Super Nutrition for Lessjennyeven | February 23, 2011
You’ve heard about the importance of eating healthy, but does that mean you have to spend more at the supermarket? Not necessarily. It doesn’t take much to redo your shopping list to improve the nutrient quality of your foods, such as buying canned tomatoes over fresh. Food bargains can be found everywhere – if you know the basics and where to look. You probably already have some of these nutrition superstars packed away in your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator:
- Calcium Can-Do’s
Plain yogurt is a quick and easy way to get calcium, plus it’s loaded with probiotics. Skip the extra calories from the fruit-flavored yogurt and add your own flavoring, such as vanilla extract or an all-fruit spread. Top with fresh, unsweetened berries.
Canned salmon with bones is a superfood, packed with calcium plus heart-healthy omega-3s. Look for salmon packed in water to cut calories. Toss with a spinach salad or with steamed greens for a one-pot meal.
Nonfat dry milk powder is milk that has had the water removed. It contains the same amount of calcium and protein of fluid milk for approximately 10 cents less per serving. Use it in soups, stews, casseroles, or as a protein powder in a shake.
- Fiber in Foods
Whole-grain pasta can be a great source of fiber. Be sure to read the label and look for a minimum of 5 grams or more of fiber per serving. Exchange whole-grain spaghetti, linguini, or noodles for any dish that calls for white pasta. The nutty flavor adds richness to any dish!
Quinoa has 50 percent more fiber than brown rice, plus it’s packed with protein. Prepare it with milk for breakfast, or use in place of rice in any recipe.
Popcorn is an easy way to get fiber in your diet. Enjoy it airpopped as a snack. Skip the butter and mist it with cooking spray topped off with a dash of chili powder.
- Antioxidants Are Easy With These Foods
Frozen blueberries are great to keep on-hand for muffins, pancake batter, or morning cereal. Research has shown that blueberries may prevent certain cancers and Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Fresh berries can be frozen; be sure to wash before freezing.
Canned pumpkin is filled with beta carotene that may help protect vision. Avoid the extra calories of sweetened purees and purchase the unsweetened pumpkin. It keeps up to two years, so stock up when it’s on sale.
Canned tomatoes are higher in lycopene than fresh tomatoes. Purchase the low-sodium variety and season your dish with oregano, basil, or another savory herb.
Source: Consumer Reports, March 2011. Author: Jennifer Even, Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hamilton County.