Top 12 Foods to Try in 2012 Cindy Gates, RD, LD, Certified WellnessCoach June Nylen Cancer Center The Blue Zone Project is about being happyand healthy. Trying new foods can make you happy and healthy sincethey will make you feel better and the new flavors you willexperience, will make you smile. A New Year and a new time to try some newfoods for 2012. 1) Kale and arugula are both great sources of vitamins,minerals and phytochemicals. Both can be eaten fresh in salads orsteamed. 2) Chia Seeds maybe better than flaxseeds. Likeflaxseeds, they are high in omega 3 fatty acids and high in solublefiber which may help lower cholesterol. Chia seeds do no need to beground for your body to able to digest them and they do not need tobe refrigerated. Chia seeds swell in water so they will help makeyou fill. Chia seeds are also a good source of calcium. 3) Quinoa is an ancient grain which is rich in fiber andprotein. It has a fluffy, creamy and slightly nutty flavor. 4) Greek Yogurt and regular yogurt are both good fordigestion and help increase the immune system. Greek yogurt hasmore protein, some brands are even twice as high in protein. Manysay Greek yogurt taste better since it is thicker texture. Regularyogurt goes thru two straining where Greek goes thru threestraining to remove the water. 5) Dark Chocolate is always a health food. Choose 72%cocoa content or higher for the best anti-inflammatory, antioxidantand mood enhancing effects. 6) Spices are a great way to cut back on salt and sugar.Cinnamon, ginger and turmeric are all great for digestion and theimmune system. 7) Hummus is made from garbanzo beans (chick peas) andis great for dips for veggies and whole grain crackers. Hummus ishigh in protein, and fiber and a good source of healthy fats. 8) Pomegranate is full of antioxidants, fiber andVitamins A and C. Studies show that pomegranate may help lower riskof heart disease and cancer. 9) White Tea is from the same plant as green, black andoolong teas. Black tea is fermented. Oolong tea is partiallyfermented. Green tea is steamed or pan fried. White tea is theimmature tea leaves that are picked before they are fully open andjust minimally processed. White tea has a sweet, silky flavor andstudies show have more anti-oxidants than other teas. 10) Black Beans like all beans are high in fiber andprotein but black beans contain more antioxidants that otherbeans. 11) Pumpkin is one of the vegetables that do not getutilized enough. Pumpkin is chock full of Vitamin A and fiber andso versatile to use from appetizers, breads to desserts. 12) Blue Zone Challenge: Try one new food this week (hint: try dark chocolate with sea salt ).