I want to keep the National Nutrition Month theme of Plan, Shop, Cook, Enjoy! rolling here on the blog so I thought I would highlight 5 healthy grocery picks I am loving right now. Since we are all so visual nowadays, I have a healthy grocery list on Pinterest that you can follow; I am always adding new options as I sort through the best of the best when it comes to truly healthy foods.
Since we are still a ways away from the growing season here in Canada, I am going to focus on some foods that are readily available right now and affordable for all. Here are my top picks for Nutrition Month. Why not challenge yourself to try one of these foods every week? You will be healthier and happier for it – I promise.
Lentils are lovely…not only are they cheap and easy to use (no overnight soak required!) but lentils are also heavy hitters in the nutrition department. They are high in heart healthy fibre and potassium, energizing iron and folate for a healthy nervous system. Use them in place of ground meat in sauces, casseroles or soups or why not go ‘old school’ and use lentils to extend ground meat in recipes to boost nutrition (and save some cash!).
- Frozen greens
I love greens but sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to chop all the veggies I want to eat. Also, with weather being as unpredictable as it is, I can find myself staring at an empty shelf where the kale should be in the wintertime. So enter the frozen green! You can get kale, spinach and rapini frozen, chopped and ready to go. Greens should be a daily food because they are chock-full of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant plant compounds to help fend off the stressors your body faces on a daily basis. They are also supremely cleansing and full of vitamin A for healthy skin and vitamin K for healthy blood clotting.
Barley is one of my favourites – we almost forgot about this traditional grain until we realized that it harbours remarkable health benefits. The soluble fibre in barley helps lower blood cholesterol and keep blood sugars balanced – something almost every single one of us needs. Substitute barley for rice to make a super-filling risotto or eat it as a breakfast porridge or in soups and stews. If the cooking time is an issue, cook up a big batch on the weekend, store in individual recipe-sized servings and freeze in a ziploc bag. Easy!
- Almond Butter
I love peanut butter but a girl (or guy) has got to change it up every once in a while. Try almond butter; it is sweeter and a bit more grainy but every bit as delicious. Almonds are a great source of protein, fibre and healthy fats. Try dipping apple slices in almond butter for a healthy and satisfying snack.
Fats are your friend…and if you enjoy them in whole food form (as opposed to added oils) they are more filling and less likely to contribute to weight gain. Avocados are a dietitian’s dream: heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fibre, vitamin E and folate. Mash with salt and pepper for a healthy sandwich spread; add lime juice and jalepeno for a great dip or blend into fantastic smoothies instead of bananas.
What are YOUR favourite healthy grocery finds? Let me know!