Updated: Jul 8
There is a lot of talk today about super foods. Many of these items represent traditional soul food that has graced the tables of African Americans for decades. Of course, in many cases we need to lighten up those family recipes that are riddled with excessive salt, sugar, and fat for good health. Soul food is not thought of as “healthy” however as you can see below, several are packed with flavor and abundant in nutrients.
Sweet potatoes and yams for example contain energy boosting complex carbohydrates, potassium and are chocked full of Vitamin A, beta carotene and increases fiber intake as well as are easy to prepare in many different ways. Though the tubers are often served hot, try them as a potato salad, or toss the cooked potatoes in with apples, raisins, and chopped nuts as a fruit salad.
Greens- kale, mustard, turnip, spinach, collards, and Swiss chard are readily available. However, in some locals, one or more types of these greens may be favored more often simply because of the climate and choices of local area growers. Greens are a synergy of multiple nutrients and phytochemical's, low in calories, and high in fiber.
Black eye peas contain low fat protein and are jammed packed with fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium magnesium as well as essential phytonutrients. Adding dried beans and peas which are a stable of the African American diet are an excellent way to provide protein for those choosing a healthy vegetarian alternative.
Honorable mention: tomatoes, red wine, nuts, broccoli, oats, salmon, garlic, green tea, blueberries, low fat milk, and oranges as power foods.
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