A Nutritionist's Shopping List

Every girl loves shopping. The summer sales are in full swing and high-heeled objects of desire are almost within our reach. But of course, a nutritionist’s greatest passion is food shopping... A mundane trip to the super market is, to her, a weekly treat!

But the great food shop can become a maze of temptation and a labyrinth of empty promises - it is so easy to end up in a fluster with a trolley full of junk. But with a little planning ahead and a few pocketed nutritional pearls, you will float in and out of the supermarket with bags full of confidence and a week’s worth of healthy meals and snacks!

First, make a mental scribble of the following tips and a shopping list of the following foods...

When you make your grand entrance into the banquet boutique, you are greeted by the latest ‘buy one get one free’ offers. You will find that none of these appear in the vegetable aisle, oh no – these offers are usually exclusive to the pastry, chocolate and alcohol segments of the store... IGNORE these potential pitfalls and navigate towards the fresh produce...

The first things to basket here are fresh garlic bulbs and some red onions. Red onion contains an eye-watering cocktail of quercitin, anti-oxidants and sulphur. Garlic belongs to the allium family of vegetables and boasts an honourable combination of flavonoids and unique sulphur compounds.

Next stop: ginger root. This unusual looking staple spice can be added to so many recipes, just like garlic. In fact, a gloriously aromatic base of many a meal starts with frying onion, garlic and ginger in a pan.

Lemons are your next basket fillers. Pop into a cup of hot water and a few grates of ginger. This early morning drink quenches your thirst with a refreshing zing, and awakens your digestive enzymes ready for breakfast.

Next on our list: watercress and kale. Kale can be shredded into many a dish including stews, curries, mashed potato and stir fries. You can even gently fry to make kale crisps!

Once you have selected some other of your favourite vegetables, it’s time to get fruity...

When fresh and in season, pineapple and papaya are firm fruit favourites. In terms of fruit bowl staples, the humble apple has to make an appearance.

Now on to the dairy aisle... Your eye will be drawn to the colourful, wholesome looking yoghurts and milk shakes, but do resist their cute cattle allure, and reach for the full fat, natural live yoghurt. ‘Live’ means there resides a colony of friendly bacteria which is partying in the pot. Always opt for full fat, so that you get your fix of vitamin A and D.

When you find yourself at the meat counter, reach for lean chicken or turkey breast, thigh or drumsticks. Poultry is a great source of protein and is as simply to cook as it is versatile. You can freeze it and defrost at your convenience. Drum stick and thigh are prized additions to most soups.

The tinned food section is next on your agenda. For now we will leave the spaghetti hoops on the shelf where they belong, and turn our attention to the tins of mackerel in olive oil or brine. This is a super fish, high in omega 3 essential fatty acids which are important for overall health. Aim for 3 portions of oily fish (salmon, and sardines are other examples) a week. They provide a great centre piece to your salad and provide complementary companionship to pasta and rice. Next, grab a tin or two of chickpeas. These cute sounding pulses provide a sweet hit of protein and work well in stews, soups, curries and salads. They are also the fundamental feature of home-made hummus.

Next stop: tea! A big box of green tea bags is an absolute supermarket essential. This nutritionist’s nectar is swimming with antioxidants.

So these are the nutritionist’s chosen items that punctuate her shopping list each and every week. There are, of course a number of other brilliant health-promoting items sitting patiently on the shelf - and because diversity is key, your receipt features should vary from week to week. But as long as you have these saintly staples, you have triumphantly laid the foundations of a delicious and nourishing week ahead...

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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