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The Mighty Power of Nutrient Dense Foods
by Kate Safin

Make the most of what you eat by incorporating nutrient dense food into your snacks and meals. When you think nutrient dense, think fresh. Leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, fish, dairy, and whole grains are all nutrient dense. These powerhouses offer high vitamin and mineral content and are low in calories. Even small portions of these foods have exceptional nutritional value.  When possible, select items that are organic and locally-sourced. Organic foods are grown without the use of harsh chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. Food that is locally-grown is picked at peak freshness and tends to be higher in nutrients than food picked days or weeks before it arrives on store shelves. Fresh, local foods are in abundance in the summer, making it an ideal time to begin adding nutrient dense whole foods to your routine. 

A salad with fresh spinach, a handful of organic berries, a few unsalted slivered almonds, and a light drizzle of dressing or olive oil is tasty, filling, and full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Swap that side of fries for a baked or roasted sweet potato for a healthy dose of potassium, vitamins A, B6, C, and beta-carotene. You'll never want for potato chips again once you've had a batch of kale chips! Just rinse and stem a medium bunch of kale and remove any excess water. Tear into 2" bite-size pieces and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Massage the oil into the leaves so it is fully absorbed. Place kale leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper then sprinkle with sea salt, nutritional yeast (for a dairy-free cheesy taste), or any seasoning of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. In no time, you'll be snacking on a super food!

For more tips and recipes, visit the East End Food Co-op on Wednesday, August 2 at 7 PM for a free wellness lecture, "Delicious Plant-based Sauces." This workshop will allow you to create versatile sauces and dressings to take your healthy eating to the next level. Using the information presented, you'll no longer have to choose between a healthy dish or a tasty one. Come by for this free demonstration to get some samples and try them for yourself!

Submitted by Kate Safin, Marketing & Member Services Manager, at East End Food Co-op. East End Food Co-op is the last natural foods co-op left in Pittsburgh from those original, back-to- nature stores. The Co-op offers all of the products of a full-service grocery store, but with a natural and local touch. For more information, visit www.eastendfood.coop

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