It can be difficult to find healthy snacks in a world full of processed food, but there’s good news: not all processed foods are bad for you! Some of them can even provide essential vitamins and minerals. Here are 19 surprisingly nutritious processed foods that you should add to your grocery list.
Many breakfast cereals are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal source of essential nutrients like calcium, folate, iron, and vitamin B12. Also, cereal grains contain complex carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy throughout the morning. Always choose a breakfast cereal product that is low in added sugar and contains whole grains for optimal health benefits.
Frozen fruits are just as nourishing as fresh food. In fact, they can provide a great source of dietary fiber and micronutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants. Just be sure to choose products with no added sugar or preservatives.
Canned tuna has a long shelf life; it is a great pantry staple when fresh proteins are unavailable. Read the label carefully when selecting canned tuna, as some varieties contain added salt or oil that can add unnecessary calories to your diet. Also, always opt for light over dark tuna for healthier lean protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Canned vegetables are convenient and have a longer shelf life than fresh or frozen. They also make it easy to quickly add more nutrients to meals. Be sure to look for canned options without added preservatives, salt, sugar, or fat. If you do opt for canned veggies with added sodium, rinse them thoroughly before using them in recipes.
Popcorn is a whole grain that’s high in fiber, making it a healthy snack option. Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest choice since it’s low in calories and fat. If you want to add flavor to your popcorn without extra calories, sprinkle on herbs like oregano or thyme for a savory flavor or cinnamon for a sweet twist. You can also add healthy fats like nut butter, avocado oil, or olive oil and top with nuts or seeds to up the protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
For a dietary nutritional punch, Greek yogurt is the best choice in yogurts; it contains double the protein of regular varieties. Greek yogurt can be used in savory dishes like dips and sauces and sweet options like parfaits and smoothies. To make it even healthier, reach for plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar. Add fresh or frozen fruit, honey, nuts, or seeds.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are little powerhouses of nutrition. They contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. When selecting them, choose raw or dry roasted varieties but avoid those that have added sugar or salt. Serve nuts as a snack or use them to top your salads, smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal.
Oatmeal is a whole-grain powerhouse loaded with fiber and essential nutrients. Its smooth texture makes it an ideal morning meal to keep you satiated until lunchtime. To add even more nutrition to your oatmeal, top it off with some healthy nuts or seeds.
If you are looking for a delicious and wholesome whole grain, brown rice is a great choice. It is incredibly wholesome and packed with essential compounds and fiber. The pre-washed varieties contain less sodium and preservatives than white rice. Brown rice can be used in many dishes, like stir-fries and casseroles, or as a side dish to complement your protein of choice.
Canned beans are a convenient and inexpensive way to get the health benefits of legumes. They are an excellent source of protein and fiber and provide essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. You can use canned beans in many recipes such as soups, stews, salads, chili, tacos, and more. Go for canned varieties that are labeled low sodium or no salt added.
Whole grains are packed with nutrition and provide a wealth of health benefits. Eating more whole grains can help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. Examples of whole grains include quinoa, brown rice, oats, barley, buckwheat, sorghum, and bulgur. These nutrient-dense grains can be used in a variety of recipes, from breakfast bowls to dinner bowls.
Double-check the label for “100 percent Whole Grain” to confirm that you are getting the whole grain and not just a refined version. Add some of these whole grains to your regular diet for optimal health benefits.
Having a low-sodium soup is an excellent way to get in some nutrition while keeping healthy. Low-sodium soups are much lower in salt and taste delicious. Look for soups that are labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium.”
Although it is naturally high in sugar, dried fruit contains various antioxidants that can benefit your health. It’s also high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full for longer and aids in digestion. Choose the healthier option with no added sugar or preservatives.
Tofu is a versatile and nutritious soy-based product that can be substituted for meat in many recipes. It’s low in fat and calories but rich in protein, iron, calcium, and other minerals. Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein that can help with weight loss.
It’s pre-cooked, so all you have to do is thaw, season, and cook it. Frozen fish is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy heart. Plus, it’s low in sodium, making it an ideal choice for those on a sodium-restricted diet. Add frozen fish to your weekly meal plan for a nutritious and convenient dinner option.
Low-fat cheese is a healthier alternative to regular cheese and can be used as an ingredient in many dishes. It’s high in protein, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s low in fat and calories, making it an ideal option for those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Add low-fat cheese to salads, casseroles, sandwiches, and more for an extra boost of flavor.
This delicious dip is made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. It’s proteinous and fibrous, and it keeps you full and energized. It is also rich in other dietary content, making it a great aliment source. Look for only brands with simple ingredients such as chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices whenever you shop for hummus.
Soy milk is a great alternative to regular dairy milk. It’s an excellent source of protein, calcium, and minerals, and it also contains important vitamins like B12. Soy milk is low in fat, making it a great choice for those who are trying to watch their weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Look for unsweetened varieties when you shop for soy milk and use it in recipes, smoothies, or just to enjoy a glass with your breakfast or dinner.
Pre-cooked lentils are a great way to add plant-based protein and fiber to your diet with minimal effort. They can be stored in the pantry for extended periods and heated quickly. Also, pre-cooked lentils are a great source of iron, folate, and magnesium and have an earthy flavor that pairs well with different dishes.
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This article was produced on Health Makes You.