Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Jump Start Your Weekly Shopping List with Powerhouse Produce! Insider's Viewpoint: Carrie Taylor, Corporate Dietitian, Big Y Foods, Inc.

Do you find yourself shopping for the same ol’ produce standbys week after week? Mix it up! Variety is key for getting the most out of fruits and vegetables. Here are a few tips why incorporating often forgotten powerhouse fruits and veggies back into your shopping list is a must.

Eggplant
Why you’ll love it:
Once believed to cause insanity, leprosy, and cancer, this vegetable is now highly regarded as a source of plant compounds called phenols that protect against cancer and heart disease.

How to use it: Substituting eggplant for chicken parmesan is common, but try adding its meaty texture to stir-fry’s or roasting it for delicious Baba Ghanouj dip.

Cauliflower
Why you’ll love it:
Studies show that people who eat more cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower, have lower incidence of certain types of cancers like lung, colon, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancer.

How to use it: As an alternative to mashed potatoes, cook and mash cauliflower with low-fat milk and a little bit of heart-healthy buttery spread. Include cauliflower in salads or steam it for a tasty side dish with meals.

Pineapple
Why you’ll love it:
Bromelain, a group of substances that include digestive enzymes which may hinder the growth of malignant cells and tumors when taken as an extract, can be found in the stem of a pineapple. Although the same impact remains to be seen when consuming bromelain directly from pineapple, other nutrients such as vitamin C, manganese, and niacin make it a great addition to your diet.

How to use it: Mix pineapple with mango, red onion, and cilantro for a fresh tropical salsa to use with fish, pasta, or simply dipping tortilla chips. Heated up and grilled with chicken or tuna steaks, its subtly sweet flavor is great for balancing the tang of teriyaki marinade.

Cranberries
Why you’ll love it:
Not only can cranberries help reduce the risk of urinary tract and bladder infections for specific populations, they may also play a roll in preventing cancer and heart disease as well as fight the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and gum disease.

How to use it: Toss a handful of dried cranberries with spinach, apples, and walnuts for a powerhouse salad or add them to hot oatmeal for a sweet tart wake-me-up. Combine fresh cranberries with orange juice and onions for flavorful roasted chicken and pork chutney.

Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN
Corporate Dietitian
Big Y Foods, Inc.

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