Tuna or salmon? Spinach or kale? We pit food rivals against one another and let them duke it out to see which edible packs a more powerful nutritional punch. The prize? Champions win premium real estate in your shopping cart. Let's get ready to rumble.
Frozen Blueberries vs. Fresh BlueberriesThe shipping necessary to stock fresh, cultivated berries ups the price and lowers the shelf life. On the flip side, frozen blueberries are typically the wild variety, which have higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants than their plumper, farm-grown counterparts. "Frozen fruit is picked at peak ripeness and frozen very soon afterwards. This process locks in nutrients, antioxidants and flavor," says Rebecca Scritchfield, RD, a marathoner and dietitian based in Washington, D.C.
The Champ: Frozen Blueberries
Sneak more in: Toss berries straight from the freezer into smoothies, oatmeal and baked-good batters.
Kale vs. SpinachKale's nutritional power would have Popeye dropping anchor. This leafy green contains 60 percent more beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can bolster your immune system, as well as eye and bone health. Other perks include 25 percent more vitamin C and more than double the amount of vitamin K, which has been proven to help prevent diabetes. Kale also boasts three times more lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that work together to protect eye health.
The Champ: Kale
Sneak more in: Gently saut? chopped kale leaves in a skillet with garlic, sesame oil and a touch of salt.
Canned Tuna vs. Canned SalmonSorry, Charlie. When it comes to canned fish, salmon reigns supreme. Ounce for ounce, salmon has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the inflammation your body creates during exercise. Salmon also gets brownie points for containing more vitamin D, which Scritchfield says is, "Important for bone health and may help to prevent cancer." If you consume salmon's soft bones, you'll also get a higher dose of calcium.
The Champ: Canned Salmon
Sneak more in: Use protein-rich canned salmon in lieu of beef when making burgers and meatloaf.
Traditional Yogurt vs. Greek YogurtGreek yogurt has gained a loyal following due to its creamy texture and tangy taste, but the big bonus comes in the form of protein. It contains twice as much as traditional yogurt. Tara Gidus, RD, marathoner and author of Pregnancy Cooking & Nutrition For Dummies, says, "The extra protein can help with muscle recovery during training and makes it more satisfying." Each tasty spoonful also serves up probiotics, which improve digestive and immune health.
The Champ: Greek Yogurt
Sneak more in: Use it as a replacement for sour cream or mayo in cold salads. When baking, swap half the oil or butter for yogurt.