5 incredibly healthy side dishes

Besides potatoes, pasta and rice, there are a number of other side dishes that can make meals more varied, and thanks to their high vitamin, fiber and mineral content they benefit our health; it is definitely worth including them in our diet.

Source: Flickr.com

Source: Flickr.com

1. QUINOA

Quinoa is sometimes referred to as a grain, but in fact it belongs to the same plant family as beets and spinach. Without doubt, quinoa is not one of the most popular side dishes, although it serves health in many amazing ways. It has a high amount of proteins at 12%-18%; as a comparison, rice has only 7.4%. The high protein content makes quinoa recommended for vegetarians too. Other healthy ingredients found in significant amounts in quinoa are amino acids, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, iron and fibers. To summarize it all, this plant has lots of incredible benefits to our health, including lowering the risk of a heart attack and high blood pressure.

Source: Flickr.com

Source: Flickr.com

2. COUSCOUS

This cream-colored grain, which in fact is ground durum wheat, originates from the Arabic cuisine. It contains a high amount of selenium, which plays a role in preventing the formation of blood clots and plaque that may deposit on the walls of blood vessels. Similarly, its potassium content reduces the risk of heart and circulatory diseases, as potassium regulates heart rhythm.

Couscous is boiled in water or cooked in steam. It is an excellent side dish by itself, but it is even more delicious when flavored with fruit and oily seeds.

3. BULGUR

Bulgur is pre-cooked, dried and crushed wheat whose size varies from that of rice grains to the size of cream wheat grains. This grain is richer in fibers, vitamins and minerals than rice or couscous. It glycemic index is 46, while that of rice is between 70 and 90. It also contains a high amount of vitamin B and iron, which makes it highly recommended by dieticians.

Source: Flickr.com

Source: Flickr.com

4. MILLET

Millet is the king of grains. It is the only grain that contains full value proteins, and it alkalinizes the body. It contains less starch than other grains, so it is easier to digest. Millet also contains lots of vitamins and minerals.

5. BUCKWHEAT

Buckwheat is considered a grain because of its floury seeds. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin B and it also contains lots of minerals such as magnesium, chromium, copper and manganese, which means that this grain ensures the proper functioning of many organs and vital functions. Its fibers ensure the functioning of the digestive system, and its essential fatty acid content reduces inflammation and strengthens the immune system.

As a side dish, it is best to flavor millets with cumin or salvia.

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