5 Superfoods You've Been Neglecting
by Danielle Omar, MS, RD
Superfood ingredients like kale, acai, maca, and spirulina are pretty standard vocabulary now, but they haven’t always been at the forefront of every health-conscious cook’s cabinet. There are plenty of less-than-trendy foods that still deserve a spot on your plate. These foods pack a nutritional punch, and often cost less than the “it” superfood of the moment.
Here are 5 superfoods you’ve been neglecting:
When it comes to cruciferous veggies, cauliflower seems to have the limelight right now - with cauliflower pizza crust, “bread,” and even cauliflower smoothies being all the rage. But don’t forget about cauliflower’s cousin, cabbage! Cauliflower and cabbage are in the same family of cruciferous veggies, so they both are cancer-fighting powerhouses. Cabbage is also chocked full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin k, manganese, and vitamin C, as well as phytonutrients and antioxidants like the anthocyanins in red cabbage.
Apples are such a staple that we often forget how good they are for us! They’re a great source of soluble fiber, which has cholesterol-lowering benefits and helps keep you full. Apples are also full of polyphenols, which act as antioxidants. The combination of soluble fiber and polyphenols is great news for your cardiovascular health and blood sugar regulation. Make sure to leave the skin on - that’s where you’ll find the highest concentration of phytochemicals, which provide vibrant color and antioxidant properties.
Jackfruit may be the latest “it” food for vegetarian meals that are hearty and “meaty,” but lentils take the cake when it comes to nutritional content. They’re filling and savory, making them a great vegetarian substitute for meat in pasta sauce and tacos and they’re unbelievably cheap, too. Plus they’re packed with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins. What’s not to love?!
Tomatoes are the jackpot when it comes to antioxidant benefits. They’re a great source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and numerous phytochemicals including their claim to fame, lycopene. Lycopene is associated with their bright red color and gives them a leg up when it comes to heart health and anti-cancer benefits.
All heads are turned towards Greek yogurt when it comes to the dairy aisle, but cottage cheese isn’t anything to scoff at. Cottage cheese is loaded with protein, but without the huge calorie trade-off: a half cup serving usually weighs in at around 13 grams of protein and just 80 calories! Plus it’s a great source of calcium, B vitamins, and often overlooked phosphorus and selenium. Try blending cottage cheese into a smoothie or topping it with berries for a filling breakfast.