Dietician Trish Brimhall shared her favorite power foods that are easy to add into your diet.
Apples - Lots of varieties to keep you from getting bored; always available and generally reasonably priced.
Nutrient trivia - Apple eaters have significantly lower rates of heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Apples also contain the flavonol quercetin which aids in endurance exercise by making more oxygen available to the lungs.
Pro tip - For braces, spiral cut them - makes it more fun for kids and saves on the orthodontia visits. To keep apples from browning, dip in a bowl full of water with a little lemon juice.
Bananas - One of the least expensive and most consistent fruit in a store. Often one banana provides 2 servings of fruits, helping you reach that 7-9 serving/day goal.
Nutrient trivia - contain 1/3 of your vitamin B6 needs. B6 is involved in maintaining skin and the nervous system, as well as the production of serotonin. Mild deficiency of B6 is common - especially in children and elderly.
Pro tip - To avoid having to seek out someone with a sturdy manicure to start your banana, or even worse, making a mush of the top inch or two, peel from the bottom or blossom end.
Potatoes - Sweet, red or russet. Inexpensive, bang for your buck
Nutrient trivia - full of fiber, vitamins and potassium - potatoes are a simple backdrop for a meatless meal.
Pro tip - If family dinner consists of more than 2 people, crock pot your baked potatoes. Make a few extra - they make great lunch leftovers or are perfect for a quick potato soup later in the week.
Baby or microgreens - Readily available in stores, but super easy to grow either in your garden from March to October, or in a windowsill year-round. Salad varieties are endless so a goal of 4-5 salads a week is far from mundane and repetitive not to mention ideal sandwich toppers.
Nutrient trivia - the younger greens contain higher quantities of vitamins and minerals than mature greens. Microgreens contain 40 times more than their full grown counterparts.
Pro tip - Rinse under running water and spin or gently blot dry. Keep in a zip top bag or plastic container with a paper towel to absorb any moisture and the will stay good in your fridge for a week or more.
Popcorn - Let's face it, munchies hit and we crave a crunchy salty snack. Popcorn is a whole grain, contains fiber and a serving size is 3 cups popped. Air popped and lightly seasoned is ideal, but if you do choose prepackaged microwave popcorn, go with the 100 calorie, mini bags.
Nutrient trivia - American`s ate 3 times more popcorn than usual during WWII due to rationing. With more than 3 grams of both fiber and protein - it makes a healthy snack choice.
Pro tip - A closed handful of kernels in a brown lunch bag, fold over the top and microwave for 2 minutes. Lightly sprinkle to season, shake and enjoy for a fraction of the cost, calories and sodium