Ethnic cuisines from all around the world offer bold and exciting new flavors to add to your weekly menu. Many Asian dishes are packed with vegetables, healthy meats, tofu and spices packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Mediterranean diets are high in dark green leafy vegetables, as well as fish and olive oil which deliver much needed omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats. Take away all the heavy melted cheeses like provolone and Italian meals can be very good for you. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene which has been shown to help fight cancer. Add some basil, parsley, olive oil and garlic and you have one power packed meal! Ethnic countries show fewer rates of heart disease, diabetes, problems with cholesterol and cancers linked to healthier diets.

American diets are heavy in fried, fatty foods and foods that are heavily processed. When ease is your biggest concern, drive-through and store bought meals in a box can be tempting. Due to our lifestyle and eating choices, Americans struggle with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer far more than other countries.

When meal planning this week, try adding just one ethnic food to the usual rotation of meals your family enjoys. Nothing perks up a Wednesday like the bold flavors of a curry dish or a comforting bowl of pho. It’s easy to see that one veggie filled, spicy, flavorful meal will lead to another, and another.

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