by Toby Amidor, MS, RD
The warmer weather is here, which means it’s time to wear short sleeves, tanks, shorts, skirts, and the ever-dreaded bathing suit. Having healthy foods at your fingertips is essential to sticking to a healthy eating plan. Stock up on these 10 foods this spring.
This fungus is low in calories (only 20 per cup of sliced mushrooms) and packed with folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, iron, and zinc. Studies have found that eating mushrooms may help lower your risk of breast cancer. Add to salads, pasta and rice dishes, veggie skewers, stir-fries, or pizza.
With its thick, creamy texture, more protein per ounce than traditional yogurt, and probiotic cultures, you really should make nonfat Greek yogurt part of your routine. Use for smoothies, fruit parfaits, or to replace higher fat ingredients like mayonnaise in dips.
These red gems are in season starting in late spring. One serving of strawberries (eight if you’re curious of the amount) has more vitamin C than an orange! They’re also brimming with a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, which helps fight inflammation and may also help lower your risk of cancer.
Though quinoa is categorized as whole grain, it’s actually a seed. Quinoa is packed with protein, B-vitamins, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and selenium. Enjoy as a hot side or as part of a cold salad.
This low-calorie veggie is an excellent source of folate, a B-vitamin that may help decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease. It also contains a plant chemical called rutin, which may help decrease inflammation.
For a quick and easy snack, keep a stash of unsalted, dry roasted or raw almonds in your pantry. They have a nice amount of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and protein. Almonds contain around seven calories each—so be sure to keep portions to one ounce (that’s 23 almonds).
Salmon is bursting with omega-3 fats and protein. Aim for two servings of fish per week. For a more sustainable pick, choose wild over farmed salmon.
One of my favorites veggies, I find radishes to be underappreciated. One cup of these babies provides 25% of your daily dose of vitamin C. Slice and toss over a salad or dip in hummus or ranch dressing.
One tablespoon of peanut butter has 90-100 calories, eight grams of unsaturated fat, and four grams of protein. It also contains the antioxidants vitamin E and resveratrol (also found in red wine). To keep calories in check, enjoy one tablespoon as a snack or two tablespoons in your PB&J sandwich for lunch.
This blend of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) is rich in fiber and protein. Hummus makes a great dip or sandwich spread, but be mindful of portions. Two tablespoons of plain varieties contain around 50 calories and three grams of unsaturated fat.
Healthy eating everyone!
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. She is also a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist by the state of New York. She is also an ActivewearUSA.com Advisory Council Member.
Read past articles on nutrition by Toby Amidor.