In recent years, kale, quinoa, and Greek yogurt have dominated nearly every “Superfoods” list. And no doubt, they are nutritional powerhouses. But with spring well underway, we figured it was time to add a few new superfoods to your shopping list. Here are 5 that should be on your menu.
Tumeric probably isn’t a staple in your spice rack – but it should be! It is 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.
How to eat: You can use tumeric as a base for your next curry or simply sprinkle some on chicken breasts prior to grilling.
When it comes to nutrition, taste, and even price, sweet potatoes are hard to beat. An excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, they’re also a good source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. All of this in just 100 calories per medium sweet potato! Best of all, they taste like a dessert! The sweet in these potatoes comes from an enzyme that converts most of the root’s starches to sugars as it matures. This sweetness intensifies during storage and as the potato is cooked.
How to eat: Try sweet potatoes roasted with olive oil and rosemary, salt and pepper. They can also be roasted and infused into great side dishes with hearty whole grains like barley and wild rice.
If you’ve never had bulgur, it should be on your must-try list. Just 1/4 cup has about 7 g of fiber and 5 g of protein. (Another grain with protein!) A staple food of the Middle East and Mediterranean, bulgur is a whole grain made from different varieties of wheat that have been parboiled, dried and cracked. It comes in four different textures: fine, medium, coarse, and very coarse, and each type lends itself to a particular kind of dish.
How to eat: Commonly used to make in Tabbouleh, bulgur’s nutty flavor makes it a great base for salads and pilafs.
While they may not be the sexiest item in the produce aisle, prunes (or ‘dried plums’, which sounds more appealing, but are the same) are chock full of health benefits…plus they are delicious. One serving (about 5 dried plums) has 3 grams of fiber, 293 mg of potassium, and 16 mg of magnesium, all for less than 100 calories. Multiple studies have shown that dried plums promote heart and digestive health.
How to eat: Prunes are a perfect on-the-go snack – you can buy them pre-packaged and just pop them into your purse or briefcase. They also add a bit of natural sweetness to desserts and baked goods.
While tea may be the angel of the beverage world and some people consider coffee drinking a vice, research is proving that your morning Joe may be doing a lot to keep you healthy. True, if you drink too much, caffeinated coffee can give you the jitters or interfere with sleep. But you can also reap significant perks from coffee, both caffeinated and decaf. Studies indicate that drinking coffee regularly may reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and even headaches. Scientists also believe that coffee may play a role in improving memory and decreasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.