A yogurt parfait includes berries and nuts.

Make super foods part of your diet in the Mid-Atlantic States

FEB 07, 2018
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With a wealth of delicious produce coming into season, spring is a great time to add some of nature’s super foods to your daily diet. These are foods that are especially high in nutrients.

 

If you’re looking to add more nutrient-dense foods to your daily meals and snacks, pick up some of these options at your local store or farmers market. They make a tasty addition to any meal, so experiment with many different ways of preparing them. You may find a new favorite snack.

 

Beans and legumes

 

All types of beans offer protein, fiber, and iron while staying low in fat. Plus, they’re affordable and versatile!

 

Toss cooked beans into a green salad, vegetable soup, casserole, or chili. For a satisfying vegetarian entrée, stew some black beans with tomatoes and seasonings like garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Serve over brown rice, wrapped in a tortilla, or on its own with a green salad on the side.

 

Blueberries

 

Packed with vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, blueberries can help lower your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer.

 

Grab a handful to snack on, add them to cereal, blend with bananas for a delicious smoothie, or warm them on a stove to make a nutritious fruit topping.

 

Broccoli

 

Broccoli is a powerhouse when it comes to vitamins, fiber, and calcium. And research shows that this vegetable can help decrease your risk of colon cancer, cataracts, and stroke.

 

Try raw chunks dipped in ranch dressing, steamed broccoli with lemon, or roasted florets with garlic and parmesan.

 

Flax seeds

 

An excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds can lower your risk of heart disease, stimulate brain function, and improve digestion. They’re also high in fiber.

 

Add ground flaxseed to your smoothies, sprinkle on oatmeal, or mix it into yogurt. You can even add a few spoonfuls to cake and brownie recipes.

 

Nuts

 

A good source of protein, B vitamins, and heart-healthy fats. Just a small handful (1/4 cup) of nuts can help you fight hunger between meals.

 

This versatile treat can add crunchy texture to your salads, rice dishes, or couscous. Or you can pair them with fresh fruit for an energizing snack.

 

Salmon

 

Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is great for your heart and your brain.

 

Whether grilled, baked, or sautéed, salmon makes a tasty substitute for red meat. You can also serve it over a green salad, or atop a bed of lentils and tomatoes.

 

Spinach

 

Popeye was on to something — spinach provides iron, folic acid, bone-strengthening vitamin K, and antioxidants like beta-carotene. Blend it into your smoothies or use it in salads. For a tasty side dish, you can steam it with a dash of lemon juice or sauté it with garlic and olive oil.

 

Tomatoes

 

Sweet and juicy, tomatoes are high in lycopene, which is an antioxidant connected to lower rates of certain kinds of cancer. They’re also a great source of vitamin C and folate.

 

Chop them up for soups, tacos, sauces, or salsa. Add sliced tomatoes to your sandwiches. Or cut up a few heirloom tomatoes to make a salad with cucumber, chickpeas, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Yogurt

 

In addition to calcium, protein, and vitamin D, yogurt offers an added bonus — probiotics. These “good” bacteria support your digestive system, which can impact your overall health in surprising ways.

 

Blend yogurt into your smoothie for a filling boost. Spoon some fruit, nuts, or granola into a cup of yogurt for an afternoon treat. For a filling breakfast, mix equal parts yogurt and almond butter (about 1/2 cup each) with a chopped apple.

 

Learn more about how super foods can boost your health.

 

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