7 Nutrient-Packed Foods to Keep on Hand (444 hits)
Choosing healthy foods can seem like a chore, but by keeping a few simple staples on hand you’ll have the makings of several no-fuss meals and snacks. These 7 foods made our list because, even in small amounts, they provide a good range of nutrients.
1. Beans. Whether you simmer garbanzos in a soup, dip into black bean salsa, or enjoy baked beans on the side at your next barbecue, try to eat 1½ cups of beans each week. Beans are rich in fiber, protein, folate, iron, and other nutrients that help the body stay healthy.
2. Fish. Albacore tuna, salmon, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests they may help lower the risk of heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least 2 servings of fish a week.
3. Fruit. You can eat fruits with breakfast, as a quick snack, and for a healthy dessert. Adding more fruit to your daily diet (fresh, canned, dried, or frozen) will give your body a boost of essential nutrients. If you’re buying canned fruit, look for those processed in their own juice, or labeled “no added sugar.”
4. Nuts. Just a handful of nuts is packed with protein, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, and zinc. Nuts also are a great source of unsaturated fat. Just keep an eye on serving sizes—fat and calories can add up quickly.
5. Vegetables in all colors. Think red (tomatoes and sweet peppers), orange (carrots), green (spinach and broccoli), white (onions and cauliflower), and purple (eggplant). A variety of vegetables can give you a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, too. Frozen and canned vegetables can be a good choice too. Just be sure to look for those without added salt.
6. Whole grains. Choosing whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas can help you add fiber and flavor to your diet.
7. Plain yogurt. Both Greek and regular yogurt are excellent sources of calcium and protein.