unhappy asian women is on dieting time looking at broccoli on the fork. girl do not want to eat vegetables and dislike taste of broccoli.

(© Pormezz - stock.adobe.com)

When you think of “healthy food,” you probably think about mainstream options like kale, green smoothies, or avocado toast. While all of these are examples of nutritious foods, they’re not the only ones available. In fact, you can skip all of these foods and still have a fantastic diet.

Nowadays, social media plays a particularly significant role in how society perceives healthy food. A recent study found that simply viewing popular online posts about fruits and veggies effectively influenced people to eat more of them. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that many people today get their nutritional information online. This comes with its pros and cons, but regardless, many people are likely to eat foods that are more socially familiar.

There are certain foods that are more like wallflowers despite being powerfully nutritious. They fade into the background while the popular acai bowls take center stage. To highlight the health benefits of foods that you probably don’t think about often (or avoid out of dislike), here are three of my top picks that are worth giving a chance:

Cod liver

Cod liver oil is a popular supplement, but finding a high-quality supplement is crucial with any supplemental omega-3 oil in order to benefit from it. Additionally, fish oils do not contain minerals like iodine to help boost the antioxidant content of the fats. Eating the whole cod liver, while it may seem unsettling, ensures that all its components are intact. Additionally, cod liver is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, providing:

Cod liver with green onion in oil on plate.
Cod liver with green onion in oil on plate. (© timolina – stock.adobe.com)

Broccoli Stalks

Usually, people buy broccoli that is pre-chopped. If you buy the whole head, however, don’t be in a rush to throw out the stalk! Just one stalk has over a day’s worth of your vitamin C needs. The tough, fibrous exterior can make it seem like the stalk is inedible, but that’s not true at all. Peel off the skin using a potato peeler and turn it into something delicious. The interior can be chopped, seasoned, and popped into the oven or air fryer to make veggie fries. You can also throw them into salads and stir-fries, or use them as a vehicle for your favorite dips.

Mother and daughter washing broccoli in the kitchen sink
Mother and daughter washing broccoli in the kitchen sink (Photo by Tyson on Unsplash)

Goat milk

At this point, cow’s milk is hardly competitive anymore against the wide variety of plant milk alternatives out there, from chickpea to banana milk. Usually viewed as a specialty item, goat’s milk is even further down on the list of preferred milk options. Many studies have compared the nutrition of cow’s and goat’s milk, finding that goat’s milk is actually more nutritious. Here are some fast facts:

  • Goat’s milk is higher in inositol compared to cow’s milk. Inositol is a carb found in many foods that can promote hormone balance, blood sugar stability, and mental health.
  • There’s less milk allergy risk compared to cow’s milk.
  • It’s more easily digested and better tolerated by those with lactose intolerance compared to cow’s milk.
  • There is more protein per one cup than cow’s milk.

Bottom Line

While more typical foods like avocados and oatmeal contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and overall nutrition, there are foods less commonly found in the Western diet that provide as much or possibly even greater nutrition. Next time you go grocery shopping, try going against the grain a little bit!

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About Shyla Cadogan, RD

Shyla Cadogan is a DMV-Based acute care Registered Dietitian. She holds specialized interests in integrative nutrition and communicating nutrition concepts in a nuanced, approachable way.

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