Hemp Seeds – The best things come in small packages…make that tiny packages. Hemp seed is one of the best-known sources of antioxidant omega-3 fatty acids and complete protein. Three tablespoons of hemp seed has over 4 gram of omega-3s, almost three times your daily requirement (about the same as three 4-oz servings of wild salmon) and also has 11 grams of easily digested, complete protein (more than an ounce of steak)! They have a delicate flavor and crunch, so incorporate them into a variety of dishes—sprinkle over salad, blend into smoothies, or stir them into yogurt or hot cereals.
Spinach – Spinach is a powerhouse, low calorie, high fiber veggie that provides us with nutrients otherwise mostly found in animal products like meat and dairy foods. Two cups of fresh spinach makes a perfect salad base and knocks out 1/3 of your daily iron requirement, 25% of your daily calcium intake, and almost 75% of your folate requirement. Since Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron, squeeze a lemon instead of dressing or try adding Vitamin C-rich bell peppers, strawberries, or grapefruit sections to your salads.
Grapefruit – Speaking of grapefruit…this fruit is juicy, sweet, tart, and has possibilities for every meal or as a snack. Grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C and gets its pink or red color from the antioxidant lycopene. By eating the actual fruit instead of just drinking the juice, you’ll get a decent dose of fiber, which slows digestion, stabilizes the blood sugar and may aid in weight-loss.
Almond Milk (unsweetened) – If you prefer dairy-free milks, add this to your repertoire. Almond milk offers many of the benefits of whole almonds: vitamins A, D, and E, and delivers the same amount of calcium found in cows milk—8 ounces has about 300 mg (30% of your daily requirement all for less than half the calories). Make sure you buy unsweetened and save over 50 calories. Up for a challenge, make your own!
Eggs (farmers market) – If you normally pick out any ol’ eggs at the grocery store, head to the green market. Talk to farm vendors about their eggs. Most will have a deeper orange-yellow yolk than you’re used to, and a richer flavor due to the chickens’ more varied diet, (unlike the corn-based feed most chickens eat in large-scale operations). Eggs are a protein rich, satisfying, and highly portable food—stash a few hard boiled eggs in the fridge to have a healthy snack option for the entire week.