[Continued from a couple days ago.] [The last five will be coming shortly.] [I’m nagging here. These are things you I we should be using every single week!] [And you know what! It took me a long time to c o l o r coordinate these, so please at least read the list even if you’ll never eat a single thing on it!] [Sorry about all those brackets!]
Turmeric, used in holistic medicine as a digestive aid and wound healer, can also serve as an anti-inflammatory, so reach for the curry (turmeric is a primary ingredient) when nursing a toothache or a sprain.
Superstar levels of antioxidants mean that a half teaspoon of dried oregano has the benefits of a spinach salad. Oregano has the ability to act as an expectorant, clearing congestion, and can also improve digestion.
Cinnamon is the gold medalist of the spice rack, with one of the highest antioxidant levels of all herbs and spices. It also has a positive effect on blood glucose levels, so adding it to foods can keep you feeling steady and satiated.
14. Ginger, Cayenne, Black Pepper
That heat on your tongue when you eat spices such as ginger, cayenne, and black pepper is evidence of gingerols, capsaicin, and piperine, compounds that boost metabolism. They also have an aphrodisiac effect—but avoid consuming them if you’re bothered by hot flashes.
Deeply flavorful miso, a fermented soybean paste, is a great source of low-calorie protein (two grams in a 25-calorie serving). It also contains B12 and is a good source of zinc, which helps the immune system function properly.
Like the milk it’s made from, yogurt is a very good source of calcium, phosphorus, and protein. Unlike milk, real yogurt also contains probiotics, the good bacteria your digestive system needs to process and benefit from all the other things you eat. One, Lactobacillus casei, boosts immune response.
Wild-caught sardines are low in mercury (unlike some types of tuna) and high in vitamin D; a three-ounce serving has as much calcium as a cup of milk. Even better, they’re one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s top picks for sustainability.
18. Canned Salmon
King, sockeye, and coho salmon have more DHA plus EPA omega-3 fatty acids than almost any other seafood, as well as some of the lowest mercury levels. Nutritionally, wild-caught Alaskan canned salmon is as good as fresh, and it costs a fraction as much. The Monterey Bay Aquarium also champions this fish’s sustainability.
19. Sesame Seeds
Tiny, tasty sesame seeds contain unique lignans (or plant compounds), including sesamin and sesamolin, which can help lower cholesterol. The seeds are a good source of calcium, phosphorous, and zinc—as well as copper, which research suggests may help maintain strong bones.
Of all nuts, walnuts contain the most alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and may reduce inflammation in arteries. Walnuts are also a great source of antioxidants, vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium.
This 11-20 list is currently a little less used than it should be. Lots less than the 1-10 list from a couple of days ago. I love walnuts and devour, cinnamon and plain or vanilla yogurt. I do love oregano and ginger but need to incorporate them much, much more. The others? I need to work on! I’m not opposed to Salmon in a can. In fact I actually went to that aisle this afternoon in Wal-Mart and picked up a can, then put it back on the shelf. Maybe next time. My cart was already pretty full of things I know I’m going to eat. But sardines? Probably never gonna happen. Sorry.
But I can honestly say I’m making a huge effort to eat better this week. Yah, it’s only Tuesday but I’ve had three great days in a row!