The grocery list – either the downfall or the essential tool to get you through the week eating healthy foods, avoiding fast food, and staying on track towards your weight loss or fitness improvement goals. Putting individual goals aside for just a moment, here are 10 foods I recommend you should always purchase when you go shopping for groceries:
1. Celery – Often forgotten since it is not too high in micro-nutrients (but high in lesser known phytonutrients), celery is a great snack that is full of fiber to help keep your gut healthy and ready to absorb other nutrients. It also helps to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
2. Blueberries – High in anti-oxidants and other phytonutrients, blueberries provide a low glycemic load (GL) hit while providing carbohydrates for your hungry muscles.
3. Sweet Potatoes – Similar to blueberries, sweet potatoes are full of phytonutrients and have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. It also provides your muscles with essential glycogen and is best taken immediately after your workout.
4. Green Tea – Green tea is loaded with anti-oxidants, disease fighting properties and an adequate amount of caffeine to give you a little kickstart when getting out of bed, or fighting through midday sluggishness. Moreover, drinking green tea has been linked to improve cognitive function. What more could you ask for? Drink green tea and see your mental clarity increase!
5. Spinach – Even though spinach is one of the vegetables that supplies American’s with most of their food based vitamins, it is an essential in dinner planning. I don’t even know if “buying too much of it” is even a thing. Its versatility allows you to cook it however you want, reaping the rewards of high Vitamins K, A, C, B2, and Folate just for starts.
6. Mushrooms – These mythical fungi are a wonderful provider of minerals that are generally lacking in the American diet. Shiitaki mushrooms have been correlated to anti-inflammatory and cholesterol reducing properties.
7. Ceylon Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a little controversial. The European Union bans the importation of certain varieties of cinnamon due to known toxicity risk, specifically the Cassia spice. The U.S. continues to import such cinnamon, though I’d suggest staying away from that one in particular. On the other hand, Ceylon Cinnamon (the real stuff) is a wonderfully healthy spice that can help reduce a blood-insulin spike from a high carbohydrate meal.
8. Grass-fed Beef /Bison – Increased levels of CLA found in grass-fed beef/bison can aid in increases of fat metabolism. They’re also packed with more anit-oxidants than their grain-fed counterparts helping to protect your cells from oxidation. If your local market has a grass-fed offering, and it’s within budget, try and reach for it over the grain-fed source.
9. Pasture Raised Eggs – Despite containing high levels of cholesterol, eggs are a healthy source of a variety of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, choline and iodine. A great source of protein and fat, make sure you always have eggs on hand as an easy to cook snack that is full of nutrition.
10. A vegetable you have not tried before – It is always important to increase the diversity of your pallet; not only for variety’s sake, but to allow a constant rotation of bioavailable nutrients. Whether it is fennel, bok choy or sea weed, always be on the lookout for a new vegetable to try out in your lifestyle. If you can though, make sure you research any of your findings first.
Print this list off with you and take it to the grocery store. Are there any foods in particular that you would never leave the grocery store without? (PS Oreo’s don’t count…unless it’s your birthday. Then they can count).