Happy New Year!
With every New Year comes new beginnings and new opportunities. As I’ve mentioned in the past, New Year’s resolutions don’t work very well for me. Instead I try to make simple, small changes throughout the year.
I’m just returning from an incredible family vacation. I hope you were able to take a few days off over the holidays as well. Right now I’m trying to return to a regular routine, including a healthy diet. I didn’t stray far over vacation, but there were sweets hanging around and indulging did happen.
Throughout 2015 I’m going to try to add a few more of these healthy foods to my diet
Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish which is made from a variety of vegetables including cabbage and spices.
Researchers in Korea published a recent study showing kimchi as a probiotic. Probiotics are bacteria that help keep everything balanced in your intestines. Some of the known benefits of probiotics are treating diarrhea, preventing and treating yeast infections and urinary tract infections, treating irritable bowel syndrome, preventing and treating eczema (and potentially allergies) in children and boosting the immune system.
Farro (aka Emmer)
Farro is pretty new to the North American scene, but has been served in Italy for over 2,00 years! Farro is the Italian name for emmer wheat and is best known for its roasted, nutty flavor and chewy texture. It’s a great replacement for rice and other cooked grains. It is a form of wheat so those with a wheat or gluten sensitivities might want to steer clear. Farro is high in fiber and protein and is also rich in magnesium and B vitamins.
Coconut flour is one of the healthiest flours around. It’s gluten free and because it’s not a grain-based flour, it is non-inflammatory and low in carbs. Coconut flour has 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons (with only 2 grams of total and saturated fat). It’s not a straight substitution for other flours since it tends to be dry. Take a peek here for some recipe ideas.
Matcha (powdered tea) tea is the dried leaves of green tea ground into a powder. The green powder is whisked with hot water in a bowl to make matcha tea.
The list of health benefits is long including providing many minerals and vitamins. It can also protect against many kinds of cancer and help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Here’s the brand I’m going to test out: DoMatcha Organic Green Tea
This is your license to eat more chocolate (provided it’s dark chocolate without added sugar and milk, organic and fairly traded). Chocolate, much like blueberries, reduces cortisol – the stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms.
In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses over a 30-year period than were those who didn’t.
This exotic fruit has a hard shell and a single, glossy, brown seed, that is inedible. Lychee contains oligonol, which is thought to be an antioxidant. It’s also a fantastic source of Vitamin C and the Vitamin B’s including thiamin, niacin, and folates. It has a high sugar content so those with restricted diets might want to limit consumption.
Bring on the watercress in 2015! You might be used to seeing this leafy green as a garnish on your plate, but it’s about to take a front seat. Watercress is an aquatic plant found near springs and is a close cousin to mustard greens, cabbage, and arugula. A 2014 study found watercress as having the highest nutrient score of any fruit or vegetable.
What foods do you want to add to your diet this year?