We’ve all read about “superfoods,” edibles that are almost always good for you: salmon, kale, sweet potatoes — and, recently, watercress. In the June issue of Self, dietitian Karen Ansel takes a different turn: She offers a series of tips to make less-than-super foods a little better. Some of the examples are surprising.
Three ways to stave off hunger
- Simmer oatmeal in milk instead of water, because the satiation value of protein “more than makes up for the small increase in calories.”
- Eat bananas when they’re slightly green, because they contain a “resistant starch” that makes you feel extra full.
- Cook pasta so it’s truly al dente, because its lower glycemic value means carbohydrates are released more slowly, and you don’t get hungry until later.
Three ways to look better
- Eat more beans, because potassium reduces water retention and “depuffs your eyes.”
- Stir unsweetened cocoa into your coffee, because it contains flavonoids, antioxidants that can give you a rosier complexion.
- Eat aged cheese, because it raises the pH level in your mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and making your teeth a little whiter.
- Don’t eat just the whites of eggs; the yolks contain most of the nutrients.
- Let minced garlic sit for 10 minutes before throwing it in the skillet; allicin, a cancer-fighting compound, becomes more potent several minutes after the cell walls are broken down.
- Put orange slices in your spinach salad, because vitamin C helps convert plant iron into a form easier for your body to absorb.