Dinner Rx: Cooking with Superfoods
Scallop & Orange Salad
Red Lentil Dip
Lentil and Spinach Burritos
Lentil, Barley and Cherry Salad
Curried Lentil Soup
Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Sauce
Chicken and Soba Noodles
Mushroom & Chicken Quesadillas
Here are the superfood ingredients we featured in our recipes — and why they're so good for you:
* Walnuts: With the highest omega-3 content of all nuts, walnuts are also the only nut containing ellagic acid, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Better yet, they have the most polyunsaturated fats, which help reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol, while raising HDL "good" cholesterol.
* Oranges: These suppliers of infection-fighting vitamin C also contain the heart-protective B vitamin folate. Eat oranges whole rather than just drinking the juice — you'll get more fiber and flavanoid-rich pulp and pith.
* Yogurt: Its live active cultures can help fortify the immune system and aid in digestion. Yogurt is also a rich source of calcium.
* Blueberries: Blueberries are nutritional powerhouses bursting with flavor but very low in calories. They are packed with antioxidants that help protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals and chronic diseases associated with aging.
* Buckwheat: Technically not wheat, buckwheat is a fruit seed in the rhubarb family. Try soba noodles, which are naturally gluten-free and a good source of fiber.
* Lentils: Lentils are a great source of protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber. They have virtually no fat and a mere 115 calories for a 1/2-cup serving. This tiny legume is guaranteed to fill you up — not out.
* Spinach: Spinach is rich in vitamin A, which promotes good cardiovascular health. Its iron content is better absorbed when paired with vitamin C (this combination is found in the Scallop & Orange Salad).
* Whole Grains: Look for the word "whole" on packages of breads, pastas, and cereals — make sure whole grains appear among the first items in the ingredient list. Try to choose items with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Be on the lookout for a wide variety of new products that feature whole grains, like crackers, baking mixes, and prepared pizzas.
Originally published in the January 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine.