10 Super Healthy Foods Most of Us Do Not Eat Enough Of
By Sara Saltzberg, RD
Learning to love vegetables may be the single most important skill in healthy eating. So it may not come as a surprise that most of the foods on my list of 10 healthy foods are vegetables. Also on the list are rich natural sources of omega-3 fats because they have all sorts of benefits for your body and brain. Check out these 10 power-packed foods:
1. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. To cook it, simply chop and sauté lightly in olive oil. Try chopping the colorful stems separately and sauté with onions for added crunch.
2. Beets: May stain your hands, but these nutritional gems are worth it. Cancer fighting properties, lowering blood pressure and improving muscle performance are just a few of their benefits. To prepare fresh beets, grate them, mix with grated carrots and lemon juice for a tasty, nutritious salad.
3. Pumpkin seeds: The seeds are the most nutritious part of the pumpkin and specifically packed with magnesium. Roast them and sprinkle them on a salad or enjoy them as a planned snack.
4. Sardines: Yes, they are a canned food but also high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, or mashed with Dijon mustard and onions as a spread.
5. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A. It fills you up on very few calories. Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg or add few tablespoons with spices to your vanilla protein smoothie.
6. Mushrooms: Rich in B vitamins and the only vegetable to naturally contain Vitamin D.
Try adding them to an omelet or use them as an ingredient in burgers to help disguise their texture.
7. Brussels sprouts: These may be unpopular with the kids, but they are extremely healthy and packed with vitamins and cancer fighting chemicals. They really can taste good when prepared right. To up their appeal, choose fresh sprouts rather than frozen, and try slicing in half and roasting with olive oil and sea salt.
8. Fish: Many kids hate fish and this can carry over into adulthood. However, fish is not only a great source of protein, but the oily kinds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can contribute to a healthy heart and brain. Try blackened fish tacos with salsa, avocado in a lettuce wrap.
9. Beans: Get a bad rap for causing some digestive trouble for some, yet beans are a nutrition wonder. Full of fiber and minerals, they can stabilize blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and boost protein intake. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy beans: sprinkle some on salads or add to chili and soup.
10. Avocados: Rich in potassium and essential fatty acids, avocado are great for skin and heart health. Try mixing blending with lemon juice, oil and seasoning to make a healthy alternative to mayonnaise, or add few slices to your protein smoothie for extra creaminess!