Rediscover these 5 Super Foods in 2012

Barley, figs, sardines, kale, lentilsThe New Year is a time for explo­ration and adven­ture. Exper­i­ment with foods that you may have neglect­ed on super­mar­ket shelves. (Re)discover the fol­low­ing super foods, which are loaded with nutri­ents, easy to pre­pare and inex­pen­sive.

1.    Bar­ley: This whole grain is packed with sol­u­ble and insol­u­ble fiber, sele­ni­um and man­ganese. It helps low­er cho­les­terol, low­ers your risk of heart dis­ease, dia­betes, some can­cers and keeps your blood sug­ar sta­ble.
Uses: Add to soups, stews, cold sal­ads or use cracked bar­ley to make hot cere­al. If you don’t like the tex­ture,  use bar­ley flour in baked goods.

2.    Kale: These dark-leafy greens belong to the bras­si­ca fam­i­ly, which includes col­lards, broc­coli and Brus­sels sprouts.  They are loaded with vit­a­min K, A, C, D, folate, potas­si­um, mag­ne­sium and cal­ci­um.  Kale helps pro­tect against some can­cers, helps low­er cho­les­terol and reduces the risk of heart dis­ease.
Uses:  Sauté in gar­lic and crushed red pep­pers, add to soups and frit­tatas, or bake into chips.

3.    Lentils: These lit­tle gems cook quick­er than most oth­er dried beans and are high in fiber, pro­tein, B vit­a­mins, folate and mag­ne­sium. They help keep blood sug­ar sta­ble, keep you reg­u­lar, help low­er cho­les­terol and are good for your heart.
Uses: Soups, sal­ads, or as a side dish

4.    Sar­dines:  A can of sar­dines (packed in water) has only 140 calo­ries and is packed with pro­tein, omega 3 fat­ty acids, vit­a­min D and cal­ci­um. These lit­tle fish help low­er cho­les­terol, pro­tect the heart and pro­motes bone health.
Uses: Add it to sal­ads with some lemon juice or spread it on hearty whole grain bread with onions, olives and toma­toes.

5.   Figs: These sweet treats can be enjoyed year-around, fresh when they are in sea­son (Cal­i­for­nia figs can be found June to Sep­tem­ber) or dried when they’re not.  They are high in fiber, potas­si­um and man­ganese. Figs can help low­er blood pres­sure and their high fiber con­tent can help man­age your weight.  If you eat dried figs, be mind­ful of the por­tion size; four figs have about 110 calo­ries.

Uses:  Make a snack size trail mix with dried figs and wal­nuts, eat fresh as is or add to sal­ads, yogurt or break­fast cere­al.

 

 

 

 



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