There are plenty of healthy foods that don’t get the attention they deserve. Here are five forgotten foods that deserve another look.
Why are some foods popular and others aren’t? I’m not talking about foods that taste better than others, or are more fun to eat—I get that. But I do wonder why certain foods are trendy, while others just aren’t eaten all that much. It’s hard to find a restaurant in Los Angeles these days that doesn’t feature kale salad. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—kale salad is delicious, and kale is jam-packed with nutrients. But why is it that certain foods gain superstar status while other forgotten foods—equally healthy and equally delicious—get the short shrift?
There’s no question that food trends come and go (oat bran, anyone?). It’s just a matter of time before our current enthusiasm for kale and quinoa starts to wane. I can’t say what the next trend will be, but I think it’s time to give a few under-appreciated foods their due. Here are five not-so-popular foods that are worthy of your attention.
While quinoa seems to be the grain that’s getting all the attention these days, millet has its own nutrition virtues yet it’s sadly overlooked.
A cup of cooked millet offers up more than 6 grams of protein, nearly 3 grams of fiber, about a quarter of your daily magnesium needs and it’s also a good source of thiamin, niacin and zinc.
Like quinoa, millet is technically a seed, but it’s cooked and eaten like a grain. It cooks just as quickly—in about 15 minutes or so—and has a deliciously sweet, nutty flavor. Oh, and did I mention that it’s gluten-free?
To me, kohlrabi looks like a turnip from Mars. It’s large, round and green. It’s usually sold with all the leaves trimmed off, so it has these short little stems that stick out every which way.
As a member of the cabbage family (just like kale), this funny-looking vegetable has plenty to boast about. A cup of cooked kohlrabi provides more than 100% of your daily vitamin C, and it’s a good source of potassium, too.
Kohlrabi is milder and sweeter than many of its cabbage cousins, and can be eaten raw or cooked. If you can find kohlrabi leaves, you can prepare them the same way you’d prepare kale—and maybe even start a new food trend.
Many of the kiwifruit I find at the supermarket are hard as rocks, and have about as much flavor. Too bad, because when they’re picked at their peak, they’re absolutely delicious and so good for you.
A single kiwifruit gives you enough vitamin C for two days, has more potassium than a banana, and gets its lovely green color from lutein—an antioxidant pigment that supports eye health.
Kiwifruit are easy to eat, too. Just cut in half and scoop out the edible flesh and seeds with a spoon. If you’re really brave, you’ll eat the whole thing—the skin is edible, too
Chances are you’ve got some canned tuna in your pantry. It’s one of those staples that most people keep around the house. Many people aren’t even aware that you can buy salmon in cans or shelf-stable pouches, but it’s widely available and so handy.
Most brands are wild-caught, and canned salmon has up to four times more omega-3 fatty acids and five times more vitamin D than light tuna. Try it in any dishes that call for tuna.
Sweet potatoes get plenty of attention for their nutritional content and are often touted as a ‘superfood’—which may help explain the sudden popularity of sweet potato fries (not a superfood). But big, beautiful butternut squash is a nutritional powerhouse, too—and it deserves some recognition.
Portion for portion, butternut squash has more fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and folate than sweet potatoes, with about half the calories. And a typical serving will give you enough vitamin A to last you more than four days.