You can find part 1 of this nifty list here. Without further ado, here are more foods (and spices) that you aren’t eating but should.
The beet root itself is a bulb of nutrient bounty but it’s the greens we need to praise. It has been suggested that the greens have even more nutrients than the root!
Beet greens beat out their turnip and mustard green opponents when it comes to calcium, magnesium, and iron. The carotenoids lutein and beta-carotene are found in super high amounts in these leafy wonders. Beet greens are also packed with vitamins K, A, and C, copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B12 (hello vegans!) In fact, beet greens have been said to provide “unusually comprehensive nourishment” by the folks over at whfoods.com.
When washing the greens, do not soak them in cold water because this will leech certain nutrients. That being said, it IS suggested to boil them because the hot water will draw out any harsh acids that may upset your insides.
I’m working on a few recipes that feature beet greens so be sure to subscribe!
This powerful golden dust from the heavens is amazing stuff. Its peppery, orange, fragrant flavor makes it an essential curry player. I add it to so many things; eggs, smoothies, salad dressings, hummus, on smashed sweet potatoes, and on kale chips. Many people use it simply for the color but there are a lot of benefits behind its curcumin content, which is responsible for that yellowy-orange hue.
Coming from the Curcuma root and hailing from Southeast India, turmeric has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal applications. Turmeric is unique in that it is a significant source of manganese and iron. There is a volatile oil in turmeric that is shown to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. The combination of this oil and the curcumin (the pigment) places turmeric along aside pharmaceuticals used to treat inflammation (Motrin, for example).
Symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions and rheumatoid arthritis have both been successfully treated with daily turmeric intake, with NO side effects. Turmeric also keeps your liver happy, may prevent several types of cancers (especially when paired with onions or cauliflower), can help reduce cholesterol, protect your heart, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s! Curcumin is able to cross the blood brain barrier and may protect against some of the oxidative stress that contributes to Alzheimer’s risk.
My favorite supplier of turmeric, and many other spices and essential oils, is Mountain Rose Herbs (affiliate link!).
Not the blind kind… These dates are amazing, come in several varieties, and they might remind you of your grandpa (how sweet). The date, while it resembles a prune-and keeps you regular- tastes even better and has loads of health benefits.
First of all, dates have a wonderfully sweet caramel taste. They are pretty ugly but their versatility is limitless. I eat them on their own and call them candy. Just be sure to remove the pits first! To me, the perfect snack is a raw walnut squished together with a gooey medjool date. Now that’s a pairing I can get down with.
All varieties of dates are flush with fiber, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, iron, calcium, vitamins A & K….and more! They are a fantastic pre and post workout snack because they provide you with energy (glucose) before you get your game on and they help replenish glycogen stores to help you recover. I always add them to smoothies after my sweat sessions.
Some other benefits of dates include improved heart health, bone health and strength, anemia, and they can even help you nurse the brown bottle flu.
This entire vegetable is edible. Just steam it lightly, season with some sea salt, lemon juice, (and turmeric!) and you have a side dish. Done and done.
Bok choy is in the cruciferous family, along with kale, cabbage, and broccoli. This veg boasts significant amounts of zinc, vitamins K, C, and A, potassium, and folate. Interestingly, bok choy also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which we must obtain through diet. All of these nutrients contribute to its ability to act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The sulfur compounds, while they may not help you make any friends, do protect against certain cancers.
It seems readers dig this sort of thing so I plan having this series stick around for a while. Maybe every other week or so.
Get creative! Search for recipes that use these things, see how many you can use in a week!
Like I said before, these aren’t wacky, exotic ingredients. You should be able to find them at your local commercial market. I would love to see what you make with them so let me know in the comments!