5. Kidney beans for regularity
Loaded with protein and low in fat, kidney beans are also rich in fiber to keep things moving.
Kidney Bean Curry Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste; heat 1 minute. Add 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 8-ounce can tomato sauce and 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans (drained and rinsed); simmer 30 minutes. Garnish: cilantro Per serving: 255 calories, 4.5 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 16 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 13 g fiber, 716 mg sodium
6. Honey for a sore throat
Research suggests that honey soothes pesky coughs and scratchy throats. Darker varieties, like buckwheat honey, boast more antioxidants than lighter ones.
Butternut Apple Honey Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 diced shallots; cook 3 minutes. Add 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 diced medium butternut squash, 2 diced Granny Smith apples, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 teaspoons dried sage, 1∕4 teaspoon nutmeg and salt to taste; simmer 30 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons honey; purée. Garnish: toasted walnuts Per serving: 235 calories, 4 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 7.5 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 160 mg sodium
7. Broccoli for strong bones
Calcium works with vitamin K, found in broccoli, to help build bone tissue.
Broccoli Watercress Soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 chopped shallot and 2 diced garlic cloves; cook 3 minutes. Add 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, florets of 1 large broccoli, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; simmer 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 seeded and diced jalapeño pepper, 1 bunch watercress and juice from ½ lemon; purée. Stir in 1 cup unflavored almond milk; heat 2 minutes. Garnish: Parmesan cheese and toasted sunflower seeds Per serving: 100 calories, 4 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 325 mg sodium
8. Mussels for mental focus
These bivalves boast vitamin B12; not getting enough may increase cognitive decline.
Mussels in Beer Broth: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 chopped shallots and 3 chopped garlic cloves; cook 4 minutes. Add 5 diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon butter, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 ½ cups wheat beer; bring to a boil. Add 2 pounds rinsed mussels and cover; simmer until mussels open, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer solids to serving bowls. Season liquid with juice of ½ lemon and pepper to taste; boil until reduced by half. Top mussels with beer broth. Garnish: cilantro Per serving: 330 calories, 10.5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 58 mg cholesterol, 24 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber, 372 mg sodium