In a perfect world, our diets would consist of nothing but those nutritional powerhouses known as “superfoods.” But what if you don’t have the time or culinary know-how to prepare these foods day in and day out?
What’s new: Grocery stores are now stocking hundreds of prepared superfoods—frozen or shelf-stable, premade meals and snacks—that provide serious nutrition. Yes, these easy-to-prepare foods are “processed,” in a manner of speaking—but they are tasty and infuse your diet with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and more. My favorites…
Featured superfoods: Red, black and white quinoa, sweet potatoes and carrots. Compared with other whole grains, this tricolor quinoa blend provides more heart-healthy benefits and an antioxidant mix that fights inflammation and cancer-causing free radicals. The sweet potatoes and carrots are high in vitamin A, which promotes the health of your skin, teeth and vision. Enjoy this as a light vegetarian meal or side dish, or sauté it with chicken or salmon for a filling main meal.
Featured superfoods: Quinoa and kale. The combination of white-meat chicken and quinoa bump up the protein content to 21 g per 10-ounce serving. The cooked, leafy green kale contains four times more vitamin C than spinach and is loaded with vitamin K, critical for blood clotting and bone building.
While most frozen prepared meals are loaded with sodium, this dish contains a manageable 380 mg per serving—just enough to enhance the flavor without pushing you past your daily limit. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends no more than 1,500 mg per day for healthy adults over age 50.) This frozen dish also packs 90% of your daily vitamin A requirements. The mango adds a bit of sweetness and pairs deliciously with the chicken and vegetables.
At many supermarkets…$4.99 for a single serving. Luvo Orange Mango Chicken. Contains gluten.
Caution: If you take a prescription blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin), consult your doctor before consuming kale and other dark, leafy greens—the vitamin K in these foods may interfere with this type of medication.
Featured superfood: Wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Farmed seafood is less expensive and easier to find than wild, but farmed fish are often given antibiotics to combat the effects of being raised in overcrowded, bacteria-laden environments. Many farmed fish are also fed synthetic dyes to enhance their color. For these reasons, farmed fish are banned in some foreign countries.
This frozen, wild-caught fish comes on a bed of organic brown rice with organic green beans, sugar snap peas and garbanzo beans. It’s rich in heart-healthy omega-3s and provides 16 g of protein per 10-ounce serving.
At many supermarkets…$4.99 for a single serving. The Artisan Bistro Wild Alaskan Salmon & Pesto. Gluten-free.
Featured superfood: Egg whites. When it comes to low calories and high protein, egg whites cannot be beat. These convenient, mess-free frozen patties deliver 6 g of hunger-squashing protein with only 35 calories per patty (two-ounce serving size). It’s a high-protein, nonfat, low-calorie way to start the day.
I like to pop one on a toasted Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffin with a slice of avocado, which contains the “good” fats known to improve cholesterol levels and cut heart disease risk, along with nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals.
At many supermarkets…$3.99 for six servings. Good Food Made Simple.Egg Patties. Gluten-free.