Grow Your Diet: Week 4

Since this is the last week in my series on growing our diets and there is more than just one more food I wanted to mention, I will give this last post a list of other foods that we should add to our diets. I looked at serval websites to see what the "authorities" were listing as the top healthy foods. There were a few that they each had in common.

broccoli

1. Broccoli - and other cruciferous vegies like kale, cauliflower and cabbage have vitamins and cancer fighting properties. Broccoli specifically has components that help protect against colon and lung cancer. Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane. This compound, which gives these vegies their bitter taste, also seems to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For more info see the short article here

salmon

2. Salmon and other oily fish. I know not everyone loves fish and I am not especially fond of trout and some of the other more oily fish, but salmon is delicious especially grilled or baked with seasonings. My husband and I also like canned salmon and sardines. While these have a much higher sodium they still have the same health benefits. Some people suggest using fresh salmon for grilling or baking and canned for making sandwich fillings or salads. Read more on fresh versus canned here.

leafy greens

3. Dark leafy greens. I haven't tried all of the dark leafy greens, but spinach is one I am most familiar with. I like my spinach fresh rather than cooked, but I don't mind cooked spinach in things such as soups, quiche or paninis. Fresh spinach is great on a sandwich or in a salad. Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, C and folate. For more info on leafy greens see this article on Web MD.

avocado

4. Avocado. These are a great food that can be sliced and added to sandwich's, salads and even omelettes. Or they can be smashed, sprinkled with green onion, salt and pepper and made into guacamole. I only use those ingredients. Some people add lemon juice, tomatoes and other seasonings. Avocados are loaded with vitamins, potassium (more than bananas), healthy fats and fiber. Check out this article for more specifics.

potatoes

5. Potatoes. Not too many of us would have to be convinced to eat a potato. I come from potato loving stock. Baked, mashed, fried, you name it, we loved it and ate it. My dad was a fabulous potato masher and I inherited his gene for mashing. Now that he is gone, my mom still asks me to mash potatoes at family gatherings. It has taken me a while, but since I got married I've been introduced to sweet potatoes and have acquired a love for sweet potato fries! Okay, they are not the healthiest version of the spud, but at least it's a change from regular Idaho's. Potatoes are rich in B vitamins and blood pressure lowering components. Of course if they are fried or baked with mounds of butter and sour cream, they are not as healthy. See more info here. 

There are many more foods that are high in nutrients and disease fighting compounds and are delicious to eat. I hope you will explore more of these and grow your diet and your health.