Each season we change our clothes, but what about our food? Sure in the
summer we tend to eat lighter meals, while in the winter we gravitate
towards warm comfort foods, but generally we stick to the same
vegetables, fruits, grains and even spices. So as the New Year gets
underway and resolutions go into full effect, it may be time to tweak
some of those staple items in your diet and try something different.
Switch up your dinner or even lunchtime plate with a few of these 2013 health stars.
2012 was the year of kale, 2013 will be the year of “the chard.” Like
many other leafy greens, chard is loaded with Vitamin A, C and K. It is
also an outstanding source of many essentials minerals, including
potassium and the often confused magnesium and manganese.
these are all nutrients that you can find elsewhere amongst other leafy
greens, but what truly sets the chard apart is that it is a unique
source of betalains. This phytonutrient has been shown to have
antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects on the body.
years olive oil has been regarded as an extremely healthy fat, loaded
with heart-healthy benefits. But what about the olive itself? While many
of us often munch on olives as a salty appetizer add them to salads to
boost the flavor, very few of us are aware that olives (both green and
black) are a great source of nutrients in their own right.
A top source
of the antioxidant Vitamin E, olives are loaded with oleic acid - a
monounsaturated fatty acid associated with a reduced risk of
cardiovascular disease. What’s more, olives are actually a decent source
of iron, offering nearly a quarter of one’s daily-recommended intake.
the last few years, almonds and walnuts have garnered a lot of
attention due to their high quantities of heart-healthy fats, but what
about pistachios? Generally overlooked for health benefits, this green
nut is loaded with 30 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients
including lutein and zeaxanthin - two antioxidants associated with a
reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.
studies have also found that this nut may help to regulate blood sugar
levels in diabetics. A common concern with nuts is their high calorie
intake, however, with only three calories per nut, pistachios are one of
the nuts lowest in calories and fat.
beets are a dark colored vegetable, rarely do we think of them when it
comes to health. In fact, most of us have a pretty strong reaction to
beets – often a negative one. However, this often unloved veggie is a
terrific source of fiber, potassium and folate. It also contains many
disease-fighting phytochemicals, including beta carotene which promotes
eye health and the famous betalains found in chard.
most of us think of orange beta-carotene loaded vegetables, carrots and
sweet potatoes typically come to mind. Rarely do pumpkins make the cut.
However, as we enter into 2013 we should think about pumpkins aside
from just around Halloween. This giant orange veggie is loaded with
fiber and Vitamin C, and costs us very few calories per slice.
have long been associated with numerous health benefits. We’ve heard
all about cinnamon’s potential in lowering cholesterol and rosemary’s
ability to reduce inflammation in the body, but what about turmeric? An
incredibly powerful antioxidant, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and
anti-bacterial properties while helping to digest fats quickly. The
bright yellow spice commonly found in curry powder has also been shown
to help protect against the cognitive decline associated with aging.