Check out Nutrition Action's 5 underrated foods that deserve a spot in your grocery cart. When was the last time you walked into the supermarket and rushed to put bulgur or cabbage in your cart? These healthy and delicious underrated foods share some great qualities - they are relatively unprocessed, inexpensive, and versatile - so give them a try if they aren't part of your regular diet.
1. Lentils - Shop Now
Cheap. Quick. Nutritious. A half cup of cooked lentils has 9 grams of protein and a hefty 8 grams of fiber, plus a good dose of magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and folate and other B vitamins. For just 120 calories, that’s a deal.
Like all dried beans and peas, lentils help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. But unlike most other dried beans, you don’t need to soak ‘em before cooking. Yes!!!
A head of green cabbage can stay fresh in the fridge for weeks and gives you plenty of bang for your buck. Feeding a small army of friends? Cabbage goes far.
A cup of shredded raw cabbage is packed with vitamins C and K, and also delivers a decent dose of folate and fiber. For around 20 calories…and a whole lot of crunch…that’s hard to beat.
Pineapple has a strong nutrient profile. One cup has roughly 90 percent of a day’s vitamin C, 2 grams of fiber, and a smattering of potassium, magnesium, folate, and other B vitamins - and only 80 calories.
How do you pick the best pineapple? Look for one with fresh-looking dark green leaves and a sweet smell. One tip...Google “how to cut a pineapple” before you dig in.
4. Salmon pouches
Most of us are probably used to fillets, but salmon pouches are great. In most cases it's usually wild salmon - pink or sockeye - that has often been sustainably caught (see seafoodwatch.org).
Second, fatty fish like salmon are heart healthy. They’re rich in the omega-3 fats that may matter. You get 300 to 600 milligrams of EPA + DHA omega-3 fats in a 2½ oz. pouch. Bonus: you also get around 15 grams of protein and 50 to 75 percent of a day’s vitamin D, which is rare to find in foods.
And what's more, the puches make this underrated food really convenient.
5. Bulgur - Shop Now
Need a quick meal? Try bulgur. Simply add boiling water, cover for 10 to 15 minutes, and drain. Ta-dah! (Coarser bulgur needs a longer soak, or a 10-minute simmer on the stovetop.)
Bulgur (dried wheat that’s steamed and cracked) isn’t just for tabbouleh. Use it instead of brown rice and you'll double your fiber. Or cook it with raisins or other dried fruit and top with nuts for a new spin on hot cereal.
Nutritionally, a ¾-cup (cooked) serving has 6 grams of fiber, 10 percent of a day’s magnesium, and a decent dose of iron, zinc, and many B vitamins.
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