I’m a Dietitian. Here are Six Foods I Recommend   

I’m a Dietitian. Here are Six Foods I Recommend

Ginger, lemons and tea on a tabletop.
Clinical Contributors to this story:
Tricia Scott-Sahler

If you are just starting out on your journey to eat healthier, here are six foods that I recommend to help get you on your way.

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It’s heart-healthy. It has vitamins such as E and K, and antioxidants that may reduce inflammation. This helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It’s best used raw because it loses some of its nutritional value when cooked. I use it in place of butter as well as a salad dressing. It can be drizzled over salmon just before serving.

2. Broth

 You can either make your ownor buy low-sodium broth at the store. I use it to sauté things like veggies. I also use it to cook grains such as quinoa instead of water. It greatly increases the flavor without all the extra fat.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

 Pumpkin seeds are a great source of minerals and vitamins, including manganese, which helps make collagen for your skin. They are a terrific snack. Here’s how I prepare them:

  • I simply wash them off and roast them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 250 degrees.
  • To add some flavor, I toss them in olive oil and spices. (The good thing about making them spicy is you tend to eat less.)
  • Avoid using salt.
  • You can also roast them with other nuts.

Just be cautious and consume them in moderation because nuts have a higher fat content which means more calories.

4. Sofrito

 Sofrito is a mix of peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic. It has antioxidants, is heart-healthy and is antimicrobial. It’s also extremely versatile. It can be used with chicken, fish, beans, quinoa, etc. It can also be used in stews and soups.

5. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast has a savory flavor similar to cheese and tastes salty despite the fact that it doesn’t contain any salt. You can use it raw on salads, popcorn or pasta, or cooked in things like stew. It contains fiber, zinc, B vitamins and all nine amino-acids our body needs but doesn’t make naturally.

6. Ginger

Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help with GI issues such as nausea and constipation. It’s great with olive oil and garlic on fish or chicken. I personally enjoy it in tea: I chop it up and boil it in a pot of water for about 20 minutes with some lemon, turmeric, cinnamon or even cayenne. A small amount of honey can be added to cut the bitterness. Strain before drinking. It’s great hot or iced.

No matter how you start, remember small changes can make a big difference. Overhauling your diet all at once isn’t going to work well. One small change can lead to others. You just need to begin.

Next Steps & Resources

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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