Things can be challenging in these modern times to get a nutritious meal together when there is limited time available. It’s great that there are some supermarket items which are both handy and can provide nourishing qualities to your meal choices. We have noted our top 10 items to include in your shopping list.
10 Healthy Convenience Foods
Canned, jarred, or boxed, chickpeas are an incredibly versatile and essential ingredient to stock up on. One hundred grams of chickpeas, also referred to as garbanzo beans, contain 115 calories. They contain a hefty amount of both protein and fiber, allowing users to feel satiated for a larger period of time, and the fiber helps keep one’s digestion in check. Approximately 100 grams of chickpeas will fulfill approximately one third of your suggested dietary fiber consumption for the day. Chickpeas can be incorporated into a variety of foods, such as soups, stews and salads, and can be prepared in a range of methods, such as being baked in the oven or pureed for hummus.
Lentils are so much easier to use when pre-packaged. No soaking overnight or cooking for ages! No matter which lentil type you choose – green, red, Puy, or brown – and regardless of whether they come in a tin, carton, or pouch, you can enjoy lentils hot or cold and reap their nutritional benefits. Per 100g, these items contain 105 calories and nearly 9g of protein, which is very high. Lentils are full of muscle building proteins. They contain a lot of fibre, 6.6g per 100g, which will aid in keeping you full during meal times.
Lentils can be a foundation for a salad, as well as making an addition to various soups and stews.
READ MORE: Everything You Must Know About Lentils
Pesto is a quintessential Italian condiment which typically has pine nuts, basil, garlic and a hard cheese like parmesan or percorino as its components. The usual choices are between a green (basil) or red (dried tomato) sauce, yet there are numerous other types like roasted red pepper, chili, and vegetarian, allowing you to experiment with various tastes.
Around 220 calories will come from using 50 grams of pesto, which is nearly a quarter of a jar. This is largely because of the cheese and pine nut inside it. This means it has a lot of fat, but usually only 3g of saturated fat out of the 22g per 50g of pesto. The remainder of the fat content is beneficial unsaturated fats, and something excellent about using pesto is that you don’t need a large quantity of it to give flavor to your meals. Be watchful for the lower-fat alternatives available if you are wary of the fat content.
Pesto is a great addition to any mid-week meal, whether you put it on fish or meat, add it to pasta, or use it as part of a soup. It’s a fast and easy way to dress up a number of dishes.
Quinoa is a type of edible grain-like seed which comes from the amaranth family. This food has a delicate nutty flavor, and it is free of gluten. This food item is an excellent option for protein, providing 6g for every 100g serving, as well as an equivalent amount of fiber. It is an ideal substitute for rice or couscous. It is possible to purchase quinoa that is already cooked, which comes in pouches. There is a wide selection to choose from such as classic white and red varieties of the grain, plus blends of quinoa with basmati rice or other grains. You might come across distinct tastes, such as the tomato & olive quinoa, but these may not be gluten-free, so you should look at the packaging to make sure.
Quinoa is able to be incorporated into salads, as a substitute for potatoes, and likewise to oats in your morning meal.
Rice can be a beneficial and effortless meal, particularly if it has already been cooked! The cause of this is because when you heat and cool a starch-filled food like rice, you can increase the amount of resistant starch. This resistant starch is unable to be digested and it works like a type of soluble fibre. The insoluble nature of resistant starch is especially beneficial for your gut and microbial profile as it continues to feed organisms residing in the digestive system. Such a form of starch can also aid in decreasing your hunger, enhance regulation of sugar and insulin in the bloodstream.
Heating pre-cooked rice further boosts the resistant starch content if it has been cooked, then allowed to cool, and cooked again.
You can find rice pouches in the grocery store that can be heated up in a microwave or on the stovetop relatively quickly, or you can consume them uncooked in a salad. There are various varieties of rice, like long grain or brown basmati, plus flavors like coconut or Mexican-style zesty. Replace the dry rice with a pouch of pre-cooked rice in your favorite dishes.
Purium’s Rice Bran Solubles are the most potent, nutrient-rich part of rice. They are amazing plant complexes that contain a wide variety of nutrients not found in other foods. Ours has a light, nutty, buttery flavor.
Proteins in the form of powder can be derived from various sources like milk (whey or casein protein), peas, hemp, soybeans, or rice. To ensure you’re getting an easy and nutritious addition to your diet, it would be ideal to select a protein powder containing the smallest amount of ingredients such as a 100% pea protein powder over one with multiple additives and flavours.
You can use protein powder to enhance your meal and make it a bit more nutritious, letting you stay satisfied for a longer period of time. This could potentially be useful in terms of losing weight, but it could also be beneficial for those recovering from an illness and for people who are engaging in strenuous exercise.
You can put these powders in a smoothie, breakfast recipe, cakes, or treats to get an extra dose of protein throughout the day.
The consumption of these fish can be advantageous to your health as it is accompanied by Omega 3, an essential fatty acid which helps in maintaining a healthy heart, provides mental wellbeing and augments your gut bacteria, and is beneficial when it comes to shielding against illnesses such as dementia.
It is suggested that you consume at least one serving of fatty fish, like sardines, per week. Cans are excellent for keeping in the cupboard for an easy-to-make meal or snack. Around one tin of sardines (measuring 100g) offers 220 calories and an impressive 23g of protein, meaning you’ll feel full for a greater period of time. The small, edible bones inside them also provide a good amount of calcium.
It is possible to obtain canned sardines that are stored in brine, olive oil, sunflower oil, and even tomato sauce. Oil contains more fat than other substances, but the majority of that fat is the beneficial, unsaturated variety.
Precooked sausage, meats, or meatballs
Processed meats are generally not thought of as beneficial, and there have been reports of them potentially leading to health problems like colon cancer. It is noteworthy that the majority of studies focus on artificial preservatives/additives, and not on food products that contain fewer, more familiar components. It is essential to remember the advantages of feeding your body with an adequate amount of protein, as well as the good influence that consuming meat can have on your physical well-being.
We are not marketing bologna or typical pre-packaged sandwiches and wieners – however, you should be aware of the vast amounts of good choices available at natural food markets and big retailers. Prepared meals containing mainly meat and spices, with just a few recognizable ingredients, are becoming easier and easier to find.
Here are some ways to whip up quick lunches or dinners:
- Chicken sausage (apple and gouda flavored) sliced with chopped veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, tossed with dressing and sunflower seeds for a chunky, colorful, salad.
- Italian-style meatballs warmed with a jar of no-added-sugar marinara, served on top of high-fiber chickpea pasta (which usually only takes seven to 10 minutes or so to cook).
- Mediterranean chicken skewers served atop pre-washed herbed salad mix with olives and jarred roasted red peppers.
- Nitrate-free turkey brats (made with ground turkey and spices) heated in a cast-iron skillet and served with sauerkraut and stone-ground mustard.
- Salmon burger heated up and served with aioli (made quickly by combining an avocado oil-based mayonnaise with a dash of lemon, garlic, and dill) and sliced cucumber.
Ensure that you read the components noted on any pre-cooked meats you buy, and if you are able to, dodge ingredients such as nitrates (normally listed accompanied with either sodium or potassium) and oil products extracted from seeds, including canola, sunflower or soybean oils.
Frozen veggies and fruit
Frozen fruits and vegetables that have already been washed and cut can save you a great deal of effort in terms of preparation. There’s no need to fret over it going off quickly, so you can always ensure to have it available. Produce is sometimes frozen at the point when it’s at its most ripe, locking in its flavor and nutrition. Keeping back-up frozen produce on hand in your freezer will make it more likely that you will hit the goal of eating seven or more servings of produce each day, even when you’re super busy. If you want to find different types of produce, even though it’s not available in stores, you can get it in frozen form, which makes it easier to access out-of-season produce.
We always advocate having a supply of frozen berries as well as a range of frozen veggies in the freezer. Here are some client favorites for ways to have frozen produce come to the rescue:
- Frozen broccoli steamed and either topped with some shredded cheddar cheese or tossed with some pastured butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon.
- Stir-fry vegetable mixes sautéed from frozen with a bit of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos (a gluten- and soy-free soy sauce alternative), and red pepper flakes.
- Frozen “riced” cauliflower cooked quickly in a skillet and used as a base for a taco bowl or burrito bowl with a dash of lime, salt, and chopped cilantro mixed in.
- Frozen berries tossed into a protein shake or mixed into plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
Frozen produce should be taken advantage of due to its quickness, simplicity, variation in color, and its content of vitamins, minerals, and fiber — making it an ideal ingredient for keeping healthy. Attempt to purchase any preparation of the fruit or vegetable that don’t contain additional sugars or dressings and concentrate on choices where the item is the only component.
Cooking a dozen eggs at once and keeping them available for an on-the-go breakfast, a snacking option, or salad topping is a great strategy to incorporate into your weekly diet plan.
Due to the simplicity of boiling and peeling many eggs at the same time, it can be difficult to find a good reason to purchase hard-boiled eggs that have been portioned and prepped earlier. It could be beneficial to take this approach sometimes, particularly if you planned to make a meal out of your eggs beforehand to make life simpler and still have not gotten around to it.
A range of hard-boiled eggs come as a duo in packages, offering a portable supply of 14 grams of protein, ample fat which can hold off hunger, and certain vital minerals including choline, which is critical for brain health and liver health.
Maintaining one’s health and wellbeing is something that varies from person to person and in different scenarios.
A perfect way of looking after your health and the environment would be to stick to a nutritious diet including fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, protein from sustainably and naturally fed animals, plenty of fiber-rich carbohydrates, with no plastic packaging and all food waste recycled or composted.
For most people, following an ideal diet is not something that is practical to pursue immediately or completely, and for many, having their meals prepared and ready to eat is highly successful.
It is essential for your well-being and personal ambitions to formulate a feasible strategy, approach, and plan which is suitable to your present circumstances although we can and should do what we can to reach the ideal situation.
For those with a lot on their plate, the time-saving strategies mentioned earlier can really assist in meeting objectives – and, due to the pressurizing nature of a tight schedule, are probably worth the effort if it means maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Consistency with healthy eating is a non-negotiable for health. If you want to maintain consistency, look for options that are convenient to you and use techniques that are efficient and save you effort.
READ MORE: 16 Purple Vegetables And Fruits You Must Eat