While everyone else is rushing round the supermarkets to buy toilet roll, these are the food essentials you should be filling up on.
Each store cupboard staple comes power packed and will prove invaluable for creating tasty, nutritious meals.
You can combine some of these ingredients to create a truly power-packed dish, but each ingredient is valuable in its own right.
These wrinkly treats are another set of plums that you should be paying attention to. Prunes contain a large diversity of vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of fibre.
Dietary fibre is vital for a healthy digestive system, says Dr Warren Bradley, head of nutrition at Goal Master Fitness:
“Prunes provide a tasty and effective means to increase dietary fibre in your diet. But be mindful of their high sugar content (approximately 50 per cent) and consume moderately to avoid tooth decay,” he adds.
A can of sustainably-fished tuna is hard to beat. This lean and high-quality protein (up to 30g per can) supports muscle health and contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for neurological development.
“Two omega-3s in particular, EPA and DHA, can be found in large quantities in tuna and are essential in the maintenance of cell health, reducing inflammation and facilitating recovery of damaged muscle,” says Dr Bradley.
If the closest you’ve been to a chickpea is a bowl of hummus, you need to think again. This humble legume, eaten in the Middle East for the past 7,500 years, comes with a diverse nutritional profile and makes a great dietary addition to any plate.
“Chickpeas are a fantastic low-fat source of protein and dietary fibre,” says Dr Bradley, “and contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that can contribute to your five a day.”
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) has been powering up Peruvians for centuries. Archaeologists have even discovered the Andean plant in ancient tombs.
This low-fat grain is not only gluten-free, but it contains all nine essential amino acids (which the body can’t produce itself).
“This makes it a complete protein and an excellent dietary protein choice for vegans,” says Bradley.
“It contains a rich source of anti-inflammatory nutrients, fibre, fatty acids, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, which makes it an exceptionally nutritious food.”
Coconut milk is the opaque, milky-coloured liquid created from blending shredded coconut flesh with water.
It comes in cans and cartons – save the canned version for curries and use the carton version in smoothies as it’s more diluted.
This dairy substitute is vegan and lactose-free, but also comes with other benefits. “It contains lauric acid, which is antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral,” says Bradley.
“It can also break down a wide range of damaging organisms, so may help to protect the body against infections.”
Words: Claire Turrell