- Felicia Newell, RD, CPT, BScAHN
Shelf-stable Pantry Staples and Immune Supporting Foods
Happy Nutrition Month! As this very different Nutrition Month winds down, it is more important than ever to keep your health the main focus, as nutrition, health, and mental health go hand-in-hand. There are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system and therefore we encourage eating a variety of healthy foods each day in order to support immune function.
At this time, it makes sense to stock up on non-perishable food items but avoid panic buying.
It is easier on the supply chain if people gradually build up their household stores instead of making large-scale purchases all at once. To do this, you can add a few extra items to your grocery cart every time you shop.
Good options are easy-to-prepare and shelf-stable foods such as California Prunes.
California Prunes and our immune system:
Prunes are a source of vitamin B6 and copper, which contribute to the normal function of the immune system
Prunes are a source of copper and manganese, which contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
Prunes as an antioxidant:
Prunes are a source of copper and manganese, which are antioxidant nutrients that contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
Here are some additional nutritional benefits of California Prunes:
Prunes are very high in vitamin K and contain magnesium These two nutrients contribute to the maintenance of normal bones. Five to six prunes daily helps slow bone loss in postmenopausal women.3
A source of dietary fibre (3g per serving), which promotes digestive health, heart health and satiety (which means you are less likely to be hungry in between meals).
Low on the glycemic index (which means they have a lower impact on blood sugar, especially when mixed with other foods that contain fibre and protein).
A good source of other nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin B2 and boron.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving (5-6 prunes)
Carbohydrate: 26g (net carbs: 23g)
Vitamin K: 25 micrograms
GI Index: 25 (low)
Glycemic load per serving: 10 (low)
They are also versatile! You can easily add California Prunes to smoothies, salads, baked goods and entrees to get in your daily serving and help support health.
Here are some tips on how you can easily add California Prunes to your meals:
Blend into your favourite smoothie for added sweetness and fibre
Create a prune puree and use it as an equal swap for butter in baked goods
Dice and add to your everyday salad for some vibrant colour and texture
Give baby food a healthy boost with a little added prune puree
Fold chopped prunes into desserts and baked goods
Simmer prunes in sauces with chicken or pork for a rich tasting meal
Add as a topper to oats and yogurt
Eat with a serving of protein – both will help prevent your blood sugar from rising too quickly, and will help keep you fuller for longer
Some additional pantry staples include:
Canned beans (e.g., kidney, pinto, garbanzo, white beans, etc., ideally low sodium, but rinsing helps if not)
Dried beans or lentils
Nuts or nut butters; or seeds and seed butters for those allergic to nuts
Canned tuna or other fish, or canned chicken
Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, farro, whole grain pasta, etc.)
Whole grain flour for baking bread, muffins, or making pancakes, waffles
Whole grain crackers
Oatmeal or low-sugar whole grain cereals
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash (e.g., butternut, acorn, spaghetti, etc.)
Canned vegetables (e.g., carrots, green beans, greens, mushrooms, okra, etc.)
Canned or dried legumes (e.g., beans and lentils)
Canned fruit packed in water, canned pumpkin, or jarred applesauce
Dried fruits (e.g., California Prunes, raisins, cranberries, mango, etc.)
Oils and Other Supplies:
Olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil
Whole grain flour
This post has been made with a paid partnership with California Prunes. For more information check out www.californiaprunes.ca
Felicia Newell is a Registered Dietitian, Sport Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, and a mom of 4 boys under 8! She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition and is partnered with The Energy Company. Felicia wears many hats, and knows what it is like to try and live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren't always supportive of making healthy choices. Life is busy, confusing at times, and full of contradictions, especially in the world of health and wellness. Felicia is passionate in helping others fight through the misinformation out there, and to navigate life and health, but most importantly, to enjoy it while doing it. She has over 11 years of education and experience in Nutritional Sciences. Between completing her Bachelor and Masters in Nutritional Sciences, personal training certification, teaching university courses, years of nutrition counselling helping people crush their goals, and being a busy mom of 4 young boys, she has the passion, skills, education, and experience to help you reach your health and wellness in a way that works for YOU.