Co-op super saver meals might trick you into believing that its not the most nutrition-forward of supermarkets, but hold those thoughts.
In 2017, Co-op became the first supermarket chain to sell food past its sell by date to help reduce food waste and a new store in Sleaford runs solely on renewable energy.
But, if you’re still concerned that you’d struggle to find healthy fare among in-store bakeries and Costa coffee dispensers let us help with that.
WH‘s contributing nutritionist Jenna Hope (@jennahopenutrition) went on a mission to prove that the store’s commitment to fresh, healthy foods isn’t just marketing talk.
Keep scrolling to have a nosey at her own weekly Co-op food shop, and what she chose on a budget of just £30.
Healthy, nutrient-dense food doesn’t have to be expensive or bought at Whole Foods – quite the opposite.
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Fruit and vegetables
– Curly kale
Total – £8.84
‘Seasonal fruits and vegetables tend to be the fresher and cheaper options, which is why this month I’ve loaded my basket with the likes of strawberries, courgettes, kale, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and mushrooms. The vegetables are also perfect for salads which call for a light summer lunch. Beetroot is rich in polyphenols which help to increase blood vessel dilation. Some research suggests that they might beneficial in reducing blood pressure, although you would have to consume moderate amounts, which isn’t always recommended.’
Poultry and fish
– Chicken thighs and legs
Total – £7.63
‘As it’s summer food season, BBQ chicken to eat with salads. This will help you pack in your vit B12 and ensure you’re consuming foods with a complete amino acid profiles. For a dose of omega-3 (vital for brain and joint health) add anchovies to your dishes too.
‘Mackerel is slightly more expensive than other instant proteins but choose it for its healthy fats and vit B6, B12 and magnesium content.
‘And finally, eggs – oiled, scrambled, poached, fried, baked, they’re such a versatile ingredient and are high in choline and vitamin D. Both nutrients are vital for brain function. Plus, a low level of vitamin D is associated with lower mood.’
Store cupboard ingredients
– Burgen bread
– Chilli beans
Total – £2.01
‘For a high-fibre high-protein win choose bread made with linseed and soya.
‘The chilli beans are good for when you need to eat in a hurry. As they’re pre-seasoned empty them into a pan with vegetables and tofu or chicken/ fish. Beans are a great source of tryptophan which is required for the production of serotonin (the happy hormone).’
– Fruit and Nut mix
– Sea salt and vinegar crunchy chickpea mix
Total – £1.70
‘Mixed fruit and nuts are a healthy mid-afternoon snack. The dried fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth while the nuts are high in magnesium that helps support over 300 processes in the body. They’re also rich in fibre and protein, too.
‘Plus, these chickpeas are a source of prebiotic and the salt and vinegar seasoning makes them (almost) as tasty as a bag of Walkers. Price wise, these are similar to crisps but are richer in health benefits.’
Dairy and fridge items
– HaloTop peanut butter ice cream
– Cottage cheese
Total – £8.50
‘Kefir is a probiotic drink that can help with good gut health, which is why it’s in my shop.
‘The Halo Top ice cream is a good low-cal summer option (320 kcals per tub). Although, calories aren’t the only component worth thinking about when it comes to nutrition – it still pays to be aware of macronutrients, micronutrients and portion sizes. Look at sugar content too – this dessert only has 5g per serving.
‘Cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and iodine. Iodine is vital for the production of the thyroid hormones which are vital for metabolism regulation. Cottage cheese is also great on toast, oat cakes or as a salad topper.
‘Finally, hummus always appears in my shopping basket. It’s such a well-balanced food as it contains sources of complex carbohydrates, fibre, healthy fats and proteins. It’s also rich in vit B which helps sustain energy levels. This can be used as a great addition to a salad to enhance plant based protein or as a snack on rice/ oat cakes or used as a dip for carrots.’
Total shop comes too:
Hope’s Co-op food shop came to an impressive £29.67, and with her recipe suggestions above, she believes you could easily eat for a week from the fresh produce, poultry and grains she selected.
She opted for a range of macros – proteins, fats and carbohydrates – and micronutrients to make sure that you stay satiated and fuelled day-to-day. For more ideas on what to cook up with your shop, check out WH‘s favourite healthy lunch ideas and healthy meal ideas – you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time.
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