Whole foods are still the best, but sometimes it makes more sense to take it from a can.

Are you a baby boomer? If so, you are very familiar with consuming food from a can. Nearly everything can be canned — fruits, vegetables, soups, meals, etc. My father didn’t eat fresh spinach until his late 20’s!

We understand now that fresh foods are often superior to canned foods. The canning process typically requires more preservatives that increase sugar and sodium OR they simply don’t taste as good.

However, there are benefits to the can…

Canned foods can be easier, more convenient, and a cost effective way to get healthy nutrients.

Healthy food helps you reach your fitness goals. That’s a fact.

So what are some of the top canned foods for health and value?

Top Canned Foods for your Pantry

1. Black Beans

Quite possibly the king of carbohydrates, black beans should be deemed as royalty in any diet. Packed with extremely low glycemic index carbohydrates, high fiber, and protein, black beans are a delicious source of energy for a healthy lifestyle.

Since raw beans require a soaking period before cooking, preparation is lengthy. Save yourself some time and buy (preferably low-sodium version) of canned Black Beans. Aside from the healthy macronutrients, black beans also contain antioxidants to fight off those bad free radicals.

Black beans can be consumed as a primary dish or on the side — it makes for a very easy meal that is guaranteed to give you energy without adding fat.

2. Olives

Olives, you say — aren’t they really high in fat?

You bet, and thats why we love ’em! Loaded with monounsaturated fat, olives contain nutrients to protect the outer layer of cells in the human body — acting also with anti-inflammatory properties.

As a source of healthy fat, olives can provide energy while maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Use as a delicious addition with your beans or consume as a snack. Olives are great to satiate on a low-carb diet, or as a part of a good healthy lifestyle.

3. Pumpkin puree (pure, sugar-free)

When is the last time you used a pumpkin?

If my guess is correct, you probably carved it and lit a candle for Halloween art. Indeed, pumpkins are a piece of art — nature’s artistic qualities can be found in the amazing health properties of pumpkin.

An incredible source of Vitamin A (beta carotene), nutrients, and fiber, Pumpkins are one of the most convenient health foods in a can. It takes a lot of effort to buy a pumpkin and prepare it for eating, while you can get most of the health benefits in a dense canned puree.

Since pumpkin can be sort of bland, you may have to be creative in your food preparation. Herbs and spices can liven up your pumpkin, or you can make a soup or even a protein shake!

4. Tuna

Everyone who’s ever wanted to add muscle to their bodies can tell you the exact amount of protein per can of tuna.

In other words, canned tuna is PACKED with high quality protein, along with a minor amount of healthy Omega-3s. Tuna is an overall nutritious fish that will feed your lean muscle and help with fat loss.

Some people may be hesitant to Tuna due to heavy metals, but I wouldn’t consume tuna more than once a week anyway — it won’t be a problem.

Tuna can be eaten right out of the can, and there are many opportunities for meals, salads, sandwiches, and other creations. For example, tuna combined with melted coconut oil is ridiculously good.

5. Soup, (chili, chicken noodle, etc)

This is more for lifestyle — sometimes you just want to come home and eat a warm meal without any preparation. With soup, you can do this quick and at a good price, without feeling guilty about what you eat.

Smart decisions about soup begins at the grocery store — understand the ingredients in your soup before you buy it. Some soups will add sugar — we don’t want that.

Questions to ask about soup:

  • What type of vegetables are in it?
  • Is there fiber and protein?
  • How is it flavored or is it sweetened?
  • Does the sodium exceed daily recommended intakes?

Personally, I’m a big chili fan. Chili is high protein, high fiber, and I low glycemic index. Keep in mind that you can add your own vegetables to liven up soup.

And in this time of year, Chicken Noodle Soup should already be in every kitchen.

Another tool in your health & lifestyle arsenal

Make it easy on yourself — consume the good stuff and shave hours off of preparation.

These canned foods can help you blast fat away, build muscle, or simply live a healthy lifestyle free of disease.

Since most will have a high shelf life, BUY BIG WHEN ITS ON SALE!

As always, Ellison Fitness wishes you the best on your fitness goals during this holiday season. Now I’m going to go open a can of beans. Peace out!

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