Eating the same old, same old everyday? Here are 6 superfoods that are often overlooked but should be on your grocery list. Not only do they taste delicious, they pack a serious nutritional punch and can help you lose weight too.
–Written by Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD
If bulgar is new to you, it should be on your must-try list. Not only is it tasty and simple to make, it is a superfood. Bulgar is a whole grain with a nutty flavor. And in just 1 cup it has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. (Yes, a grain with protein… it happens!) So if you’re in a rice or potatoes rut, shake things up a little with this great grain.
Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Well, it may have a fancy name, but there is a lot of “substance” behind the attitude of this green. Escarole is a member of the chicory family — related to radicchio, frisee (another fancy name!) and endive. It is a little on the bitter side, so I recommend sautéing it or using it in soups, stews and sauces. If you try it, you’ll be glad you did! 1 cup of escarole has just 10 calories, but it’s rich in folate and vitamin K.
Think you can’t eat healthy on a budget? You can if you add lentils to your diet. Not only are lentils inexpensive, they are packed with protein, fiber, potassium, iron and B vitamins. I priced a 16-oz. bag of lentils at my local supermarket (in Miami) and it was just 99 cents! Lentils are perfect on their own, or if you want to “stretch” a meat dish a little further. And of course they make a wonderful soup.
Do something great for your health today and cook up some kale! This low-calorie green provides an excellent source of both vitamins A (as beta-carotene) and C, along with a decent amount of fiber. Kale also delivers vitamin B6, which helps maintain healthy nervous and immune systems, as well as iron and calcium. You can saute kale (in a bit of olive oil) as you would spinach.
Easy to prepare, rich flavor, loaded with fiber, magnesium, potassium, as well as B vitamins and vitamin C… what’s not to like about acorn squash! Plus when you slice it in half, you can share all of its greatness with a friend. I love to have roasted acorn squash – just slice, remove the seeds, brush with olive oil and season and bake. You can’t go wrong.
Do you have beets on the brain? Probably not. But you should because they are a scrumptious nutritional powerhouse. Low in calories and high in folate and antioxidants, beets are a great way to boost nutrition and taste at the same time. Beets have an earthy flavor like no other vegetable plus they are super versatile (and inexpensive). Use them in soups, salads, dressings, or roast them up for a delicious side dish.
Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD
Co-Author, 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions (Penguin, 2013)
Appetite for Health