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5 superfoods you haven’t tried

If you feel like eating healthy means an endless slew of salmon, spinach and sweet potatoes, it’s time to expand your palate. Cancer Wellness at Piedmont’s Chef Nancy Waldeck and Shayna Komar, a licensed and registered dietitian, share their favorite under-the-radar superfoods.

Ancient grains

You are probably familiar with quinoa, but what about other ancient grains like farro, millet, freekeh and spelt? Ancient grains are packed with protein, fiber and essential nutrients, and they taste great. Use these versatile grains in salads, side dishes and main entrees. Follow package instructions when cooking.

Baby “supergreens”

Bust out of your spinach rut with the latest crop of “supergreens” available in the bagged salad section of the supermarket. Varieties like baby tat soi, kale, baby green swiss chard, baby spinach and baby arugula pack more nutritional punch than traditional iceberg lettuce and are quick to prepare because the small leaves require little prep work, unlike larger leafy greens.

Bragg Liquid Aminos

Both Komar and Waldeck like Bragg Liquid Aminos for a healthier alternative to soy sauce and “wonderful umami taste.” While similar in texture to the popular condiment, the liquid aminos are gluten-free, non-GMO and lower in sodium, plus they contain protein. 

Root vegetables

Don’t let the rustic look of root vegetables like beets, rutabaga and parsnips intimidate you. These gems are nutritious and easy to prepare. Komar likes to roughly chop them, along with carrots and red onions, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast on a baking sheet.

“I make a big batch on two baking sheets and if I’m ever in a time crunch during the week, I just microwave some of the leftovers,” she says.

For a sweeter spin, Waldeck likes parsnips sautéed in olive oil with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Seeds

Komar suggests experimenting with seeds. Chia and flax seeds contain protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Sesame seeds contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Sprinkle sesame seeds over sautéed spinach, substitute flax seed for some flour in baked dishes and mix chia seeds into your smoothie.

Ready to try out some new recipes? Click here to visit the Living Better recipe index.

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