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  • Writer's pictureHeather

The Most Underrated Nutrient-Dense Foods

We hear about some new super-food every other week it seems. Of course, we should be eating piles of kale, bunches of acai berries and quinoa. Piling on the chia seeds every chance we get. And who doesn’t want to use avocados in every salad and drench ourselves in coconut oil?

What about some foods that might be overlooked for their nutrition properties? Good, easy to get foods, that are right under our radar most of the time. These might not be the talk of the town at the local health club, but they are great for our nutrition needs, and likely less expensive in many cases.

In no apparent order, here are some really wonderful, nutrient-dense foods I recommend:

  • Bell peppers – These are great cooked or eaten raw. I prefer them as a snack, sometimes with a little sprinkle of sea salt. Oranges get all the press when it comes to vitamin C, but one bell pepper has more than twice the daily need of vitamin C.

  • Low-sodium vegetable juice – stay away from the expensive fruit juices and enjoy vegetable juices. These are naturally low in calories but pack big quantities of vitamin A and C, plus potassium. Make sure to stay away from the cheaper canned versions of vegetable juice, they will be loaded with sodium.

  • Olive oil – while coconut oil and avocado oil have gotten all the attention lately, good olive oil still helps to lower our LDL’s (bad cholesterol) without hindering our HDL’s (good cholesterol). Olive oil contains oleic acid which can help lower blood pressure naturally. The low smoke point of olive oil means we want to avoid cooking with it but adding olive oil after cooking foods is a great flavor enhancer and health booster.

  • Semolina – usually associated with the ingredients in pastas, semolina is a great low-glycemic grain that is rich in energy-boosting B vitamins and the mineral selenium. Low-glycemic means we get a steady stream of energy without experiencing a spike in our blood sugar levels.

  • Dates - Dates aren’t just for that Christmas fruit cake anymore. They’re also loaded with fiber, vitamin A, potassium (over three times more than bananas, ounce for ounce), iron, fluorine, and B vitamins. Nicknamed "nature's candy," dates are easy to digest, providing instant energy. Try a small handful whenever we feel like something sweet and we’re in for a pleasant surprise.

  • Canned salmon – most of us know the heart-healthy benefits of eating cold water fish. Just like fresh salmon, canned salmon is also a tremendous source of heart-friendly omega-3 fats. Great for elasticity in our blood vessels and reducing the chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke. This can be a great substitute for tuna when making a salad or looking for a quick protein we don’t have to cook.

  • Oatmeal – many times we want something quick and easy for breakfast and we end up grabbing a bowl of cereal. Skip the boxed cereal and make an easy bowl of oatmeal. Full of healthy fiber to help with digestion and lower cholesterol in our bloodstream. We can add nuts, raisins, or dates, and have a very healthy breakfast that will carry us through those mid-morning cravings.

This is a brief review of the many nutrient-dense foods available to us on an everyday basis. We don’t have to eat only the latest and greatest healthy foods, pick others that we find appealing and stay vital.



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