We all have our likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to food. An ingredient that induces euphoria for one individual can just as easily make someone else squirm. Avoiding eats that make your skin crawl might be the obvious answer, but you could be missing out on some serious superfoods by doing so.
Whatever your reason for disliking these seven superfoods, we have some suggestions that are just as healthy. Eating well just became a lot tastier.
1. Swiss chard instead of kale
There’s no denying the distinctly vegetal taste of kale. Perhaps this explains why it’s become the darling of the healthy eating world. Not everyone loves the flavor, though. And if we’re being honest, a lot of the objections to this green come purely from overexposure. Luckily, kale isn’t the only great green out there. Swiss chard is a less potent-tasting veggie with almost an identical number of calories and many of the same benefits. In fact, chard has more iron, fiber, and protein than kale. Bonus: It also cooks faster.
2. Arctic char instead of salmon
Salmon is definitely having a moment, and a long one. With so much evidence supporting the heart-boosting effects of consuming fish rich in omega-3s, it’s easy to see why. Unlike most other types of seafood, salmon has a pretty assertive flavor. Some find it pleasant, but others can’t stand it. If you find yourself in the latter group, try going for arctic char instead. This fish has a similar hue, but the flavor is significantly milder.
3. Cottage cheese instead of Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt lovers find it to be creamy and tangy while folks who hate it find the dairy to be gloppy and sour. As long as you’re not forgoing dairy products entirely, cottage cheese is a great swap. Though yogurt might take the overall crown in a head-to-head battle, cottage cheese does contain more protein at 24 grams per cup. It’s also a great source of calcium.
4. Red peppers instead of tomatoes
Everyone knows at least a few people who meticulously remove every piece of tomato from restaurant salads. Often, it’s about the texture of the raw fruit more than anything else. Still, some people’s disdain crosses over to cooked preparations as well. This makes making and eating Italian food a real challenge. For a taste that’s similarly rich when simmered into a sauce, try red peppers. These nightshades contain even more vitamin C than tomatoes — there are 190 milligrams per cup compared to about 25 milligrams for the same amount of tomato. Furthermore, red peppers scored higher on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ranking of the most nutrient-dense foods.
5. Pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts
Disliking walnuts is pretty common, usually because many remember the unpleasant taste of biting into a rancid, bitter one. The negative association is enough to make people banish them from every baked good and salad in the future. It’s a shame, because walnuts are filled with omega-3 fats, protein, and essential minerals. If you’re among those who’d rather avoid the nuts, try pumpkin seeds. They have a toasty flavor and crunch that’s similar to nuts. Plus, pumpkin seeds contain good amounts of fiber, protein, iron, and a pretty respectable dose of omega-3 fats.
6. Wild rice instead of quinoa
OK, so quinoa is pretty hard to beat when it comes to nutritional power. The seed is the rare plant-based food that’s a complete protein and also contains tons of fiber. Truthfully, it can be a little bit bland. Not everyone wants to spend tons of time in the kitchen just to concoct a side dish with flavor, so wild rice is a good second choice. This pseudo-grain has a rich, nutty flavor that tastes great with little more than a sprinkling of salt. Wild rice boasts a pretty good amount of fiber and protein, which will both help keep you feeling full. It’s also a lower-calorie option than quinoa.
7. Broccoli instead of Brussels sprouts
It’s hard to get past memories of the overcooked Brussels sprouts of your youth. When steamed or boiled for so long, the vegetable turns mushy and sulfurous — a combination no one likes. You can still score some of the same benefits if you reach for broccoli. Also a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, broccoli has a strikingly similar nutritional makeup.
Eating ½ cup of cooked Brussels sprouts will give you 2 grams of fiber, plenty of vitamins A and C, plus a good dose of folate for 28 calories. The same amount of broccoli contains 3 grams of fiber, slightly more of each vitamin, and a bit more folate for 27 calories. When it comes to choosing between these veggies, preference is really the best bet. You really don’t have to feel too bad about skipping sprouts.