What you should eat: Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes


We asked St. Elizabeth Physicians Weight Management Center Dietitian Amber Cranfield, what we should be eating more of in 2018. The answer? Quinoa and sweet potatoes.


What it is: Quinoa is a grain, similar to rice or barley, but has much more nutritional quality.

Why it’s so good: When looking at a list of healthiest foods, quinoa is always near the top, and for good reason. Quinoa contains healthy anti-inflammatory fats and a high amount of complete protein. Quinoa also earns praise for its high content of antioxidants, or cancer-fighting properties.

How you get it: Quinoa is great in salads, but it’s more versatile than that. It cooks relatively quickly and freezes well. Ten of the tastiest quinoa recipes to try, per Bon Appétit: quinoa burger with sweet potato and mushroom; farmer’s market quinoa salad; quinoa grilled Cobb salad; broccoli-quinoa salad with buttermilk dressing; quinoa with coconut milk; cider-glazed carrot and quinoa salad; quinoa salad with walnuts and shallots; red quinoa with parsley and toasted pine nuts; quinoa oatmeal with apples and toasted walnuts; cherry-quinoa bars.

The bottom line: Quinoa is much more than just a delicious grain. Try adding it to more of your dishes for flavor and a nutritional boost.

Sweet potatoes

What they are: This orange cousin to the russet potato is more than just a sweeter version with a pretty color.

Why they’re so good: Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, responsible for keeping the eyes healthy and helping with night vision. They are also high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Other benefits: vitamin b6, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and iron.

How you get them: Some studies have suggested that boiling or steaming sweet potatoes leaves more of their nutritional value intact. You can add them to breakfast hashes, to casseroles, or mash them for a different and delicious take on an old favorite. Looking for a snack idea? Try Sweet Potato Nachos from St. Elizabeth.

The bottom line: Because the sugars in sweet potatoes are natural and released slowly, you won’t get the blood-sugar spikes that are associated with weight gain and chronic fatigue.