Healthy Foods to Put on Your Shopping List
Frozen wild blueberries
They’re packed with even more disease-fighting antioxidants than larger, common blueberries. In fact, they beat out 20 other kinds of fruit for antioxidants. Luckily for us, even though fresh wild blueberries are hard to come by (they’re around only for a few fleeting weeks and mostly in the Northeast, where they grow), frozen wild blueberries are widely available in the supermarket. Plus, they’re often a better bargain than the canned, dried, and fresh varieties. If you haven’t tasted them, be prepared for an intense blueberry experience. Take blueberries beyond the breakfast table. Stir them into grain side dishes such as pilaf, sprinkle them over salads, or cook them with a little jam, chicken broth, sautéed onions, and seasonings to sauce pork chops or chicken cutlets.
All beans are packed with cholesterol-lowering fiber, protective plant chemicals called phytonutrients, and protein. Recent studies have found that they also help combat insulin resistance and chronic inflammation – two conditions associated with weight gain and obesity. But if you don’t’ have the time to cook up a pot of beans, buy bean dip and use it as a sandwich spread or a side dish, or in a casserole. Also pick up hummus, a type of bean dip made from chickpeas that has protein, fiber, and minerals in every spoonful. You can keep the ingredients for a quick bean dip in your pantry. Mash a can of rinsed and drained white cannellini beans with minced garlic, a dash of oregano, and a little olive oil.
Dried plum snack packs
OK, so they’re prunes masquerading as plums. But the dark, wrinkly dried fruit, known for keeping the digestive system humming, also packs minerals that are good for your bones, and they’re loaded with potassium. Manufacturers, aware of their less-than-glam image (hence the name change), have started marketing them as on-the-go snacks. Sunsweet and other brands offer individually wrapped prunes and 60-calorie packs. And if you do a lot of baking, Sunsweet’s Lighter Bake is a butter and oil replacement that’s made from pureed prunes and apples. At only 35 calories and zero fat per tablespoon, it’s a tasty way to decrease the fat in your goodies. Use them to add subtle sweetness to stews, wine sauces, and salads. Use chopped prunes in broccoli or carrot slaw and tosses with sliced almonds and a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette.