It’s always a good idea to stock up on cans. Whether it’s fish or fruit, most cans last for years because of the way they’re packaged – vacuumed for freshness and heated to kill any bacteria1.
If your cupboards are looking a little empty, stock up with these ten healthy canned foods.
A true superfood, tomatoes are packed with vitamins C and E, potassium and the antioxidant lycopene. According to experts, there’s more lycopene in tinned tomatoes than if you were to buy fresh, so load up your larder2.
Try a tin of sardines for a protein-rich and calcium-filled snack. Along with a host of vitamins and nutrients, sardines are high in omega 3. The fatty oil is full of benefits and can contribute to the normal function of the brain and heart3.
Beans and pulses
Think kidney beans, pinto beans, and butter beans. Just about every variety you can think of is full of protein. Also, these complex carbohydrates are low in fat, low in calories, and so versatile4. Look for beans soaked in unsalted salted water.
It’s not uncommon to see bodybuilders eating a fresh can of tuna. Like sardines, tuna is high in omega 3 fatty oils and full of protein. It’s also high in vitamin D, which is crucial to keeping your bones strong and your teeth healthy5.
Chickpeas are inexpensive and easy to prepare. If you’re veggie or vegan, they can make a great meat substitute in curries. High in fibre and a source of plant protein, chickpeas don’t lose nearly as much goodness as other tinned foods6.
Artichokes are a mainstay of Italian cooking but can be hard to find. Good for you, tinned artichokes are an easy way out. Another reliable source of fibre, artichokes maintain normal cholesterol levels7 and are delicious when baked with garlic.
You may have heard spinach is full of vitamin C and iron, but you probably don’t know that spinach has just as many nutrients when tinned as it does when it’s fresh. According to research, spinach can also give you a healthy glow8.
Minestrone can be a healthy alternative to creamier soups when eaten as part of a balanced diet. It’s also a great comfort if you’re under the weather. Look out for low fat and reduced salt versions for a low-calorie lunch or dinner.
Most vegans rely on plant-based proteins like lentils to stay healthy, but these versatile pulses are seriously delicious whatever your dietary preferences. Toss them in a curry or a ragu sauce for an extra dose of iron and vitamin B9.
While it’s true that fresh fruits have more nutrients and vitamins than their canned counterparts, a helping of tinned peaches or pineapples still counts towards your five a day. Just look for fruit that’s soaked in fruit juice or water over syrup.
Are you stuck for ideas? Combine these cans with the ingredients in our food and drink section to start making low cost but exciting meals at home.
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Last updated: 23 April 2020