-calorie slaw.
Shake up your salad menu this week by making a Cabbage and Celery Root Slaw. It’s delicious — I promise!
I tried really hard to come up with at least one food that is probably not in most American kitchens. (I know, I know… some of you probably eat this every day, especially if you’re of Indian decent — or love Indian food.) But for the rest of you…. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a culinary spice, a major ingredient in Indian curries. Used as both medicine and food for centuries, studies suggest that this relative of ginger is a promising preventive agent for a wide range of diseases, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The potential therapeutic advantages of turmeric and curcumin (the main active compound in turmeric) are extensive. An overview published in Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 found that, “Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”
Fire up the grill this summer with these Spicy Grilled Chicken Breasts made with ground turmeric!