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7 Overlooked Healthy Foods That Deserve Your Attention

by Yulia Allawi 04 Feb 2024
healthy buckwheat pancakes

In the vast landscape of nutrition, certain foods often fly under the radar, overshadowed by more mainstream counterparts. However, these overlooked heroes of the culinary world boast a wealth of health benefits and culinary versatility that deserve recognition. In this article we explore seven overlooked healthy foods – buckwheat, amaranth, sharon fruit, dates, celeriac, parsley and turnip – and uncover their remarkable qualities that can elevate both your health and your plate.

1. Buckwheat

buckwheat

Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat but rather a nutrient-dense seed that is gluten-free and rich in protein, fibre and essential nutrients like manganese, magnesium and antioxidants. This ancient grain alternative boasts a nutty flavour and a versatile culinary profile, making it a perfect choice for gluten-free diets. From hearty pancakes to nourishing porridge, buckwheat offers a delightful addition to any meal while providing sustained energy and promoting digestive health.

2. Amaranth

amaranth

Amaranth is a tiny, yet mighty pseudo-cereal renowned for its impressive nutritional profile and ancient origins. Packed with protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, including calcium, iron and potassium, amaranth offers a powerhouse of nutrients in every spoon. This gluten-free grain substitute can be cooked as a grain, popped like popcorn or ground into flour for baking. Whether enjoyed as a savoury side dish or a sweet breakfast porridge, amaranth adds a nutritious boost to any meal while supporting heart health and promoting satiety.

3. Sharon Fruit

persimmon sharon fruit

Also known as persimmon, sharon fruit is a vibrant orange fruit with a sweet, honey-like flavour and a soft, pudding-like texture when ripe. Rich in vitamins A and C, fibre and antioxidants, sharon fruit offers a deliciously refreshing way to boost your immune system and support digestive health. Whether eaten fresh, sliced into salads or blended into smoothies, sharon fruit adds a burst of sweetness and colour to your culinary creations while nourishing your body from the inside out.

4. Dates

healthy dates

Dates are nature's candy, offering a natural source of sweetness packed with essential nutrients like fibre, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants. These deliciously chewy fruits provide a quick energy boost and help stabilise blood sugar levels, making them an ideal snack for fuelling active lifestyles. Whether enjoyed on their own as a satisfying treat or incorporated into recipes for added sweetness and texture, dates offer a guilt-free indulgence that promotes overall well-being and supports digestive health.

5. Celeriac

celeriac

Celeriac, also known as celery root, may not win any beauty contests with its knobby exterior, but beneath its rugged appearance lies a treasure trove of nutritional benefits. Low in calories, yet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus, celeriac offers a crunchy texture and a mild, celery-like flavour that pairs well with a variety of dishes. Whether roasted to perfection, mashed into creamy soups or grated into salads, celeriac adds a subtle earthy sweetness and a nutritious boost to your culinary creations.

6. Parsley

parsley

Parsley is more than just a garnish – it's a nutritional powerhouse that deserves a prominent place on your plate. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, parsley offers a burst of flavour and vibrant green colour to any dish. Whether sprinkled over savoury dishes for a fresh burst of flavour, added to fattoush salad or blended into pesto for a nutritious twist, parsley adds depth and complexity to your culinary creations while supporting immune health and promoting eye health.

7. Turnip

turnip

Turnip may be an underappreciated root vegetable, but its crisp texture and subtly sweet flavour make it a versatile addition to any meal. Low in calories, yet high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium and folate, turnip offers a nutrient-dense option for boosting your health and well-being. Whether roasted, mashed or grated into salads, turnip adds a delightful crunch and a nutritious boost to your favourite recipes while supporting digestive health and promoting overall vitality.

These wonderful seven overlooked healthy foods offer a wealth of nutritional benefits and culinary possibilities that deserve a place in your kitchen. By incorporating these nutrient-rich ingredients into your meals, you can nourish your body, tantalise your taste buds and embark on a journey of culinary discovery that celebrates the diverse flavours and textures of the natural world.

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