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SUPERFOODS to the Rescue!
Jan Keller Extension Nutrition Educator, Land Grant Dept.
5 November 2012

If you’re looking for easy, delicious ways to pack your meals with a big nutritional punch, look no further. Superfoods are nutritionally dense, which means they provide a lot of vitamins and minerals without adding unnecessary calories. Superfoods are loaded with antioxidants (a substance that removes damaging byproducts or hinders damaging processes in our bodies) and have been proven to fight disease, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Oats (unsweetened, rolled or steel-cut)
Excellent source of fiber, can help prevent heart disease
Mix in fruit, yogurt, and/or nuts for a breakfast of champions

Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, chard, collard)
Vitamin K, antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, the list goes on. . .
Add to eggs or casseroles or do it the old-fashioned way and eat a salad!

Sweet Potatoes (not from the can and without marshmallows!)
Loaded with fiber, antioxidants and beta-carotene (vitamin that is good for your eyes)
Bake or microwave a whole sweet potato and add your favorite spices

Blueberries
This little berry is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber
Add to cereal, yogurt, or green, leafy salads

Tea (green or black)
Loaded with antioxidants, can help prevent cancer
Enjoy in the morning, noon or night.

Yogurt (unsweetened, regular or greek)
Lots of protein, calcium and probiotics (healthy bacteria in our digestive system)
Add your favorite fruit and nuts/seeds for a nutritious snack

Broccoli/Cabbage
Abundant source of vitamin C, folate (a B vitamin), and proven cancer fighters
Add to noodle dishes, soups or salads

Fish (salmon, sardines, tuna)
Omega-3 fats contribute to a healthy heart and brain
Aim to eat fish 2 times per week, lemon and dill are a perfect combo for fish dishes

Beets
Heart-healthy and can protect against strokes
Roast beets in a few tablespoons of orange juice for a great side dish

Avocado
Healthy fat, lots of fiber, vitamin E and folic acid
Replace mayo with avocado on your sandwich or top your salad with a few slices

Alliums (onion, garlic)
These veggies play a significant role in heart disease prevention, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
Dice onions, scallions and garlic and add to ANYTHING! Salads, casseroles, sandwiches, potatoes, eggs, rice . . .

Nuts/Seeds (plain, unsalted)
Almonds, walnuts, flax, sesame, a small handful is the perfect serving size.
A nice addition to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, salads, noodle dishes, or rice

Pumpkin (not of the pie variety)
An abundant source of beta-carotene, other antioxidants, and fiber
Pumpkin soup is an excellent, low-calorie alternative to cream-based soups

Beans (low sodium, black, pinto, garbanzo, red, canned or dry)
A fiber power-house, helps fight heart disease and high cholesterol
Make vegetarian black bean burgers, or add any kind to soups, chili, salads

When making food choices, be sure to aim for colorful foods because brightly colored foods tend to have more vitamins and minerals (notice most of the foods on the list are brightly colored). Make new habits, try new foods and experiment with them with your family.

Please contact Jan in the Extension/Land Grant Department at UTTC if you have questions regarding healthful eating and nutrition, 701-255-3285 x1504.

 

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