Nutritious Add-Ons


These nutritiously-packed power foods are an easy addition to all your favorite dishes! Add them to hot and cold cereal, yogurt, pancakes, baked goods, casseroles, salads…the list goes on

Oat Bran - the outer part of the oat grain. It is loaded with soluble fiber, which can help to reduce serum LDL-cholesterol, and control blood sugar in diabetes.  Find it in the breakfast cereal aisle. 

Rice Bran - the outer part of the rice grain.  Like oat bran, it is rich in soluble fiber and can lower serum LDL-cholesterol .  Find it in natural food stores.  

Flax Seed – These small, dark or sometimes golden, seeds have a pleasant nutty taste, and are a great source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty

 acid.  They are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Flaxseed can help to lower serum LDL-cholesterol, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Make sure to buy your flaxseed  ground, or grind your own with a blender or coffee bean grinder, so that is digestible. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Wheat Bran - the outer, fiber-rich part of the wheat grain.  It is very high in insoluble fiber, a healthy addition to any diet.  Find it in the breakfast cereal aisle. 

Wheat Germ - the very inner part of a grain of wheat.  It is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against free radicals in the body and combats disease. Store it in the refrigerator.  Find it in the breakfast cereal aisle. 

Other Good Choices for Your Diet

Nuts and Seeds...

Most nuts and seeds (including flax seed) are rich in monounsaturated and /or polyunsaturated fat, both of which help to lower cholesterol. Although high in calories and fat, just a small amount provides plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. 1 serving size of nuts is 1oz, or about ¼ cup. It is always best to buy them unsalted, unsweetened.

 

Walnuts- contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant based omega-3 fatty acid, than any other nut. Walnuts are also high in antioxidants which can work against free-radical damage that contributes to cancer, heart disease, premature aging and cell death. The soft crunch of walnuts makes a fantastic addition to cereals, baked goods, savory dishes, and salads. 

Almonds- another nut packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Almonds are a good source of healthful fat. They are the nut highest in calcium, and are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E. These hard, tasty nuts are higher in fiber compared to other nuts, with 3-4g in a 1oz serving.  Almonds are perfect for a trail mix, or slivered over a salad.   

Chia Seeds- flexible, bubble-like seeds that provide powerful nutrition by the spoonful. Like Flaxseed, chia seeds are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have a tendency to gel, making them a great addition to smoothies and cereals. Try mixing it with water to make a pudding, or substituting it for an egg when you bake! 

Pumpkin seeds -loaded with minerals that play a key role in the body. They are high inzinc which supports a healthy immune system, and magnesium, important for energy, metabolism, and blood pressure. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of phosphorus, an essential mineral for the bones and teeth; and iron, which we need to transport oxygen in the body.  Roast them with your favorite seasonings for a crunchy snack, or sprinkle them over your salad for an extra kick of flavor and nutrition. 

Berries…

Low in calories, high in fiber and have plenty of vitamins and mineralsthat the body needs! 

Strawberries- 1 cup of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange! Strawberries are also high calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium. These luscious berries help in lowering cholesterol. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a bowl of strawberries.

Blueberries- tiny berries that are abundant in brain-boosting nutrition and flavor. They are high in antioxidants which fight against of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related conditions.  Add them to cereal, yogurt, or your homemade muffins! Blueberries can mix up a salad by adding a burst of fruity flavor. 

Blackberries-Super- berries high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. These tart, seedy fruits are high in phenolic compounds that are good for memory and disease prevention. 

Legumes…

This group includes beans, lentils, and peas which are all excellent sources of soluble fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

Beans-  A rich protein source similar to meat in calories, but with fiber, and almost no saturated fat! Beans, being a plant-based protein, have phytochemicals which are compounds that aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.  Beans have carbohydrate but are digested slowly, yielding better blood glucose control, and keeping you full longer. You can buy beans canned and ready to use after rinsing, or buy them dried, soak them, and cook them in water to use.  Beans love cumin, chili powder, vinegar, onions, and garlic. Add them to soups and chili, or over a salad for a healthy protein source that will nourish you and keep you full longer. 

Lentils-Also great for fiber and protein, and their carbs are digested slowly, like beans. Lentils are high in folate and magnesium which are valuable to heart health. Folate lowers homocystine, a hormone that damages arteries and can lead to heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, which carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Try your hand at lentil soup! 

Peas- Like beans and lentils, pea’s high protein and fiber content helps to regulate blood sugar, and helps keep you full longer. Being plant-based, peas have healthy phytochemicals that protect against disease. This starchy legume makes a great side dish, or can be added to soups and salads. 

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3274736/