New Nordic Diet

Rich with tradition, see how the new Nordic Diet brings together the country’s seafood-centric culinary heritage with whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, berries, apples, pears and root vegetables in modern interpretations.

New research suggests consuming a Nordic-style diet may prevent against certain types of stroke. The Nordic Diet features root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage), rye bread, fruit such as apples and pears, oatmeal and fish.

The population-based Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study, published on January 3 in Stroke, an AHA Journal, looked at more than 55,000 participants over a 3.5 year period. Adherence to a healthy Nordic Diet was associated with a lower risk of stroke.

Nordic cultures have long enjoyed a reputation as some of the healthiest people on the planet. That’s because Nordic cuisine is naturally rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Interested in trying a Nordic Diet? Start integrating these foods to reap the benefits:

  • Seafood Centric: The Nordic Cuisine is inspired by the sea. A serving of ocean-farmed salmon is an excellent source of high quality protein and omega-3 fats, and contains key nutrients including selenium, iodine. In addition salmon provides vitamins D and B2, two essential nutrients that evidence suggests some Americans may be lacking2345. A plate filled with omega-3 rich seafood, especially ocean-farmed salmon raised in Norway-is a hallmark of Nordic Cuisine. Just serving of Norwegian ocean-farmed salmon contains 250-3600 mg EPH/DHA per 00 grams-or about 5X the recommended intake of 250 mg/day recommended by leading health experts6.
  • Whole Grains such as Rye Bread, Barley and Oats: These whole grain staples of traditional Nordic eating are powerful packages, as they are rich in fiber, phytochemicals B vitamins, and have a low glycemic index. The traditional Nordic Pattern of including oatmeal, rye breads and barley at meals has numerous health benefits-overwhelming evidence suggests this whole grain-centric approach promotes regularity, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by more then 20%, and to helps people feel fuller longer, promoting easy weight control7. Research has also found that a diet rich in whole grains can lead to greater loss of belly fat, and lower levels of inflammation8.
  • Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetable (including Brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli and red cabbage). This family of vegetables contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetables, are available year round, and are full of some of Nature’s most potent cancer fighting and detoxifying compounds: including indoles,sulforaphone and isothiocyanates9. Research has found that consuming cruciferous vegetables regularly is associated with lower rates of cancer, including breast, colon and prostate cancer0. They are also seen as nutritional superstars because they are high in fiber yet very low in calories, making them ideal for easy weight loss.
  • Berries, Apples and Pears are rich in vitamin C, powerful phytochemicals, fiber and more. While Nordic Cuisine emphasizes locally growing berries such as cloudberries and Logan berries, in the US. regional berries such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, or seasonal fruits make perfect alternatives.
  • Root Vegetables. Especially Carrots, Beets and Parsnips. These are Nature’s perfect carbohydrate to provide energy, as they are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber as compared to refined breads, pastas and grain dishes.
1  Carmel R. “How I treat cobalamin (vitamin B2) deficiency.” Blood 2:224-2: (2008).
2 Tucker KL et al. “Plasma vitamin B2 concentrations relate to intake source in the Framingham Offspring Study.” Am J Clin Nutr7:54-22 (2007).
3 Butler CC, et al. “Oral vitamin B2 versus intramuscular vitamin B2 for vitamin B2 deficiency: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.” Fam Pract 23:279-85 (2006).
4 USDA 200 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
5 Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 200.
6 Yashodhara et al., “Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Comprehensive Review of Their Role in Health and Disease.” Postgrad Med J. 85:84-90 (2009).
7 Mellen PB. Walsh, TF, Herrington DM, “Whole grain intake and cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis.” Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis (2008) 8(4):283-90.
8 H. Katcher et al., “The Effects of a Whole-Grain-Enriched Hypocaloric Diet on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Men and Women with Metabolic Syndrome, “Am J Clin Nutr (2008) 87():79-90.
9 Higdon JV, Delage B, et al., “Cruciferous Vegetables and Human Cancer Risk: Epidemiologic Evidence and Mechanistic Basis.”Pharmacol Res. (2007): 55: 224-36.
10 London, S.J. et al., “Isothiocyanates, Glutathion S-Transferase M and T Polymorphisms, and Lung-Cancer Risk: a Prospective Study of Men in Shanghai, China.” Lancet (2000) 356: 724-29.
11 Boyer J, Liu RH. “Apple Phytochemicals and Their Health Benefits.” Nutr J. 3:5 (2004).