Sardines are a low calorie, low mercury fish that are not only a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and B12, but also happen to provide a mega dose of calcium as well. Just one tin of sardines has 370 mg calcium (obtained through the bones, which can be easily eaten). They are a great source of protein and can be added to pastas, salads or even eaten on whole grain crackers. Remember to always read the nutritional label, some brands are lower in sodium than others.
Although chia seeds have been around for thousands of years, they are only now becoming main stream in United States grocery stores. Chia seeds are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and ALA omega-3s, so adding them to smoothies, muffins and salads provides a great nutrient boost. Chia also has a culinary advantage. When the seeds are soaked, they form into a gel-like substance that be used to thicken and create moisture in many recipes. Expect to see a lot more chia in 2011!
Adding jicama to your diet is a wonderful way to get more fiber and vitamin C. It also contains the prebiotic inulin which stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Jicama does not elevate blood sugar as much as potatoes do and therefore, may be helpful in the management of diabetes.
Prunes are a good source of potassium; a mineral that many Americans are missing in their diets. Potassium is needed for proper cell function and may have a role in reducing blood sugar. Prunes are also a great addition to the diet if you’re experiencing constipation after too much holiday fun. They can be eaten as a snack before workouts, or on top of your cereal in the morning.
Barley contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that may help to reduce lousy LDL cholesterol. The fiber in barley helps to keep you fuller, longer which is great if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Use barley in soups to add thickness and extra fiber or eat it in place of oatmeal in the morning with dried cherries and almonds.
Sweet and delicious, one study found that the compounds found in cherries may help guard against brain cell damage. Some studies even indicate that cherries may help to reduce painful inflammation in individuals suffering from arthritis as well. Next time you’re looking for something sweet after dinner, choose cherries!
I asked one of my clients to substitute her potato chips for roasted beet “chips” and the results were amazing. Not only did she lose weight by eliminating her nightly fatty-fix, but she also began appreciating and adding more vegetables to her diet. Beets contain nitrates, which convert to nitrites and nitric oxide in the body. One study found that this component in beet juice helped in lowering blood pressure in individuals. Adding beets to your diet may truly help in keeping this doctor away this year
Satisfying and wonderful in smoothies or on top of spinach, mango’s are rich in vitamin E. Two recent studies found that individuals who consume foods rich in vitamin E may help to lower their risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Yogurt is a great addition to anyone’s diet. Its live active cultures help to maintain good digestive health, it provides calcium, B vitamins and magnesium and low fat versions of yogurt are great for weight conscious snackers. In addition to this, yogurt consumption has been linked to decreased blood pressure, decreased incidence of yeast infections and strengthening of the immune system.
Although this fabulous grain may sounds foreign to many individuals, freekeh has been used in middle eastern cuisine for years and has now has been popping up in menu’s throughout the country. Freekeh is low in carbohydrate and high in carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin which may help in protecting your vision. Using freekeh in your recipes as a substitute for white rice will significantly increase your fiber intake.
Similar in taste and texture to a turnip, rutabagas are rich in luteolin, a powerful flavanoid found in celery, carrots and olive oil. One study found that luteolin may help in calming overactive immune cells, thus preventing them from releasing inflammatory compounds.

Healthy Eating: 11 Foods To Add To Your Diet In 2011 by Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.


Filed under: Healthy Eating Recipes