When you’re trying to improve your health and lose excess weight, trips to the supermarket can become overwhelming. While you may feel like there aren’t many healthy options in the aisles, that simply isn’t true!
As always, SkinnyMs. is here to help. We’ve put together an A to Z shopping list of foods that represent the trifecta you’re looking for – delicious, healthy and low in calories. We’ve also given you some recipe options for incorporating these foods into your diet.
1. Apples (45 cal./ 1/2 red delicious)
A great on-the-go snack, apples help to fight hunger and are packed with nutrition. When away from home, apples are also a great way to quickly clean your teeth after a meal.
2. Apricots (14 cal./ 1 apricot)
Apricots are those beautiful, sweet-tasting, orange fruits that show up in the produce aisle during the summer months. They’re easy to snack on and offer nutritional benefits, such as vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium.
3. Artichokes (38 cal./ ½ cal.)
If you can’t remember the last time you dug into an artichoke, you might want to consider adding this wonder veggie to your healthy eating plan. Artichokes have a high amount of powerful antioxidants as well as potassium. Try our Artichoke and Spinach Penne Casserole for an easy and healthy dinner.
4. Arugula (4 cal./ 1 cup)
This great, green, leafy veggie is loaded with vital nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Try it in salads, like this Panzanella Salad with Arugula, and soups.
5. Asparagus (20 cal./ 1 cup)
Packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, doctors claim that asparagus may even help prevent certain types of cancers. Add that to a healthy dose of age-defying antioxidants, and you’ve got the perfect addition to a healthy diet. Check out this recipe for Crustless Asparagus Quiche.
8. Bell peppers (30 cal./ 1 medium-sized)
Whether you’re in the mood for red, yellow, orange, or green, bell peppers offer dozens of healthy benefits. These sweet vegetables are full of flavor and contain potassium, fiber, lycopene, and folic acid. For a new, healthy treat, try making our Bell Pepper Candy.
9. Broccoli (30 cal./ 1 cup)
Broccoli is rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and folate, to boost your immune system. Also, like most dark-green cruciferous veggies, it can reduce your risk for certain cancers. Try it roasted, sautéed, or in recipes like our Slow Cooker Cheddar Broccoli Soup.
10. Broth (10 cal./ 1 cup)
Clear broths, such as chicken, seafood and vegetable broths, create healthy, satisfying soups without the extra calories. Try our Superfood Soup, which is loaded with clear broth and healthy veggies.
11. Brussels sprouts (28 cal./ ½ cup)
Don’t let your childhood memories of poorly prepared Brussels sprouts hold you back! In addition to being low-calorie, these “little cabbages” pack tons of cancer-fighting phytonutrients. These Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shitakes and Smoked Paprika are an excellent, healthy side dish.
12. Cabbage (34 cal./ 1 cup cooked cabbage)
Cabbage, especially purple cabbage, is nothing but good news for your body, with lots of cancer-fighting and other good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Our Mexasian Slaw is a fun way to eat cabbage with other zesty ingredients.
13. Cantaloupe (30 cal./ ½ cup)
Cantaloupe, one of the most popular varieties of melon in the United States, is considered a superfood for good reason. It has massive amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene, which helps promote clear skin. You can eat it raw, or try infusing your water with it, following the instructions for our Cantaloupe Water Recipe.
14. Carrots (35 cal./ 1 medium raw carrot)
You’ve probably heard that carrots can improve eyesight, but that isn’t the only health benefit that these crunchy, orange root vegetables offer. Carrots are rich in antioxidants, and are excellent sources of potassium, magnesium, and folate. Grab a handful of carrots and some hummus for an healthy snack between meals.
15. Cauliflower (14 cal./ ½ cup boiled)
Believe it or not, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and folate. Mashed cauliflower is a fiber-rich, nutritious substitute for traditional mashed potatoes.
16. Celery (18 cal./ 1 cup)
It’s rumored that it takes more calories to digest this crunchy vegetable than is included in the celery itself. Celery is perfect for detox and cleanse smoothies, like our Super Detox Green Smoothie.
17. Coffee (0 cal.)
Black coffee has zero calories! Great news, right? Just watch that you eat a healthy diet and watch your caffeine intake – you don’t want to get the jitters!
18. Collard Greens (49 cal./ 1 cup cooked greens)
Collard greens are rich in vitamin K, with a stunning 1,045% of the recommended daily allowance of the vitamin in one cooked cup! Collard greens also are an excellent source vitamin A, C, folate, manganese, and calcium, and a good source of other B vitamins. Try this Healthy Collard Greens recipe.
19. Cucumbers (8 cal./ ½ cup)
Cucumbers are comprised mainly of water and will help you feel full for longer periods of time, and will aid in hydration. This Cucumber and Tomato Salad is great for backyard barbecues.
20. Eggplant (20 cal./ 1 cup)
A favorite ingredient in vegetarian recipes, eggplant is fiber-rich and full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and K. Next time you’re craving chili, try this Spicy Eggplant Chili.
21. Endive (10 cal./ 1 cup)
These crunchy and bitter leaves are a great addition to your salads, or on their own. They pair nicely with pears and blue cheese.
22. Fennel (27 cal./ 1 cup)
This crunchy, licorice-flavored veggie is known to help with various ailments, from bad breath to winter coughs. It’s also been known to help flatten tummies. Try our Creamy Fennel Salad with Orange Wedges.
23. Garlic (4 cal./ 1 clove)
Instead of butter and high-sodium seasoning packets, always use fresh garlic for added flavor. Learn more about what garlic can do for your health here.
24. Grapefruit (39 cal./ ½ fruit)
Grapefruit definitely does a body good, with its detoxifying and antioxidant superpowers. It’s great eaten raw, juiced, or even sliced up in salads.
26. Green Tea (0 cal.)
Stop sipping your calories and grab some green tea. It’s a fat-fighting drink loaded with antioxidants. And the best part? It has zero calories! Try our Green Tea Mango Smoothie.
27. Kale (5 cal./ 1 cup)
If you’re looking for one veggie to give your diet a super boost, look at kale. It contains cancer-preventing phytonutrients, B vitamins, folate, and manganese, which helps control blood sugar. Start by snacking on some of our Southwestern Kale Chips.
28. Kiwi (42 cal./ 1 medium-size fruit)
Green on the inside and fuzzy on the outside, this unusual looking fruit is a pleasant surprise for your taste buds. Give it a whirl in smoothies, like this Green Tea Kiwi-Berry Smoothie.
30. Lemons (20 cal./ 1 fruit without peel)
Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C, making them essential in the fight against colds and the flu. Their cleansing properties can also help you flush unwanted fat and toxins from your body. Try our Morning Lemon & Mint Water.
31. Lettuce (10 cal./ 1 cup Romaine)
Sounds pretty obvious, right? Use lettuce as a wrap instead of a tortilla, and always go for the dark green leaves for more nutrients. Try one of these delicious lettuce wrap options.
33. Mushrooms (15 cal./ 1 cup raw)
We could all stand to incorporate more mushrooms into our diet, since they contain B vitamins, vitamin D, folate, potassium, antioxidants and fiber. Mushrooms also contain selenium, which, among other things, can help fight breakouts. Check out our Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms.
34. Okra (33 cal./ 1 cup)
Many of us tend to forget about okra in our search for healthy foods, but there are plenty of reasons to keep it in mind. Okra contains vitamins A, B6, and C, and it also has Thiamin, zinc, folic acid, and zinc. New to okra? Take a look at this Bean Burgoo Stew recipe.
35. Onions (32 cal./ ½ cup)
In addition to adding flavor to almost any recipe, onions contain allyl sulfides, which can help protect against endometrial cancer. Our Baked Onion Rings are just 111 calories per serving.
36. Papayas (23 cal./ ½ cup)
Shred fresh papaya and add it to your salad for a little sweetness without the calories.
37. Peaches (38 cal./ 1 medium fruit)
As long as you’re choosing fresh peaches, as opposed to peaches that have been canned in sugary syrup, you can feel no guilt about indulging in this deliciously sweet fruit. Peaches are full of potassium, fiber and beta-carotene, so they’re great for your body and your taste buds.
39. Plums (30 cal./ 1 fruit)
With their juicy, sweet pulp, plums make another great go-to snack to keep in your fruit bowl. In addition to their vitamins and minerals, the fiber, sorbitol, and isatin in plums promote good digestion.
40. Pumpkin (30 cal./ 1 cup)
Don’t just think of pumpkins in autumn – it’s a squash that can be enjoyed year-round! Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, and it’s also a great source of vitamins A, C and E. If you’re sick of sweet treats like pumpkin bread, try a more savory dish like our Crispy Kale and Pumpkins Croquettes.
41. Radishes (1 cal./ 1 radish)
Yes, you read that right – only one measly calorie per radish! Slice them up and add them to your salad, or eat them on their own.
42. Spinach (7 cal./ 1 cup raw)
This leafy, green is a fabulous source of pretty much every important vitamin and nutrient your body needs. Doctors believe that a diet heavy in dark, leafy vegetables can help prevent everything from cancer to heart disease to osteoporosis. Spinach really shines in our Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill.
43. Strawberries (49 cal./ 1 cup)
1 cup of strawberries has nearly 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C. You’ve got to try this Strawberry and Avocado Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing.
44. Summer Squash (36 cal./ 1 cup boiled, no salt)
Summer squash has half the amount of calories as winter squash. This means you get to eat twice as much! Summer squash is a key ingredient in this Ratatouille with Goat Cheese and Polenta.
45. Tangerines (37 cal./ 1 small)
Keep a few tangerines on your desk for a healthy, easy snack. Tangerines are also in this Skinny Fruit and Yogurt Salad.
46. Tomatoes (22 cal./ 1 medium fruit)
Tomatoes contain lycopene – a known cancer-fighting nutrient – as well as vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Studies have shown that tomatoes can also help protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well as lower your cholesterol. Instead of buying canned diced tomatoes for recipes, try this easy, fresher way of making your own “canned” diced tomatoes.
47. Turnips (34 cal./ 1 cup)
Turnips, which are high in vitamin C and fiber, can be eaten raw or roasted like any other vegetable, but one of our favorite preparations is to puree them. Turnips are packed with flavor, and you won’t need a huge portion size to stay full. For exotic flavors, try this Moroccan Root Vegetable Tagine.
48. Watercress (4 cal./ 1 cup)
Watercress, a crunchy, leafy vegetable similar to spinach, contains sulforaphane and other compounds known to lower disease risk. You can try watercress in salads, soups, on sandwiches or wilted, like in this Tangerine Grilled Tuna recipe.
50. Zucchini (20 cal./ 1 cup)
This super squash is easy to fill up on, and it also incorporated beautifully into cooking and baking. Our Oven Baked Zucchini Chips have just 99 calories per serving and are a great substitute for potato chips and French fries.
And, of course, be sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest for tasty recipes, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources. You’ll be utilizing those fresh veggies and fruits in a variety of recipes in no time!