Overlooked and underused in the american kitchen, these five foods pack a nutritional uppercut. Shoot for incorporating at least two of them into your diet each week.
1. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
With potent lycopene levels, these delicious gems may reduce cancers of the lung, stomach, and prostate. Sun-dried tomatoes are also high in antioxidants and vitamin C.
Throw them in your next pesto dish, on a home-made pizza, or in a lunchtime veggie wrap. If your feeling really frisky, head over to pickyourown.org to learn how to make sun-dried tomatoes all by yourself.
You’ve been told a million times to eat more fish, specifically salmon and tuna for the high Omega-3 fatty acids. Well, dare I say, these are even better (for you). They are tiny little fishes, so they haven’t had the time and energy to bio-accumulate so much mercury. They are extremely low in mercury contaminants.
Buy them packed in extra virgin olive oil and you’ll see they totally deserve a spot on your caesar salad tonight. Yum! Or, Sometimes we buy them packed in mustard sauce and spread on whole-wheat crackers for a mid-afternoon snack. Crown Prince brand is really good and you can buy them in bulk on Amazon to save time at the grocery store if that’s your thing.
#update: important new video clip about sardines: http://blip.tv/file/3492270
3. Sunflower Seeds
Firm and tender? Yes, that’s totally possible!! And sunflower seeds are the perfect example. These anti-inflamatory mini-guys pack a huge amount of vitamin E in every serving, which is a very important nutrient. Vitamin E is the body’s main source of fat-soluble antioxidants. They are also high in thiamin and magnesium. And BONUS: the flowers are beautiful!
The eating possibilities are many. Throw them on salads or just eat them by the handfuls. You can also incorporate them into your favorite granola bar recipe.
A favorite amongst vegetarians. And mayans!
The grain-like quinoa have been gaining popularity for good reason. They have a perfect set of amino acids which form a complete protein. Also, there are so many great recipes to make with quinoa. We are big fans of just putting some lightly sauteed or steamed vegetables over them. Here is one of my favorite recipe websites, 101 cookbooks, showing you how to do quinoa for breakfast or as an interesting dinner.
5. Black-Eyed Peas
These are good for you despite being named after the low talent music group (haha, j/k). And don’t confuse them with the pea family either, they’re actually beans!
Black-eyed peas are all about the fiber – good for your heart and intestines (and pooping!). They are high in folate, low in fat and sodium, and contain no cholesterol. And for the protein junkies, good news – black eyed peas are extremely high in protein.
Buy from the bulk bin and relish in your frugality or buy fresh for maximum flavor and nutrients. Here’s how to cook fresh black-eyed peas:
- Place black-eyed peas in a large pot or saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low. Simmer covered until peas are soft when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and serve.
I’ve got some other ideas for “Often Forgotten Power Foods” so I’ll probably do another post sometime in the not-near future. Make sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out on all the exciting things I’ve got coming soon, including more free stuff. Let me know in the comments if your a fan of any of these foods.
(photo by diongillard)