10 Foods Nutritionists Love
"I love pineapple!" says Elisa Zied, RD, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. A great source of vitamin C, this super-sweet fruit is also rich in minerals, fiber, B vitamins, and enzymes.
The nutrients found in pineapple -- and so many other fruits and veggies -- may lower blood pressure, protect against cancer, and help keep bowel habits regular.
Enjoy fresh or canned pineapple paired with other fruits in a salad or a quick smoothie. Top chicken or fish with pineapple, or use it in cakes, pies, and tarts.
Pistachios aren't just delicious. They also contain good-for-you fats, vitamins like thiamin, B6, and E as well as potassium, magnesium, and fiber -- one nutrient many of us just don't get enough of.
These tasty nuts also provide antioxidants, which help fight cell-damaging free radicals, and some research suggests they may even play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Add pistachios to stir-fries, salads, or cooked vegetables or as part of a trail mix with whole-grain cereal and dried fruit, suggests Zied. You can even substitute pistachios for pine nuts or walnuts in your next homemade pesto.
Sunflower seeds are small, but they're mighty. They contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which may lower your cardiovascular risks and lower blood pressure, and have protein and fiber, both of which help fill you up, says Zied.
Sunflower seeds are a source of key nutrients like vitamin E, folate, thiamin, niacin, and iron and also pack in phytochemicals, plant chemicals that protect against heart disease and some cancers.
Try raw or salt-free roasted sunflower seeds on their own or in salads, stir-fries, or side dishes. You can also boost the nutrient profile of breads and muffins by adding a healthy handful.
Crunchy Snack: Popcorn
It's crunchy and a bit addictive, but popcorn can be good for you.
That's because popcorn is actually a whole grain -- and most of us aren't getting nearly enough in our diets, says Zied. Air-popped popcorn is low-fat, has only 30 calories per cup, and comes with a boost of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It even contains antioxidants that can protect against cancer.
Amp up the flavor of air-popped popcorn by sprinkling on low- or no-sodium seasonings like garlic or onion powder, grated parmesan cheese, chili powder, nutritional yeast, or cinnamon.