12 supermarket superfoods

Woman's Day
You don't have to hit a health food store to find foods that help you lose weight, boost your energy and stay healthy.

You don't have to hit a health food store to find foods that help you lose weight, boost your energy and stay healthy. They're right in your grocery aisle!

Here are the top 12 superfoods you can easily find, plus 12 simple, inexpensive recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason








Nonfat Ricotta Cheese
Nonfat Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta boasts three times the calcium of cottage cheese and is made from whey protein, a nutrient that may help you lose weight by preserving muscle (which you lose with age, causing your metabolism to slow).

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason












Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter

This spread has more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals, including niacin, a B vitamin that helps you burn calories. PB's combo of healthy fats, fiber and a compound called resveratrol also make it good for your heart.

Photo: Thinkstock




(See also: Taste Test: Healthy Sugar Alternatives)






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Wild Canned Salmon
Wild Canned Salmon

One 3.5-oz can has 1,100 mg of brain- and heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Salmon is also a great source of bone-building vitamin D (78% of your daily needs per can).

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason






Oatmeal
Oatmeal

A heart health must-have, oats are filled with a cholesterol-lowering fiber called beta-glucan as well as iron, a mineral that your body needs to carry oxygen to your muscles and other tissue. And with 4 g total fiber per half-cup, oatmeal helps you stay full longer—and keeps you regular too!

Photo: iStock










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Cabbage
Cabbage

All colors of this vegetable are loaded with compounds that may help fight breast cancer. Cabbage is also a top source of bone-strengthening vitamin K.

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Canned Tomatoes
Canned Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C, which helps produce collagen, a protein that keeps skin firm, and lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your skin from the sun. Your body absorbs lycopene better from cooked tomatoes, making the canned option a great source.

Photo: iStock










Whole-Wheat Pasta
Whole-Wheat Pasta

Eating three or more servings of whole grains (such as whole-wheat pasta) each day can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Whole grains are diet-friendly too: One study found that women who ate more whole grains weighed less and had smaller waists than women who rarely ate them.

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason








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Strawberries
Strawberries

These red berries are bursting with vitamin C and antioxidants, which help your mind stay sharp. In fact, eating two or more servings of strawberries a week may delay cognitive decline by up to two and a half years, according to a recent Harvard University study.

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason










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Avocados
Avocados

With their creamy, rich flavor and texture and 65% of their fat coming from the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind, avocados (sliced or mashed) are an ingenious swap for butter, cream cheese or mayo on your morning toast or afternoon sandwich.

They also serve up other nutrients that may help your heart, including fiber and potassium.

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason




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Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

Ounce for ounce, sweet potatoes pack more vitamin A and beta-carotene than carrots and can help you peel off the pounds. A 4-oz sweet potato contains 4 g fiber, and you digest them more slowly than white potatoes so you're satiated for hours.

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason











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Edamame
Edamame

Move over, meat: Edamame (also known as soybeans) are one of the best plant sources of protein. One cup supplies all of the essential amino acids you need.

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason








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Cocoa
Cocoa

Yes, it's the key ingredient in most candy bars, but unsweetened cocoa powder is a true health food. Cocoa contains flavanols, potent antioxidants that help lower blood pressure. Make sure the package says it's 100% cocoa.

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D; prop styling by Matthew Gleason












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Breakfast Recipes
Breakfast Recipes

Put your finds to good use with these 12 quick and easy meals.

300 calories or less.

Peanut Butter–Strawberry Oatmeal

½ cup dry oats (cooked) + 1 Tbsp peanut butter + ½ cup sliced strawberries tossed with 1 tsp sugar. Cost: $1.02 per serving.

Chocolate–Peanut Butter Smoothie 

½ cup nonfat plain yogurt + 1 Tbsp peanut butter+ 1 frozen sliced banana + 1½ tsp unsweetened powdered cocoa. Cost: 75¢ per serving.

Ricotta Waffles

Whisk ½ cup nonfat ricotta cheese + ½ tsp honey; spread on 2 whole-grain waffles. Cost: $1.22 per serving.

Strawberry Breakfast Parfait

6 oz nonfat plain yogurt + 1 cup sliced strawberries + 3 Tbsp chopped walnuts. Cost: $2.30 per serving.

Photo: Thinkstock




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Lunch Recipes
Lunch Recipes

400 calories or less.

PB + Apple Sandwich

2 Tbsp peanut butter + ½ apple (sliced) + 2 slices whole-wheat bread. Cost: 97¢ per serving.

Southwestern Chicken Pita Pocket

½ cup diced rotisserie chicken breast + diced avocado + 2 Tbsp salsa + ¼ cup baby spinach leaves in a whole-wheat pita pocket; serve with 1 medium orange. Cost: $2.38 per serving.

Salmon–Strawberry Salad

4 oz boneless canned salmon + ½ cup sliced strawberries + ½ cup sliced grapes + 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce + 2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette. Cost: $2.16 per serving.

Edamame–Peanut Rice Bowl

¼ cup brown rice (cooked) + ½ cup cooked edamame + ¼ cup shredded red cabbage + ¼ cup shredded carrots + 1 sliced scallion + 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro drizzled with 1 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 Tbsp light coconut milk + 1 Tbsp light soy sauce + 2 tsp lime juice + 1 tsp brown sugar. Cost: $1.06 per serving.

Photo: Getty Images


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Dinner
Dinner Recipes

500 calories or less.

Baked Sweet Potato with Maple Ricotta

8-oz baked sweet potato topped with ½ cup nonfat ricotta whisked with 1 tsp maple syrup + 1 large pinch cinnamon, sprinkled with 2 Tbsp chopped pecans. Cost: $1.54 per serving.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Tomato-Mozzarella Salsa

6 oz grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast + 5" whole-wheat roll, topped with ½ cup diced canned tomatoes + 1 oz part-skim cubed mozzarella + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. Cost: $1.86 per serving.

Salmon Tacos with Citrus Slaw

Two 6" corn tortillas + 6 oz boneless canned salmon + avocado (sliced) topped with 1 cup shredded red cabbage tossed with 2 tsp orange juice + ½ tsp lime zest + 1 tsp rice vinegar + 1 pinch sugar + 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro; serve with ½ cup cooked edamame. Cost: $2.72 per serving.

Tomato-Zucchini Penne

½ cup grated zucchini sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil + ½ cup chopped canned tomatoes + 1 cup canned chickpeas + 2 oz whole-wheat penne (cooked) + 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes + 1 tsp dried basil. Cost: $1.50 per serving.

Photo: iStock; Getty Images


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