By Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Consumer Columnist
You don’t have to go to the health food store to be sure your fridge and pantry are well-stocked with super-foods that boost energy, make you feel better, and can help you lose pounds or maintain a healthy weight.
Registered dietician Karen Ansel, writing for Woman’s Day, suggests 12 super-foods you can find in any market – and some of the best ways to use them every day:
Nonfat ricotta cheese – It has three times the calcium of cottage cheese. Mix it with pasta, add a big spoonful to pancake or waffle mix or use it instead of mayo in your lunchtime sandwich.
Peanut butter – It has 30 essential vitamins and minerals and a combination of healthy fats and fiber. Stuff it into celery sticks or spread it on multigrain toast.
Canned salmon – One 3.5-oz can has 1,100 mg of brain- and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Mix with light mayo and chopped celery or carrots for sandwiches, or toss into a salad with sliced grapes, strawberries and romaine.
Oatmeal – Oats are filled with iron and heart-healthy fiber. Enjoy a bowlful for breakfast or add oats to your fruit and yogurt smoothie.
Cabbage – Red and green cabbage have bone-building vitamin K and compounds that may help fight breast cancer. Shred into slaw or any green salad, or munch a wedge out of hand.
Canned tomatoes – Loaded with lycopene and vitamin C, they pair well with any veggies in soups or tomato sauce for pasta.
Whole grain pasta – Boil up this heart-healthy food for a hot pasta dinner or a cold pasta salad mixed with veggies, leftover chicken, and light vinaigrette.
Strawberries or blueberries – Full of antioxidants, these juicy treats are great by themselves or mixed into cereals or salads.
Edamame – A great source of protein, cooked edamame can be munched hot or cold or added to salads, rice or pasta dishes.
Avocados – With 65 percent of its fat coming from heart-healthy monounsaturates, mashed avocadoes are an ingenious swap for butter or mayo on your morning toast or afternoon sandwich.
Sweet potatoes – They pack more vitamin A and beta-carotene than carrots and enough fiber to help you stay full. Bake or mash as you prefer.
Cocoa – Contains flavanols, which are powerful antioxidants. Enjoy a hot cupful mixed with fat-free milk.