Everyone is feeling the pinch economically and cutting back purchases right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still eat healthy. In fact, eating those five servings of fruits and veggies each day is more important than ever during stressful times.Here are some tips to help you spot healthy, affordable choices in your grocery aisle, as well as ideas for protecting your food investments:
·Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season and grown locally. In-season foods are more plentiful and less expensive. Plus, produce shipped in from far away was harvested before it was fully ripened so some of the nutrients are diminished.
·Skip bruised produce or any with soft spots. Those will rot faster.
·Ask your grocery produce manager on what days fruits and vegetables are delivered so you can buy them when they’re the freshest. That not only preserves nutrients but also extends their shelf life.
·Take produce out of plastic bags when you get home from the store. Instead, store perishable items in sealable, breathable containers. It’s worth investing in these to protect your purchases.
·Plums recently have been raised to superfood status. They match or exceed blueberries in disease-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients. And plums are generally less expensive and have a longer shelf life than more fragile blueberries.
·Apples are nearly always a good buy and stay fresh for about three weeks if you refrigerate them.
·Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes will last about two weeks if you keep them refrigerated.
·High-fiber, antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes keep for about a month if you store them in a cool, dry spot.
·Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh because they’re fully ripened when they’re picked and processed immediately. Plus you don’t have to worry about them going bad before you use them. Frozen produce makes it easy to keep a variety of fruits and vegetables on hand year round.
·Canned fruits and vegetables are a good value, too, although they often lack fiber since the peel is usually removed before canning. Look for low-sodium canned vegetables and fruit packed in light syrup or fruit juice. These canned goods make quick meal sides or help you meet your daily quota when your fresh produce has been eaten.
A simple, economical way to bolster your nutritional intake is to enjoy Reliv Now® or Classic® shakes twice a day. These shakes offer the nutrition you need to function at your best for just a couple dollars a day.