Another year is here. Did you make a resolution to reduce your stress level and start living a healthier lifestyle? If you answered yes, then here is a list of seven super foods you will want to purchase on your next shopping trip.
All of these foods are packed with natural protective substances that may help you ward off diseases, help you feel energized and improve your mood. So go ahead and grab some "get-up-and-go."
Aronia berries (also known as "chokeberries") Contain high levels of antioxidants that help prevent many diseases. The aronia berry has one of the highest recorded levels of antioxidant capacity among berries and fresh fruits. These powerful berries can be found fresh, dried, and as juice.
Broccoli A good source of antioxidants, fiber, electrolytes and other nutrients. Try it fresh with your favorite hummus, or steam or roast it until crisp-tender. This is a great super food because it is available year round in the produce section.
Quinoa (pronounced keenwah) A grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It serves up high-quality protein and plenty of fiber. The rice-like granules contain magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, riboflavin and more iron than true grains. Quinoa has a bitter, natural covering called, saponin; that must be rinsed before eating. Look for the package to say it has been pre-rinsed to skip the need to do so yourself. Use quinoa in place of rice for a variety of main dishes or sides for your next meal.
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt Provides double the protein of most regular yogurts. Also an excellent source of calcium and loaded with friendly bacteria (the "probiotics" which promote good digestion and boost immunity). Many yogurts are packed in easy-to-go portioned containers for a quick and nutritious burst of afternoon energy.
Edamame (green soybeans) - Typically low in fat, containing no cholesterol, and high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, soybeans can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more cholesterol and saturated fat. Try adding them to your favorite salad.
Chia Seeds These tiny seeds are a good plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are essentially flavorless and do not require grinding, making them an easy addition to your favorite dishes. Chia seeds also provide a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Add some to your favorite Greek yogurt or use in breads and muffins.
Cinnamon This common spice may help regulate blood sugar levels after meals. It may also have antioxidant effects and decrease inflammation which may be causing internal stress to your body. Sprinkle some on cooked quinoa for a power-packed breakfast.
6 servings, about 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes
All you need:
1 (14 oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tbsp walnut oil or canola oil
1 tbsp fruity vinegar, such as pear, raspberry or pomegranate
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 ripe but firm pears, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted (see Tips)
All you do:
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has popped, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, chives, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add pears and toss to coat.
Drain any excess liquid from the cooked quinoa, if necessary. Add the quinoa to the pear mixture; toss to combine. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes or serve warm. Serve topped with nuts.
Per serving: 246 Calories; 13 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 28 g Carbohydrates; 7 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 253 mg Sodium; 332 mg Potassium
To toast chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
This information is not intended as medical advice.
Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee Food Store.