Some of the Healthiest Food Items


Eating Healthy

 

Are you befuddled by what nutrition experts mean by “eating healthy”? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends loading up on fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats — sure, that sounds simple, but which fruits and veggies? What kinds of whole grains? And what constitutes a lean meat?

Fear not; eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. With the help of several nutrition experts, Healthland has taken the guesswork out of creating the perfectly healthy diet for you and your family. With the right kinds of foods, you can stave off heart disease, stay slim and boost your immune system. So what follows is a list of the 31 healthiest foods you should be eating now. Start stocking your fridge and pantry!

 

 

 

blackbean

Black Beans

Why they’re good for you: Legumes are cheap and easy to cook, which makes them a staple in many people’s diets. They’re also high in protein, making them a popular meat substitute among vegetarians, and they’re packed with fiber, so they help you stay full and energized. Black beans even have a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which boost heart health. “Black beans are high in the powerful phytochemical anthocyanins — the same ones found in blueberries. Studies indicate the darker the bean, the higher it may be in antioxidants,” says Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian and the author of The Plant-Powered Diet.

How to eat them: Black beans are great in Southwestern-inspired dishes like burritos and black-bean burgers. Add them to your salad for an extra protein kick.

Serving size: ½ cup, cooked

Calories: 114

(MORE: Fresh vs. Canned: Can You Get Healthy Food from a Can?)

Recipe: Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 15-oz. can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 cup frozen corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh mango
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried, if fresh is not available)
1 small fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric

Mix beans, quinoa, corn, pepper, mango, onion, cilantro and jalapeño together in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder and turmeric together. Toss into salad mixture and chill until serving time.

Nutrition per serving (about 1 cup):
Calories: 201
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 9 mg
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 8 g

Recipe excerpted from The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today by Sharon Palmer, R.D. (The Experiment, 2012)

 

kaleKale

Why it’s good for you: Kale is a member of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family of vegetables and is full of fiber and antioxidants. It’s also rich in vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting and cell growth. Its textured leaves make it a tasty addition to any salad.

How to eat it: Bake your kale with a little extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt for a tasty potato-chip alternative. Kale is also a delicious addition to a vegetable-based soup.

Serving size: 1 cup cooked or 1 cup raw 

Calories: 34-36

 

 

 

Recipe: Savory Shiitake and Kale Bowl with Brown Rice
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon wasabi paste
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
7 oz. firm tofu (roughly half of a standard 16-oz. package), drained and cubed
4 cups packed chopped kale (about 1 bunch)

Cook rice according to package directions. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sesame seeds, wasabi paste, red-pepper flakes, mushrooms and tofu and stir well. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in  1/3 cup water and the kale and sauté about 4 minutes, until the kale is slightly wilted and crisp-tender. Spoon ½ cup cooked rice into each of four individual bowls and top with about 1 ½ cups shiitake-kale mixture.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 320
Carbohydrates: 54 g
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 7 g
Sodium: 304 mg
Fiber: 4 g

Recipe from Sharon Palmer, author of The Plant-Powered Diet

 

salmonSalmon

Why it’s good for you: Salmon, especially wild salmon, is rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which will protect your heart. Research has found that omega-3s may also be associated with protecting against premature brain aging and memory loss.

How to eat it: Grill your salmon with lemon, garlic and a little soy sauce. If you have leftovers, refrigerate to put on top of a salad later.

Serving size: 3 oz.

Calories: 155

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Easy Roasted Salmon
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 6-oz. wild salmon fillets
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup minced fresh dill (or one small bunch)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 13-in.-by-9-in.-by-2-in. glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Place the salmon fillets in the baking dish. Squeeze juice from one wedge of lemon over each fillet. Sprinkle the salmon with black pepper, chopped fresh dill and minced garlic. Bake until salmon is opaque in the center, about 20 to 22 minutes.

Why they’re good for you: Bananas are high in potassium, which aids blood pressure and is critical for the proper function of the muscular and digestive systems. They’re also high in fiber, which means they’ll keep you fuller for longer.

How to eat them: Bananas are a great to-go food. Add a dollop of peanut butter for a sweet and savory snack. Sliced bananas are a great breakfast staple for cereals, yogurts and smoothies.

Serving size: 1 small banana

Calories: 90

(MORE: Eat like a Champ: The Best Foods for Runners)

Recipe: Chocolate Smoothie with Avocado and Banana
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
2 cups vanilla soy milk
½ avocado, pitted and peeled
1 medium banana, peeled
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 individual packets Splenda

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving (12 oz.):
Calories: 252
Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 102 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Dietary fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 8 g
Protein: 11 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

Next

 

Read more: 31 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Now | 31 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating, with Recipes | TIME.com http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/01/guide-the-31-healthiest-foods-of-all-time-with-recipes/#ixzz2pRG0D0Vl per serving (1 fillet):
Calories: 251
Sodium: 78 mg
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Dietary fiber: <1 g
Sugars: <1 g
Protein: 34 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

walnut

 

Walnuts

Why they’re good for you: Nuts tend to be high in calories and fat, but the monosaturated fat in nuts is healthier than the saturated fat in meat and dairy products. And their high omega-3-fatty-acid levels make them a go-to for heart health. A recent study also found that walnuts carry some of the highest antioxidant content among all nuts.

How to eat them: Add walnuts to cereals, yogurt or breads. Remember, just a few pack plenty of calories.

Serving size: 1 oz. (14 halves)

Calories: 185

 

Recipe: Granny’s Apple-Walnut Granola
Yield: approximately 7 cups

Ingredients
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried apples

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut and walnuts. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oats mixture and toss to coat. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 min. Open oven and stir granola every 5 minutes to brown evenly. Cool slightly and stir in dried apples. Store in airtight container.

Nutrition per serving (½ cup):
Calories: 341
Fat: 15 g
Sodium: 24 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Dietary fiber: 6g
Protein: 9 g

Recipe from Sharon Palmer, R.D., author of The Plant-Powered Diet

pumpkinPumpkin

Why it’s good for you: Pumpkin is a low-calorie vegetable that’s high in fiber and vitamin A. “Its orange color is a dead giveaway of its high amount of beta carotene, which helps prevent heart disease,” says Brill. “It’s also so versatile for cooking.”

How to eat it: There’s no need to cook your jack-o-lantern; canned pumpkin is an easy and accessible grocery-store staple.

Serving size: 1 cup, from canned

Calories: 83

 

Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal with Yogurt and Raisins
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
1 ½ cups water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup quick-cooking steel-cut oats
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
¼ cup raisins
1 tablespoon molasses
½ cup sugar-free vanilla yogurt
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts, divided

In an 8-cup microwave-safe dish, stir together the water, cinnamon and oats. Cook in the microwave on high power for 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the microwave and stir in the pumpkin puree, raisins and molasses. Spoon into 4 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 188
Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 23 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 12 g
Protein: 6 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

AppleApples

Why they’re good for you: Apples are high in fiber, specifically a soluble fiber called pectin, which targets and clears away LDL,  the bad cholesterol. Many of apples’ beneficial compounds are contained in the skin, including high levels of phytochemicals, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re “the perfect diet food too,” says Janet Brill, a registered dietitian and author of several books on nutrition. “They’re very portable, and my personal favorite, Fuji applies, are sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.”

How to eat them: Raw, baked in muffins, dried or in applesauce

Serving size: 1 small apple

Calories: 77

 

Recipe: Oat-Apple-Flax Pancakes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup flour
1/3 cup ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 ¼ cup light soy milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup shredded apple

In a food processor, process oats into a fine flourlike consistency. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together soy milk and oil and add to flour mixture. In a food processor, chop the apple into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Fold in egg mixture and stir all ingredients until just combined. On a hot griddle coated with canola oil, pour 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles appear. Flip pancake and cook until just brown. Serve warm and garnish with light margarine, pure maple syrup and chopped almonds if desired.

Nutrition per serving (approximately 3 pancakes):
Calories: 198
Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 53 mg
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 7 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

blueberries

Blueberries

Why they’re good for you: Berries’ vibrant, deep colors mean they’re high in antioxidant compounds. Blueberries are especially high in heart-protective carotenoids and flavonoids, and they encourage heart, memory and urinary-tract health. They also contain high levels of vitamins C and E.

How to eat them: Add berries to your cereal or yogurt or blend them into smoothies.

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 84

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Blueberry Flax Muffins
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients
¾ cup oat bran
1 cup light soy milk
¼ cup egg substitute (such as Eggbeaters)
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup raisins
1 cup frozen blueberries (unsweetened, slightly thawed)
½ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup ground flaxseeds
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Margarine with plant sterols (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Combine first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Fold in blueberries, gently stirring until coated. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Combine both mixtures together and stir until just blended. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full with batter and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with margarine, if desired.

Nutrition per serving (1 muffin):
Calories: 232
Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 130 mg
Carbohydrates: 41 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 25 g
Protein: 5 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

bananas

 

Bananas

Why they’re good for you: Bananas are high in potassium, which aids blood pressure and is critical for the proper function of the muscular and digestive systems. They’re also high in fiber, which means they’ll keep you fuller for longer.

How to eat them: Bananas are a great to-go food. Add a dollop of peanut butter for a sweet and savory snack. Sliced bananas are a great breakfast staple for cereals, yogurts and smoothies.

Serving size: 1 small banana

Calories: 90

 

 

Recipe: Chocolate Smoothie with Avocado and Banana
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
2 cups vanilla soy milk
½ avocado, pitted and peeled
1 medium banana, peeled
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 individual packets Splenda

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving (12 oz.):
Calories: 252
Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 102 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Dietary fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 8 g
Protein: 11 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

broccoliBroccoli

Why it’s good for you: Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family of vegetables, often referred to as cruciferous, which is associated with anticancer benefits as well as reduced inflammation and higher immunity. Broccoli is also high in fiber, and a high-fiber diet can help keep blood pressure down and reduce heart-disease risk.

How to eat it: Steam it or add it to your stir-fries, salads or omelets.

Serving size: 1 cup chopped

Calories: 31

 

 

 

Recipe: Spicy Roasted Broccoli
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 ¼ lb. broccoli, large stems trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces (about 8 cups)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and red-pepper flakes. After the broccoli has cooked 15 minutes, drizzle the garlicky oil over the broccoli and shake the baking sheet to coat the broccoli. Return to the oven and continue baking about 8 to 10 more minutes, until the broccoli starts to brown. Serve hot.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup):
Calories: 86
Fat: 7 g (EPA 0 g, DHA 0 g, ALA 0 g)
Sodium: 24 mg
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 2 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

spinach

 

Spinach

Why it’s good for you: Spinach is chock-full of nutrients, including iron, calcium and vitamin A, which keeps the eyes and skin healthy. Spinach also packs folate, which helps the body form healthy red blood cells and prevents birth defects during pregnancy.

How to eat it: In your salads, sandwiches and omelets

Serving size: 1 cup fresh or ½ cup cooked

Calories: 7–21

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Spinach, Apple and Walnut Salad
Yield: 4 servings

Salad
Ingredients
6 cups organic baby spinach leaves
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
½ cup chopped walnuts
4 teaspoons Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat a toaster oven to 350ºF. Spread walnuts on an aluminum-foil-covered baking pan. Toast walnuts in toaster oven for approximately 3 minutes, shaking pan occasionally to prevent scorching. Place spinach, apple slices and walnuts in a bowl and toss. Serve in salad bowls and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Gorgonzola cheese and 1 tablespoon dressing (see below).

Dressing
Ingredients
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Juice from 1 lemon
Dash pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil

In a food processor, blend all ingredients except oil. Slowly pour oil into food processor, pulsing until well blended. Chill until ready to servve salad.

Nutrition per serving (¼ of the salad plus 1 tablespoon of salad dressing):
Calories: 208
Fat: 15 g
Sodium: 155 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 11 g
Protein: 4 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

sweetpotatoSweet Potatoes

Why they’re good for you: Not only are they tasty, but sweet potatoes also pack high levels of potassium that help lower your blood pressure and reduce stroke risk. If you eat the skin, you get a filling dose of fiber too.

How to eat them: Bake, mash or boil them or add them to soups or casseroles.

Serving size: 1 cup cooked

Calories: 180

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Roasted Sweet-Potato Fries
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried (about 1 ½ lb.)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
¼ cup minced fresh rosemary (from one small bunch)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Halve potatoes lengthwise and then cut each piece in half again into 4 wedges and place in a large bowl. Toss with oil, salt-free seasoning blend and rosemary. Place potatoes on baking sheet in a single layer, with the cut side of potatoes down. Bake for 15 minutes. With tongs, turn the potatoes over to place the other cut side down. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving (8 fries):
Calories: 238
Sodium: 94 mg
Fat: 10 g (EPA 0 g, DHA 0 g, ALA 0 g)
Carbohydrates: 35 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 3 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

kidneybeansKidney Beans

Why they’re good for you: Loaded with potassium and magnesium, kidney beans help keep blood pressure in check, while their high fiber content helps reduce bad LDL cholesterol, fighting off heart disease. Kidney beans are also rich in iron and protein, making them a great meat substitute for vegetarians. “So named for their resemblance to the shape of our organs, the red color of this type of bean is indicative of their high concentration of disease-fighting antioxidants,” says Janet Bond Brill.

How to eat them: Kidney beans are perfect for Southwestern dishes like chili, as well as salads, sandwiches and dips.

Serving size: ½ cup cooked

Calories: 112

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Vegetarian Chili
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 cup chunky salsa (medium or hot, depending on preference)
2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
2 pouches (2 cups) Boca Meatless Ground Burger (found in the frozen-foods section of some supermarkets)
1 can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Soy cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

In a large soup pot, sauté green peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except soy cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with shredded soy cheddar cheese. Serve over brown rice, accompany with light tortilla chips.

Nutrition per serving (about 1 ½ cups chili):
Calories: 186
Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 854 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Dietary fiber: 9 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 12 g

Recipe excerpted from the upcoming Blood Pressure Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, May 2013). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

lentilsLentils

Why they’re good for you: Even if you’re not a bean fan, give lentils a try. They’re easy to make, require no soaking and appear in a slew of colors. They also don’t have sulfur, the gas-producing component in other legumes. Lentils may be small, but they’re full of iron, fiber and protein.

How to eat them: Great in soups, in veggie burgers or as salad toppings

Serving size: ½ cup cooked

Calories: 115

 

Recipe: Red-Lentil Stew with Root Vegetables
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium parsnips, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon low-sodium herbal seasoning blend (such as Mrs. Dash)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 ½ cups red lentils, dried

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add vegetables, garlic and seasonings and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add broth, water and lentils. Cover pot and cook for about 20 minutes, until vegetables and lentils are tender. Try serving as a light lunch with a salad and rustic whole-grain bread or for dinner with whole grains such as barley, farro or quinoa on the side.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 278
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Protein: 14 g
Fat: 4 g
Sodium: 60 mg
Fiber: 10 g

Recipe from Sharon Palmer, R.D., author of The Plant-Powered Diet

 

 

beet

 

Red Beets

Why they’re good for you: Beets are a go-to source for folate, which helps metabolize amino acids and is important for pregnant women. Also, their red pigments fight cancer and lower the risk of heart disease.

How to eat them: Roasted beets are a great side dish. Add a dash of goat cheese for an even richer taste.

Serving size: ½ cup cooked

Calories: 37

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Roasted Beets with Lemon Vinaigrette
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
6 beets, trimmed of greens and roots
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the beets in the dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake the beets for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork or thin knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool to the touch. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper for the dressing. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and slice the beets, arranging the slices on a platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with parsley.

Nutrition per serving (1 beet with 1 teaspoon vinaigrette):
Calories: 69
Fat: 6 g (EPA 0 g, DHA 0 g, ALA < 1 g)
Sodium: 222 mg
Carbohydrates: 4 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Sugars: <1 g
Protein: 1 g

Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com

 

 

brusselBrussel Sprouts

Why they’re good for you: As a cruciferous veggie, this pungent vegetable contains sulfur compounds called glucosinolates that not only give them their aroma but also help lower the risks of prostate, lung, stomach and breast cancers.

How to eat them: Roasted and sautéed brussels sprouts make great side dishes. They’re hearty and great for fall recipes.

Serving size: ½ cup cooked

Calories: 28

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a glass baking dish, toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned.

Nutrition per serving (2/3 cup):
Calories: 113
Fat: 7 g
Sodium: 174 mg
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 3 g
Protein: 4 g

Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com

 

 

tomato

 

Tomatoes

Why they’re good for you: This familiar fruit has a long list of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K. Its deep red color comes courtesy of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps lower inflammation and cholesterol and is linked to better heart health.

How to eat them: You know the drill; tomatoes can be chopped up and added to just about anything. They also make a great base ingredient for several fall soup recipes.

Serving size: 1 cup fresh or cooked

Calories: 32–43

 

 

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Roasted Fresh Tomato Soup
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
3 ½ lb. ripe tomatoes, halved
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
15 fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place tomatoes, onion and garlic on the prepared pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Shake the pan back and forth a few times to coat the vegetables with the oil and seasonings. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes. When cool, blend the roasted tomatoes, along with the basil and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, in batches if necessary. Transfer to a saucepan and heat if desired, or refrigerate to chill.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup):
Calories: 135
Fat: 10 g
Sodium: 208 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 3 g

Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com

 

 

wholewheatbreadWhole-Wheat Bread

Why it’s good for you: The government’s dietary guidelines recommend that at least half the grains you eat be whole. This means intact grains that contain the entire grain kernel: the bran, germ and endosperm. Refined grains (which are used in white bread and white rice), in contrast, are milled, meaning the bran and germ have been removed to give the grains a soft, finer texture; this process also strips the grains of dietary fiber, iron and several B vitamins.

The reason you want whole grains in your diet: their high dietary fiber and nutrients are linked to lower risks of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and obesity; plus, they help lower cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. Switching from white to whole-wheat bread is one good way to up your whole-grain intake.

Word to the wise: Beware of breads that are marketed as “multigrain,” “made with whole grains” or “enriched.” While these products may contain some whole grains, they’re likely to contain refined grains too. Stick to products labeled as “100% whole grain.”

How to eat it: Simply swap white bread for whole wheat on all your sandwiches.

Serving size: 1 slice

Calories: 69

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Whole-Wheat Pita Crisps
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients
1 large 100% whole-wheat pita bread
Dash of paprika

Cut pita into four wedges. Place pita on baking sheet and sprinkle with paprika. Toast in toaster oven until crisp.

Nutrition per serving (1 pita):
Calories: 120
Fat: 1 g
Sodium: 240 mg
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 4 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

quinoa

 

Quinoa

Why it’s good for you: Not only is quinoa considered a whole grain; it’s also a complete protein, containing all the amino acids necessary for building muscle and upping metabolism.

How to eat it: Try quinoa anytime you’d ordinarily eat rice; it’s also a good ingredient for veggie burgers.

Serving size: 1 cup cooked

Calories: 222

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Quinoa with Walnuts and Currants
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup dried currants
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
¼ cup finely sliced scallions, green and white part (2 thin scallions)

Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer with cool running water before cooking, to remove the saponin, a natural coating on the quinoa, which can be an irritant to the stomach if not removed. Some quinoa is sold prerinsed.

In a saucepan, bring the quinoa and broth to a boil. Add the currants; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave covered, and let sit for 5 minutes. Then open the pan and lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork to separate the grains. Gently stir in the walnuts and scallions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition per serving (½ cup):
Calories: 194
Fat: 8 g
Sodium: 192 mg
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 7 g

Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com

 

 

steelcutoatsSteel-Cut Oatmeal

Why it’s good for you: Oatmeal is high in the fiber beta-glucan, which lowers levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Nutritionists recommend steel-cut oats because they’re minimally processed, without additives. “Oatmeal is the best way to start your day,” says Brill. “It’s a whole grain and a great heart-healthy food. It has antioxidants that are unique to oats too.” Oatmeal’s an ideal postworkout food as well, since it contains energy-producing B vitamins and carbohydrates that replenish your muscles.

How to eat it: You can cook oatmeal with milk or water. Add cinnamon and walnuts for extra flavor, nutrients and crunch.

Serving size: ¾ cup cooked

Calories: 124

 

Recipe: Steel-Cut-Oats Risotto with Mushrooms and Walnuts
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced summer squash (zucchini, yellow or crookneck)
1 cup sliced leeks (green and white sections)
2 cup sliced brown mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ cup white wine
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed chopped fresh basil

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the squash, leeks, mushrooms, garlic and black pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the broth and wine in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Stir the oats and walnuts into the vegetable mixture, then ladle approximately ½ cup of the warm broth mixture over it. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Add another ½ cup broth mixture and continue cooking, stirring and adding more warm broth until all the broth has been incorporated and the risotto is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil and serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup):
Calories: 331
Fat: 16 g
Sodium: 51 mg
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Protein: 11 g

Recipe from Sharon Palmer, R.D., author of The Plant-Powered Diet

 

 

bulgurBulgur

Why it’s good for you: Bulgur is one of several lesser-known whole grains that pack a wealth of fiber and B vitamins. The low-glycemic-index food, which is good for your insulin levels and blood glucose, is a Middle Eastern favorite made from wheat kernels that have been boiled, dried and cracked; it’s sometimes referred to as cracked wheat. Other less familiar yet tasty whole grains include millet, buckwheat, farro, barley and amaranth.

How to eat it: Bulgur is great in breads, salads and side dishes. It’s the main ingredient in the Middle Eastern salad tabbouleh.

Serving size: ½ cup cooked 

Calories: 151

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Easy Tabbouleh Salad
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 cups diced plum tomatoes
¾ cup diced red onion
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Place bulgur wheat in a large stainless-steel bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain bulgur and set aside. In a salad bowl, mix together cucumber, tomatoes and onion. In another bowl, for the dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and toss. Add bulgur and toss. Add parsley, stir and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup):
Calories: 180
Sodium: 20 mg
Fat: 8 g
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 5 g

Recipe from Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN, author of Cholesterol DownPrevent a Second Heart Attack and the upcoming Blood Pressure Down

 

 

flaxseedFlaxseeds

Why they’re good for you: Seeds are good sources of plant protein; flaxseeds are also high in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid called ALA and are very heart-healthy. Just be sure to grind them up before eating.

How to eat them: Sprinkle ground seeds into cereals, oatmeal, salads, breads and smoothies. Flaxseeds can also be an excellent source of healthy fat in your baked goods.

Serving size: 1 tablespoon

Calories: 37

 

Recipe: Crock-Pot Oatmeal
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 cup steel-cut oats
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups water
4 cups light soy milk
1 ripe banana, sliced
½ cup ground flaxseeds
½ cup chia seeds
Pinch of cinnamon
Chopped almonds
Brown sugar (optional)
Fat-free half-and-half (optional)

Spray inside of Crock-Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in Crock-Pot and stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Garnish with chopped almonds, brown sugar and half-and-half if desired.

Nutrition per serving (approximately 1 cup):
Calories: 195
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 52 mg
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Dietary fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 6 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

chiaseeds

 

Chia Seeds

Why they’re good for you: Like flaxseeds, chia seeds are a good source of the plant omega-3 fatty acid ALA and protect against inflammation, arthritis and heart disease. Unlike flax, chia seeds don’t need to be ground or refrigerated.

How to eat them: Sprinkle seeds into cereals, oatmeal, salads, breads and smoothies.

Serving size: 1 oz.

Calories: 138

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Whole-Wheat Chia Pumpkin Pancakes
Yield: 10 pancakes

While normal pancakes may not pack much of a nutritional punch, these ones are made with whole-grain flour, chia seeds, pumpkin and steel-cut oats — filled with fiber, healthy fats and nutritional goodness.

Ingredients
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup cooked steel-cut oats
 (¼ cup dry, cooked in water)
1 cup light soy milk
¼ cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup pure canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Syrup or other desired toppings

Spray griddle or pan with cooking spray and bring to a medium heat. Beat egg substitute with soy milk and oil. Add in pumpkin and stir. Add in cooked oatmeal and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, pumpkin-pie spice, baking powder and salt. Slowly stir flour mixture into pumpkin-egg mixture. Add honey and stir until combined. 
At the last minute, stir in chia seeds. Pour ¼-cup portions of batter onto griddle and cook until edges of pancakes start to bubble and bottoms are light brown. Flip and cook until centers are completely done, about 3 to 4 minutes. Top with syrup or other desired toppings.

Nutrition per serving (3 small pancakes):
Calories: 270
Fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 420 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Dietary fiber: 9 g
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 10 g

Recipe from Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN, author of Cholesterol DownPrevent a Second Heart Attack and the upcoming Blood Pressure Down

 

almondAlmonds

Why they’re good for you: Like other tree nuts, almonds are a rich source of protein. They’re also high in calcium and monounsaturated fat (the heart-healthy kind found in olive oil). A daily handful could help lower your bad LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

How to eat them: If you’re eating almonds plain, go for the dry-roasted, unsalted variety. Buy sliced almonds and sprinkle them on salads or into baked goods. They also make scrumptious nut butters. For people who avoid dairy, almond milk is a tasty alternative.

Serving size: 1 oz. (about 23 nuts)

Calories: 163

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Chocolate Almond Decadence
Yield: 12 servings (slices)

Cake
Ingredients
6 squares of Baker’s unsweetened baking chocolate
¾ cup Take Control light margarine
2 cups sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup almond flour (grind raw, natural almonds in a food processor until they’re a fine powder)
1 cup (4 oz.) unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup Nestlé Toll House semisweet chocolate mini morsels

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-in.-by-13-in. baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Combine the first two ingredients in a large microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and stir until chocolate is totally melted. In another large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and almond flour. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well until completely blended. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is firm to the touch. Let stand until set and serve warm, topped with raspberry coulis and fat-free whipped topping if desired.

Raspberry coulis
Ingredients
2 ½ cups fresh raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice and cook over low heat, stirring gently until sugar is dissolved. When mixture just begins to simmer, remove from heat and pour into a food processor. Process until smooth. Drizzle coulis over chocolate almond cake; add a dollop of fat-free whipped topping.

Nutrition per serving (1 slice of cake, with 2 tablespoons raspberry coulis):
Calories: 378
Fat: 19 g
Sodium: 125 mg
Carbohydrates: 57 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 45 g
Protein: 5 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

tuna

 

Tuna

Why it’s good for you: Tuna is high in protein, vitamin B, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Pregnant women and small children should limit their intake of it, however, because tuna is also high in the neurotoxin methylmercury. For everyone else, tuna — including canned — is a good sandwich and salad staple.

How to eat it: A tuna sandwich is an easy on-the-go lunch. You can also top whole-grain crackers with tuna for a delicious snack.

Serving size: 3 oz.

Calories: 99

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Tuna and Tofu Salad
Yield: 2 servings

Salad
Ingredients
4 cups red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn
1 large ripe tomato, diced
½ large Vidalia sweet onion, sliced
¼ cup green onions, sliced
½ cup sliced button mushrooms
1 block (14-oz. package) extra-firm tofu
1  can (12 oz.) water-packed tuna

Arrange lettuce on a large salad plate. Cut tofu into 1-in. cubes and add to salad. Mix tomato and onion together and sprinkle over tofu. Sprinkle drained tuna flakes over tomato mixture, then add green onions. Pour chilled dressing in desired amount over salad before serving.

Dressing
Ingredients
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (well aged)
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together all dressing ingredients except the oil and blend until smooth. Slowly add in the oil and mix until dressing has a thick consistency. Chill dressing until ready to serve salad.

Nutrition per serving (½ recipe):
Calories: 461
Fat: 17 g
Cholesterol: 51 mg
Sodium: 779 mg
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 7 g
Protein: 60 g

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

 

darkchocolateDark Chocolate 

Why it’s good for you: If you want to treat yourself, dark chocolate is the way to go. It’s better than milk chocolate because of its high concentration of cocoa, which is packed with disease-fighting antioxidant plant chemicals called flavonol; milk chocolate contains only modest amounts. Those antioxidants can help reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure and inflammation as well as improve insulin resistance. A recent study even found that those who indulged in a little bit of chocolate five times a week were slimmer than those who didn’t. “I tell all my patients that a little can go a long way,” says Janet Bond Brill. “Eat chocolate by the piece and not by the pound.”

How to eat it: Keep a dark-chocolate bar around and have a little piece when you crave a treat.

Serving size: 1 oz.

Calories: 170

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Flourless Dark-Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts 
Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup packed Splenda brown-sugar blend
½ cup quick-cooking oats
¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-in. baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place black beans in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, oats, cocoa powder, olive oil, espresso powder, flaxseeds, vanilla and salt. With an electric mixer, blend the ingredients for about 2 minutes until the black beans are mushy and the mixture is smooth. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the middle of the brownies is firm. Let cool before slicing into 16 pieces.

Nutrition per serving (1 brownie):
Calories: 140
Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 89 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: <1 g
Protein: 3 g

Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com

 

 

 

redwineRed Wine

Why it’s good for you: If you can drink responsibly and moderately — up to two glasses a day for men, one for women — red wine is another good-for-you treat. A compound in red wine called resveratrol has been linked to longevity and lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. According to Janet Bond Brill, wines made from grapes grown in cooler regions, like pinot noir from Oregon, contain the highest concentration of resveratrol.

How to drink it: Is there a wrong way to drink red wine?

Serving size: 3.5 oz.

Calories: 87

 

 

 

 

 

oliveoilExtra-Virgin Olive Oil

Why it’s good for you: Olive oil is a staple in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. It’s high in monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol. Health experts recommend cutting the amount of saturated fats in your diet and incorporating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in order to decrease your risk of heart disease.

Extra-virgin olive oils are a better option than other olive oils, since they’re less refined. Extra-virgin olive oil contains antioxidant compounds as well as vitamin E and oleocanthal, which can reduce inflammation.

How to eat it: A little olive oil goes a long way, so just use a small amount in cooking or for roasting vegetables.

Serving size: 1 tablespoon

Calories: 119

 

Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Raspberry Olive Oil Vinaigrette

Ingredients
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped

In a blender or food processor, combine all dressing ingredients except the oil and shallots and process until smooth. Slowly add in the oil and blend until dressing has a thick consistency. Stir in shallots. Chill dressing until ready to serve salad.

Recipe excerpted from Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, December 2006). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com

 

 

Read more: 31 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Now | 31 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating, with Recipes | TIME.com http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/01/guide-the-31-healthiest-foods-of-all-time-with-recipes/#ixzz2oyOENviv

Images provided by: Getty Images 

 

 

 

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