Pump up your weekly menu with these power foods

Judy Siebart

By Judy Siebart, RD

So often we hear about what foods are bad for us. Instead, let’s focus on foods we should eat more often.

Eat greens… in every shape and form. Not sure what to do with kale, endive, or bok choy? Google it! There are so many delicious ways to enjoy greens, including kale chips, endive salad, and stir fry with bok choy.

Beans and legumes are a staple in my house as my two daughters are vegetarians. You can use dried or canned. They are high fiber, high protein, nutrient dense and cost efficient – not to mention versatile and filling. And, yes, you can flavor beans and legumes with meat.

Nuts are always a good choice. If you want a snack in the afternoon or evening, consider these tasty treats. They are high in fat, but it is a good kind of fat that is protective of the heart and blood vessels. Walnuts are highest in omega-3 fats. Peanuts, technically a legume, are also healthy. But keep in mind; you could end up canceling out the heart-healthy benefits of nuts if they're covered with chocolate, sugar, or salt.

We all tend to like fruits as they are sweet. They can satisfy a craving for sugar. Have a bowl of washed fruit on display, so the kids can grab a piece on the go!

Whole grains are wonderful, as we can all use more fiber and energy. But just because your pasta is whole grain does not mean you can eat more!

Go fish! Fish is delicious, and easy to prepare and incorporate into your diet. Eating fish once or twice per week is sufficient to reap its nutritional benefits. If possible, choose wild-caught fish over farmed. Wild fish tends to have more omega-3 fats and is less likely to be contaminated with harmful pollutants.

Make a grocery list, including these foods and other healthy options. Plan your menus each week and stick to them. Think control over convenience.

Are you interested in one-on-one nutrition counseling? Call 855-WVU-CARE to schedule an appointment.