5 Great Foods You May Be Missing
Could you be overlooking some of the healthiest items in the supermarket? Here are five delicious, good-for-you foods that deserve a ride in your shopping cart.
Ounce for ounce, kiwi fruit is the most nutrient-dense fruit around, with nearly twice as much vitamin C as an orange, plus potassium and fiber. This giant berry also contains lutein, an antioxidant that protects eyes from macular degeneration, a serious eye disease.
To eat: Cut kiwis in half and scoop the juicy flesh with a spoon, or use a vegetable peeler to remove the thin, hairy skin and slice to reveal the starburst inside. Or cut lengthwise into quarters and nibble off the fruit. It’s delicious with cereal or yogurt.
Researchers at the USDA recommend including collard greens in your diet regularly to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease. These mild-flavored greens help lower cholesterol by binding to cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestines, especially when the greens are steamed. Collard greens also are rich in natural chemical compounds that protect against cancer.
To eat: “Cook fresh or frozen collard greens for about 15 to 20 minutes to make them tender. SautÃ© them in olive oil and garlic, add them to soups and stews, or use the cooked greens as a delicious pizza topping,” said Laura Sabban, MS, RD, CSR, a Lourdes Health System registered dietitian. “Avoid cooking them Southern-style with fatty pork products. Instead, use a little smoked turkey to retain the flavor.”
For only about 100 calories, one of these orange gems gives you a four-day supply of vitamin A, plus vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Just try not to smother them in butter, sugar and marshmallows. To get the most fiber, keep the skin on.
To eat: “Grated sweet potatoes can be made into tasty pancakes,” Sabban said. “Sprinkle peeled, cut-up sweet potatoes with apple juice and cinnamon and bake until tender in a foil-lined pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.”
These versatile legumes are a budget bargain and nutrition powerhouse, providing protein, fiber, iron and potassium. They’re also low in fat, making them a healthy substitute for meat. Because lentils cook in about 15 minutes, they’re a great way to get the recommended three servings of legumes a week, Sabban said.
To eat: Try a hearty lentil soup, or add cooked lentils to pasta salad.
A cup of these richly colored berries–fresh or frozen–gives you half your day’s requirement of vitamin C and a healthy 6 grams of fiber for about 60 calories. The berries get their color from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that stop cancer-causing free radicals in their tracks.
To eat: Stir into yogurt or add frozen berries to pancake batter.
Tips for Eating Out
Eating out can be challenging, especially if you’re watching your waistline, sodium and cholesterol intake. Call 1-888-LOURDES (568-7337) to receive this FREE brochure on tips for eating out at various restaurants, including Chinese, French and Mexican cuisines.