12 Healthy Processed Foods You Should Be Eating, According to Dietitians


1. Frozen wild blueberries

Blueberry vanilla popsicles on a white marble background

It’s a common misconception that prepping healthy meals means shopping only around the perimeter of the grocery store. But if you do that, you’re missing out on many nutritious choices in the inner aisles, including the freezer section, where you’ll find many high-fiber breads and frozen veggies and fruits.

“Frozen wild blueberries give us year-round access to these brain-protecting berries. They’re picked at peak ripeness and their nutrient content is preserved better than fresh,” says Maggie Moon, MS, RD, author, The MIND Diet. “Most of the brain health research on blueberries has been conducted on wild blueberries, which are concentrated flavorful bursts of antioxidants,” she adds, so don’t be afraid to dig into this packaged fruit. You may find that some frozen fruits are also cheaper than their fresh counterparts.


2. Chia seeds

Mockup paper bag with Chia seeds and wooden spoon on white wooden table. Concept of a healthy diet. Super food.

You won’t find a bag of chia seeds in your produce aisle, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less deserving of a spot in your cart.

“Chia seeds are high in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, two important nutrients people don’t get enough of. An ounce is also rich in fiber (11 grams),” says Moon. A 2019 study from the journal Lancet confirmed that eating 25 to 29 grams of fiber daily can help you live longer. You can add these to smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal bowls, or you can even make an overnight breakfast chia seed pudding.