1. Green tea for anxiety
Studies have found that green tea eases anxiety. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can improve mental focus.
Green Tea Chicken Rice Soup: Bring 5 cups water to a simmer. Turn off heat, add 3 green tea bags and 1 sliced lemongrass stalk; steep 10 minutes. Remove solids from tea broth, bring to a simmer and add 1 cup shelled frozen edamame, 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste; cook 5 minutes. Add 1 pound cooked cubed or shredded chicken breast, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 2 sliced green onions; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Garnish: cilantro Per serving: 340 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 95 mg cholesterol, 42 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 95 mg sodium
2. Wild salmon for depression
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in high concentrations in salmon, help ease depression.
Poached Salmon Udon Soup: In a large pot, bring 5 cups water, 1 pound wild salmon, 8 thin ginger slices and ½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms to a low simmer. Gently simmer for 8 minutes, or until salmon is opaque and flaky. In a separate pot, cook 6 ounces udon noodles according to directions; drain and rinse. Flake salmon and put back into first pot along with udon noodles, 2 sliced baby bok choy, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Whisk 2 tablespoons white miso with 1∕3 cup soup broth, add to soup and heat until greens are tender. Garnish: green onion Per serving: 340 calories, 7.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 650 mg sodium
3. Lentils for cancer prevention
Folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer, is a key nutrient in lentils.
Lentil Quinoa Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 diced yellow onion; cook 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, and ¼ teaspoon each cayenne, ground cloves and salt; heat 1 minute. Add 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, ¾ cup dried red lentils, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 29-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 chopped carrots; simmer 20 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup cooked quinoa, ¾ cup unsalted cashews and juice of ½ lemon; heat 5 minutes. Garnish: parsley Per serving: 485 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 25 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 19.5 g fiber, 625 mg sodium
4. Bell peppers to lower blood pressure
Ripe bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. To get the most C in every bite, choose vividly colored peppers that feel firm and heavy for their size.
Roasted Red Pepper Beet Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 cup sliced roasted red bell pepper, 2 peeled and sliced medium sized beets, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste; simmer 30 minutes. Stir in juice of ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme; purée. Garnish: soft goat cheese Per serving: 110 calories, 3.5 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 320 mg sodium