Top 10 Nutrient-Dense Foods

Top 10 Nutrient-Dense Foods

When the Sun Basket test kitchen gets to work developing new recipes, our chefs are always looking for delicious, healthy foods to build our meals on. Happily, such ingredients are in plentiful supply. Here’s our staff nutritionist, Kaley Todd’s, list of the top 10 nutrient-dense foods.

  • Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and contain protein, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Those same healthy fats help your body absorb all those vitamins.

  • Beans and lentils are protein-packed additions to many of our Sun Basket vegetarian meals. They’re high in fiber and rich in zinc, which are crucial for a healthy immune system. Research has found that, in addition to providing heart-health benefits, beans can reduce the risk of breast-cancer, and they may help improve blood glucose and insulin levels in diabetics. Enjoy beans this week in our Chickpea and Quinoa Curry with Toasted Naan and North Indian Rajma Masala Red Bean Stew.  

  • Berries are rich in vitamin C and fiber and a good source of folate and potassium. But what gives berries their superpowers are their phytochemicals, specifically anthocyanins, the pigments responsible for their intense colors. Those anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that fight cell damage and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Blueberries in particular have been shown to improve memory and brain function in lab animals.

  • Eggs are a high-quality protein, a good source of the amino acids tryptophan and selenium, and a hard to come by source of natural vitamin D. Research has suggested eggs may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Our Steak and Eggs with Cauliflower “Rice”  is a protein-packed dinner with the added value of nutrient-dense cauliflower.

  • Greens, especially dark leafy ones like kale, Swiss chard, and arugula pack a plate full of antioxidants, like vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, and fiber—with not very many calories. In addition, they supply lutein, which contributes to good vision and may help protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Wake up to a glass full of healthy greens with our Pear Kale Tonic  and end your day with a serving of iron-rich spinach in our Sole in Parchment with Warm Date and Apricot Salad.  

  • Nuts and seeds are a good source of vegetable protein and provide good fats that can promote nutrient absorption—and they’re known to lower the risk of heart disease. Roasted cashews help you benefit from all the nutrients in our Gingered Turkey Meatballs in Lemongrass Broth.  

  • Oats are rich in healthy amounts of  E and B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Studies have found oatmeal to lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help in weight management.

  • Salmon is packed with protein and high in vitamin A. It’s also a rich source of omega-3, a fatty acid necessary for proper brain functioning and a healthy cardiovascular system.

Cooking with Parchment—
The Mighty Chickpea
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