Foods that make us feel great on the inside and make us glow on the outside aren’t limited to the fresh aisles. They’re also found in your cupboards.
They are the store cupboard staples. The super heroes who’s modesty often goes unnoticed.
From tinned to dried, these humble ingredients can keep you in tip, top, fighting condition while also being utterly delicious.
Whether they’re dried, canned or in (please go for recyclable) pouches, lentils are packed full of iron, folate and are an excellent source of protein.
Also being a complex carbohydrate, they’re great at filling you up and also good at keeping your mood level. No hunger pangs here!
From soups to salads, they’re also an extremely versatile ingredient meaning they come in directly at No 1.
Much like lentils, chickpeas are a plant based protein powerhouse. They also have a wide range of nutrients, minerals and are low fat.
Like most store cupboard staples, chickpeas are low cost when tinned and even cheaper when bought dried.
My favourite way to eat them is straight out of the tin haha! Then in curries and at the main ingredient in hummus. Yum!
Let’s just talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to this one…the smell. Yes, some tinned fish can be strong on the old nostrils!
But, fish tinned in water or tomato sauce not only lasts a while, but is filled with omega-3 fats, vitamin D and a huge dose of protein to keep you full.
As well as that, some studies have said that tinned fish can help with blood pressure, which at these stressful times could be a help!
Tomatoes have always been a firm favourite in the greenhouse and on our plates, but they had a mini resurgence a couple of years ago when botanists showcased their cancer fighting lycopene levels.
Some studies have also found that the body absorbs lycopene better when the tomatoes have been cooked. So as canned tomatoes have already been cooked, these budget friendly tins could be great for you in more ways than one!
Nuts often get a bad rap when it comes to the weight loss peeps because they’re high in fat. However when you’re eating a balanced diet, they’re a great source of magnesium, vitamin E and healthy fats.
A portion is normally around ¼ cup and they can be eaten as is, or in salads and flaked over curries.
A note on the word ‘superfoods’
As a chef and nutritional chef in training, I believe all whole foods are superfoods in their own right. The key to getting everything you need is in a balanced diet because no single food has everything you need.
It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where marketing has caused confusion over what foods are right or wrong, but a good rule of thumb is the less processed the better.
When you start cooking from scratch, using fresh whole food, you’ll find you don’t worry anymore about high levels of salt, sugar, fat etc because proper food isn’t packed with that stuff.
I always laugh that eating proper food isn’t ‘sexy’ or ‘cool’ because it’s not got flashy adverts and all that stuff.
But actually proper food is THE SEXIEST THING EVER! There I said it.