By: Pamela Redwine,
MSU Nutrition and Food Safety Area Agent
What are you putting in your grocery cart? Do you spend hours in the grocery store trying to find something nutritious and delicious? Well, here are ten nutritional superstars that deserve a permanent place on your grocery list. These foods are not in order of importance – nor are they the only nutritious foods – remember, variety is key!
1. Broccoli is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene that your body converts into vitamin A. Just one stalk provides more than twice the daily requirement of vitamin C, and it’s also high in fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Moreover, broccoli contains powerful cancer-fighting compounds.
2. Green, leafy vegetables these nutritional powerhouses have a lot to offer – vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, folate, fiber, potassium and magnesium. Some green leafies, such as kale, bok choy, collard, turnip and mustard greens, are good sources of calcium.
3. Oranges provides all the vitamin C you need in a day, along with potassium, folate and a healthful dose of soluble fiber. Oranges have other benefits, too – they contain cancer-fighting flavonoids and terpenes.
4. Tomato Sauce studies have found an association between eating cooked tomato products (tomato sauce, tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, pizza) and a reduced risk for some cancers – especially prostate, lung and stomach cancer. The phytochemical lycopene, which is more readily absorbed after cooking, is believed to be the reason. Tomato sauce also helps aid iron absorption. Choose no-salt-added varieties.
5. Dried Beans Legumes (dried beans, peas and lentils) are one of the best buys at the store. High in fiber and low in fat, beans are rich in minerals and B vitamins (including folate) and are an inexpensive source of protein. The soluble fiber content of beans helps keep blood glucose levels steady and also helps lower cholesterol levels. Everyone can benefit from eating legumes, but diabetics have especially good reason to enjoy beans on a regular basis. Choose canned or dried. Add to soups, salads, pasta, chili or casseroles.
6. Soy A great source of high quality protein, soy has so much to offer that researchers are examining soy foods for a wide array of possible health benefits. Tofu and soymilk are two of the more popular forms of soy.
7. Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and control blood glucose levels. Select the economical large containers of old fashioned or quick oats, and add your own fruit and flavoring if you wish. Packets of instant flavored oatmeal are often high in sugar and salt.
8. Salmon, sardines and tuna Just one or two servings a week of these cold water fish helps protect the heart and reduce the risk of sudden death from an acute heart attack. Omega-3 fatty acids found in these fish may provide other benefits as well. Sardines and salmon canned with edible small bones are also good sources of calcium. Choose water-packed varieties that are low in sodium.
9. Skim Milk is an excellent source of calcium and high-quality protein without saturated fat.
10. Nuts are loaded with nutrients – trace minerals, beneficial phytochemicals, fiber, protein, folate and vitamin E. Just don’t overdo it – an ounce a day is plenty, and some studies indicate that even one serving a week can be beneficial.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Mango Salsa
2 boneless pork tenderloins (about 3/4 pound each), trimmed of fat
1/3-cup reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup diced peeled mango
1/2 cup minced yellow or green bell pepper
1/4 cup hot jalapeno jelly, melted
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1. Spray cold grid of grill with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare grill for direct grilling.
2. Rub pork tenderloins all over with teriyaki sauce; let stand 5 minutes.
3. Combine tomatoes, mango, bell pepper, jelly and vinegar in medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Grill pork, covered, over medium-ho coals 20 to 25 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 160°F, turning once. Slice and serve with salsa.
Makes 6 servings