Broccoli at the Farmers Market

10 Foods That Should Be On Your Healthy Grocery List

Buying healthy food at the grocery store can be a huge challenge for those people who are not used to eat healthily. With so many options and lack of time to fully consider all of the possibilities, it is easy to buy unhealthy foods. Instead of falling victim to the grocery store trap, it is a good idea to make a healthy grocery list and stick to it. In order to help you with your choice, we have made top 10 foods that you should always have on your healthy grocery list.

Broccoli at the Farmers MarketPhoto by Clara S.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is always high on healthy grocery food list. The delicate taste of broccoli is similar to cauliflower, making it an excellent side dish for those who love to eat vegetables.

Broccoli is very rich in vitamin C. Eating 100 g of broccoli provides 30 mg of vitamin C, which is well over your daily needs.

It is also high in dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin E, folate and beta-carotene (a compound that our body converts to vitamin A). Broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane (which helps fight cancer in humans). When choosing broccoli, choose those that have bright blue-green heads and tightly closed clusters of florets. The stalk and stems should be firm and not woody or soft to the touch. Don’t buy broccoli with yellow or damaged florets.

AvocadosPhoto by slgckgc

2. Avocado

Smooth, creamy avocado, fused with fragrant spices, adds texture and flavor to tortillas and tacos. As well as being great addition to fresh veggies, avocados also complement seafood, chicken and other meat types.

Avocados are rich in vitamins C (needed for the growth and repair of tissues in our body) and vitamin K (which helps your blood to clot) and folate. They also contain minerals such as potassium (helps in regulating blood pressure) and manganese (helps in the regulation of brain and nerve function).

Avocados also contain fiber, which is important for a healthy bowel. Choose avocados depending on the time you will use them. Select firm, unripe avocados if you are not going to use immediately, otherwise buy the ones that have a little “give” at the stem. You should avoid avocados which have dark spots or other damage on the skin.

BerriesPhoto by ninacoco

3. Berries

All berries are delicious when eaten raw or added to tarts and other desserts. They contain vitamins A, C and K and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper.

Berries also contain dietary fiber. Most of the berries are at their peak between December and February. They are a good source of vitamins K (important for helping your blood to clot) and A and C (needed for the growth and repair of tissues in the body).

They also contain minerals such as manganese (needed for the regulation of brain and nerve function), potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure), magnesium and copper. These fruits contain dietary fiber, which is important for a healthy bowel. Choose the ones that are plump, firm and uniform in color. Avoid berries that look soft or shriveled. Also avoid selecting punnets stained with berry juice or those that have moldy berries.

farm fresh eggsPhoto by slightly everything

4. Eggs

An egg is a nutritional powerhouse with lots of protein and important vitamins and minerals. You can simply fry, boil, poach or scramble them, or use eggs in more complex desserts or in savoury meals like quiche.

Eggs are very nutritious and rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, iron and folic acid. Egg yolks contain choline, an important nutrient which is needed for brain development. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain naturally vitamin D.

All vitamins are contained in the yolk. A large yolk provides more than two-thirds of the recommended daily use of 300 mg of cholesterol. When buying eggs, you should only choose clean, uncracked eggs that are within their ‘best before’ date. Taking these precautions can help you to lower your risk of becoming ill from bacteria that might be on or in the eggs.

Some kind of fish at La BoqueriaPhoto by InvernoDreaming

5. Fish

Fish is nutritious, providing us energy, zinc, selenium, iodine, protein, and vitamins D and A (some fish species only).

Fish is also a very good source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for their health benefits and are essential for life. Oily fish are those that contain at least 10 % fat (healthy omega-3 oils), such as canned sardines, salmon and some varieties of canned tuna.

The National Heart Foundation recommends consuming at least 500 mg per day of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have found that eating fish regularly (2 or more times weekly) can reduce the risk of many diseases such as childhood asthma, cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancer and other health problems. Healthy ways to consume fish include baked, poached, grilled and steamed fish.

Puy lentilsPhoto by WordRidden

6. Lentils

Lentils have become a tasty staple in many diets. Low in calories and high in nutrition, these vegetables are the perfect food to eat in spreads, salads, for crudité or crackers, and as an item on a vegetarian lunch plate.

Besides being nutrient rich, lentils are very easy to cook, and you can put them in almost any meal. Nutty and earthy in taste, lentils have a high nutritional value that anyone can benefit from by consuming regularly this healthy legume.

Lentils are also rich in iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and helps in energy production and metabolism. Although lentils contain all these beneficial nutrients like minerals, vitamins, fiber, and protein, they are still low in calories and fat.

KalePhoto by SweetOnVeg

7. Kale

Kale is a leafy green plant that stems from the same wild cabbage family like broccoli, cauliflower and collards. Of all the superfoods we could eat, this leafy green vegetable from the cabbage family is loaded with nutrients.

Not only does it have endless health benefits; kale is easy to prepare in less than 5 minutes. Kale especially contains large amounts of vitamins A and C so you’re getting a big boost of antioxidants, in addition to fiber from this healthy leafy vegetable.

It is so powerful supporter of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle that it’s been known to not only prevent getting all sorts of inflammatory issues, it can even help to reverse them. Kale has a different texture and taste than other veggies, and can be a standalone side, or used as a salad before meals.

Nuts and seedsPhoto by WordRidden

8. Seeds and nuts

Besides nuts and seeds taste great, they are packed with protein, essential fats, dietary fibre and micronutrients essential for a healthy diet.

And even more, the fats in nuts and seeds are mostly monounsaturated and unsaturated fats, which, unlike saturated fats, will not raise blood LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels.

Monounsaturated fats have the additional health benefit of raising high-density lipoprotein, the ‘good cholesterol’ in your blood. They are also one of the best natural sources of antioxidant potassium, selenium, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, folic acid, and phosphorus. So there’s a huge amount of goodness in a small and tasty package. Fresh nuts can be found in fall and winter. Seeds and shelled nuts are available during whole year but check for a freshness date.

New oil and old oilPhoto by letorrivacation

9. Extra virgin olive oil

You should always have this oil in the kitchen due to its particular anti-inflammatory benefits.

It can easily become your go-to oil for use when cooking some foods, but also as a great salad dressing, or used to top any meal that is a little dry or needs something to help its texture.

It has a light taste and shouldn’t be overlooked because its anti-inflammatory effects are akin to using some medications to treat inflammatory issues. It actually contains a natural compound that is very effective at fighting inflammation, so you shouldn’t overlook this valuable oil. There are many various olive oil brands on market shelves; it can be hard to know which ones are authentic. Just because the label says “extra-virgin” doesn’t mean that it actually is. The advice is not to buy light olive oil or a blend; it isn’t virgin quality.

Red BeansPhoto by cookbookman17

10. Beans

Fresh beans are popular in many cuisines. They are a very good source of iron, folate, dietary fibre, vitamins A and C. Some varieties of beans (such as kidney beans) are allowed to ripen so that the seeds become hard and dry.

Fresh beans are rich in vitamins (including vitamins A and C and folate) and minerals such as magnesium and iron that are required for the production of red blood cells. Dried beans are a useful source of protein, which is especially handy for vegetarians.

Fresh and dried beans are also good sources of dietary fiber. Choose bright-colored beans that are not damaged. Younger beans are tastier than older beans (these have large seeds and swollen pods). To check for freshness, snap a bean in two – it should break easily with a crisp, snapping sound.