Sweet potatoes are packed with beneficial nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber (. Focus on filling your plate with whole grains, lean or plant-based protein, and lots of vegetables to boost your nutrition, recommends Beth Stark, RDN, LDN. While it's true that there are more than 10 foods we recommend including on a regular basis (variety is an important part of a healthy diet), the following 10 foods offer some of the greatest nutritional benefits you can get. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating two to three servings of fish per week, and one of the healthiest options is salmon.
Salmon is like a multivitamin for the brain. It's packed with important brain-boosting recipes nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and choline, and is an excellent source of high-quality protein, says Lauren Manaker M, S. Eating salmon is also linked to better heart health, and fish such as salmon can have a positive impact on sleep quality, Manaker adds. Sustainability is something to consider when choosing salmon.
Manaker recommends looking for options that have integrity by looking for the Best Aquaculture Practices certified seal. Or, use the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watching Guide to find the most sustainable options. Whether you buy fresh or canned, our salmon cakes are your favorite, or try our salmon with honey and garlic for an easy and delicious dinner. The Greek salmon bowl (pictured above) is a delicious dinner that is also perfect for lunch the next day.
While both white sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes can be part of a healthy diet, traditional orange sweet potatoes have a bit of an advantage, offering nearly 270 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A and 6 grams of fiber per cup. Other varieties of purple and white sweet potatoes provide different phytonutrients. For example, purple sweet potatoes contain compounds that may improve the health of gut bacteria. Both orange and purple sweet potatoes can also contribute to eye health.
They can be enjoyed in many ways: baked, roasted, mashed or even stuffed. They can also be used in soups, curries, stews, pasta dishes and more. Check out these 25 sweet potato dinner recipes for inspiration. Research continues to link consumption of plant-based protein to an incredible number of health benefits, even if you eat some meat.
Chickpeas are a tasty and versatile supplement for dinner because they provide protein, fiber and other plant-based nutrients such as selenium, iron and folic acid. They're also considered a low-glycemic food because of their fiber and protein content, meaning they help keep blood sugar levels stable during digestion, Stark says. They can be added to almost any dish, from the main course to the garnish and salad, to increase nutrients. Stark recommends swapping them for meat in stews, soups, salads and pasta dishes.
But the possibilities are practically endless. Not sure where to start? Check out these healthy recipes that start with a can of chickpeas. Lentils may be small, but they sure are powerful. Packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, they offer a number of health benefits, including promoting heart health and reducing the risk of diabetes and certain types of cancer.
They're also a good source of iron, which is especially important if you don't eat a lot of meat (these 12 iron-rich foods can also help you get satiated). Tespeh is a fermented soy product that provides plant-based proteins (more than double the amount contained in tofu), healthy fats and important vitamins and minerals to the diet. It also contains prebiotics, which contribute to gut health. Tempeh is also more versatile than tofu.
It absorbs flavors from your plate, making it a great choice for many different foods, says Stefanie Di Tella, MScFn, RD, owner of Fuel with Stef. Tespeh is cut to reproduce the texture of ground beef, grilled or baked in strips to make a sandwich, marinated and burned on top of a bowl, or cut into cubes and added to a stir fry. Are you new to tempeh? Try our quinoa bowl with tempeh and honey or our Korean bowl of barbecued tempeh grains to get started. If you haven't tried wheat berries before, they're whole grains that offer a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture, and can be used instead of most other whole grains.
A half-cup serving (cooked) contains 6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, so they are digested more slowly than refined grains and even some other whole grains. This makes them particularly beneficial for people trying to control their blood sugar, but they're great for anyone who wants to avoid that rise and fall in energy after meals. Eating whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease, improve insulin sensitivity and contribute to a healthy gut. Use wheat berries as a base for a bowl of grains, in a chili, in a soup, or to create a grain salad as a filling garnish.