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Healthy fridge staples

Eight must-have foods for a diet-friendly refrigerator

Story by Christopher Krupl

During cooler climes, the only exercise you may get is walking back and forth from your kitchen to your warm and comfy couch. If so, don’t stock up on Funyuns, Ding Dongs and frozen sausage, pepperoni and bacon pizza. Instead, fill your refrigerator with healthy fare. It may be your best defense against those inevitable pleasure pounds you’re going to gain during the holidays and a way to maintain that beach bod you were so proud to show off last summer. LOCAL Life offers these salubrious snack suggestions that are sure to make you salivate.

Leafy greens

(arugula, baby spinach, chard, kale, etc.) These nutrient-dense superfoods are steeped in vitamins and minerals and can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases and disorders. Plus, each has its own unique flavor profile to explore.

Roasted chicken

When marinated with a low-calorie dressing, roasted chicken remains the gold standard protein for any sandwich, wrap or quesadilla. It contains high amounts of niacin, riboflavin and selenium, which may reduce your risk for certain cancers. Skip the skin if you want to avoid any store-bought salt additives.

Hummus

This popular Middle Eastern dip or spread is often made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, and its plant-based protein is an ideal source of nutrition for vegans and vegetarians. Whether you’re rocking raw carrots or preparing your own homemade shawarma, hummus is an appetizing accompaniment.

Milk

(almond, cashew, coconut, hemp, oat, rice, soy) Searching for a low-calorie milk alternative for smoothies and cereal, especially if you’re lactose intolerant? These creamy varieties offer calcium, high protein, omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats and vitamins B-12 and D.

Berries

(blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) These fleshy fruits are fun to pop in your mouth, sprinkle on your cereal, stir in your yogurt and add to your salad. Low in calories and high in antioxidants and manganese, which can slow the effects of aging, sweet and juicy berries can also help fight inflammation.

Eggs

If in need of a quick protein fix, reach for this ovoid piece of perfection. Also a solid source of vitamin D and choline (which helps maintain your metabolism), eggs are good for your eyes and can reduce the risk of cataracts. Just go easy on the salt and keep your cholesterol in check.

Crudités

(raw asparagus, baby corn, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, fennel and radishes) They’re as fun to eat as they are to say, especially when you dip your mini veggie morsels in a healthy and tasty dipping sauce or vinaigrette. Try dressing up this hors d’oeuvres staple with dried or fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and even dark chocolates.

Greek yogurt

Lower in sugar and devoid of whey, Greek yogurt is a low-calorie, filling snack that contains B-12, calcium, iodine, probiotics and protein. It can improve your bone health, reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism.