Are you bored with the same old super foods that everyone tells you to eat to be healthier? Had enough salmon and brown rice for the rest of your life? There are plenty extremely nutritious options on the table that most people either dont know about or just dont think of. If you want to keep things interesting in the kitchen, try a few of these substitutions.
One of the few grains to be considered a complete protein, which means it contains all eight essential amino acids needed by the body, is quinoa. Pronounced keen-wah, this whole grain can be a great substitute for meats or fish in your diet, and not only is it full of protein and amino acids, it also contains a good amount of omega 3s, fiber, magnesium, and potassium.Already a favorite of vegetarians, quinoa is a great addition to soups, salads, and in place of beef or turkey in chili.
If brown rice has gotten to blah stage in regard to your taste buds, theres still hope. Black rice gets its dark color from the loads of antioxidants it packs. The same type of antioxidants found in other blue or purple foods like grapes, eggplant, and blueberries. Not only is it another great rice option, but it goes so much further. Just one spoonful of black rice contains the same amount of antioxidants as blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E.
Speaking of blueberries, an alternative thats just as healthy is cherries. Cherries contain a number of compounds that help to fight inflammation and are also believed to help prevent cancer. They also contain melatonin, which is a sleep hormone that helps against insomnia. Another benefit believed to be attributed to cherries, or at least their juice, is that it helps to ease muscle soreness after exercise. Dont believe it? Ask someone from the New York Rangers NHL team, they drink it for this specific reason.
If it looks like a banana, and smells like a banana, its probably a banana, right? Not so fast my friend. Plantains arent exactly banana wannabes, because theyre loaded in vitamin A and C in addition to potassium. As an added bonus, theyre also high in fiber. That fiber can greatly help reduce symptoms associated with Crohns disease. Theyre more popular in Latin American cooking, but cooked plantains can be a healthy and delicious substitute for sweet potatoes no matter what diet or cooking style you subscribe to.