Supermarket Staples #1: Tree Fruits (Apples, Pears)
Why It's a Must Have: White fleshed fruits and veggies (such as apples and pears) have been shown to help reduce heart disease even more than their coloured counterparts. "Apples are also rich in quercetin, a flavonoid with strong anti-inflammatory properties," says Erin Palinski, a registered dietitian and author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. "The pectin found in the skin and the anti-aging polyphenols in apples help reduce artery and cell damage, and their fiber has also been linked with reduction of LDL-cholesterol and body weight." In fact, one Brazilian study published in the journal Nutrition found that women who ate three apples or three pears a day lost significantly more weight than those that ate the same amount of calories, but didn't consume the fruits.
Budget Bonus: Shop for produce on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when it is more likely to have just arrived, instead of waiting until the weekend. Most markets receive deliveries during the week, and fruits and veggies that have just made it to the store means they be more likely to stay fresher longer (and get eaten, not wasted) at home. And if you can, buy local apples at your farmer's market in the spring, summer, and fall to cut costs and improve their nutritional value, recommends Palinski. "Local fruits and vegetables are picked and sold immediately, helping them retain their nutrient level."
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