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The Runner’s Guide for What to Buy at Whole Foods

These nutritionist-backed recommendations can help you build a pantry full of good-for-you foods.

What to buy at Whole Foods
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Making healthy choices can be difficult when you’re crunched for time or craving something sweet and salty after a run. That’s why you should stock your kitchen with nutritious foods that are easy to use for meal prep or to grab on the go.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, a registered dietician, certified athletic trainer, and cookbook author, shares some of her recommendations for the healthiest foods for runners to fuel their workouts and recover from training. You can find these 30 healthy items at Whole Foods, including name brands we love and products from the store’s own label, 365 Everyday Value. Use this what to buy at Whole Foods guide to fill your online Whole Foods shopping cart with the help of Amazon’s Alexa to make healthy eating even easier.

1 of 30
Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
365 Everyday Value

Start the day off right with some oatmeal, topped with your favorite fruits or nuts. “A quick breakfast of good old-fashioned oatmeal or overnight oats Horizon Organic Lowfat Organic Milk pre-workout meal,” says White.

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Harvest Blend Trail Mix
Back to Nature

Pack some protein in with this trail mix blend of almonds, pecans, raisins, apricots, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Dried fruits can be high in sugar, but pairing them with nuts and seeds will provide a balanced mix of protein, iron, and fiber.

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Garbanzo Beans
365 Everyday Value

“Most runners could benefit from more iron-rich foods in their life, and it doesn’t just have to be lean beef,” explains White. Try garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas, for a plant-based source of iron. Their 6 grams of protein and fiber per serving will also help you stay full longer.

[What’s Better for Performance: A Plant-Based or Meat-Based Diet?]

4 of 30
Pomegranate Juice
Pom Wonderful

Health & Injuries heart health with the powerful polyphenols found in pomegranate. This 100 percent pomegranate juice provides an easy way to consume important antioxidants while also hydrating after a run.

[How to Stay Healthy When Cold and Flu Season Is Lurking]

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Fire Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cascadian Farm

“Baked, sautéed, roasted or tossed into soup, keep your kitchen stocked with sweet potatoes to add healthy carbs and cell-protecting antioxidants to just about any meal,” White recommends. Cascadia Farm’s frozen fire roasted sweet potatoes are prepped and ready to heat up in a flash. 

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Whole Grain Sorghum
Bob's Red Mill

White suggests that runners keep fiber intake low before a run or race to avoid stomach issues. But the rest of the time, she says, you should take advantage of slower digesting whole-grain based foods, such as ancient grains like sorghum with 8 grams of fiber per serving.

[How Much Fiber Do You Need in Your Diet?]

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Roasted Unsalted Pistachio
365 Everyday Value

Rich in potassium, antioxidants, and protein, these sodium-free pistachios are great for snacking and boosting heart and gut health.

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Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be sprinkled on salads or oatmeal for extra crunch, or combined with water to make smoothies or healthy pudding paired with fruit. Either way, they offer plenty of fiber, omega 3s, calcium, and iron.

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Vanilla Almond Granola
Bear Naked

If you don’t have time to make a batch of homemade granola, Bear Naked Vanilla Almond is a healthy alternative with 3 grams of protein and fiber and just 4 grams of sugar per serving.

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Horizon Organic Lowfat Organic Milk
Horizon Organic

“Chocolate milk offers up fluid, protein, carbs, and electrolytes, plus a dose of bone-building calcium and vitamin D,” says White, making it a great post-run refresher. She recommends soy milk if you need a dairy alternative, or Fairlife chocolate milk for a lactose-free option.

11 of 30
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
365 Everyday Value

Dark meat poultry like chicken thighs are another great source of iron, according to White. These boneless and skinless thighs from 365 Everyday Value will reduce cook time, price, calories and fat compared to other chicken products.

[How Healthy Is Chicken Breast, Really?]

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Tofu Scramble

More than just an alternative to meat and eggs, this vegan tofu scramble with veggies and hash browns is packed with 22 grams of protein and high in iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

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Brown Rice
RiceSelect Texmati

Brown rice is another great whole-grain option that should be a staple in your kitchen for its source of healthy carbs, protein, and fiber. Boil up one to two cups and stash in the fridge for quicker meal prep.

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Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds
Manitoba Harvest

It’s worth adding hemp seeds into your diet wherever you can—mixed in a smoothie, oatmeal, salad, grains, or pasta—since they come with a whole host of health benefits from building muscle and energy to preventing anemia and heart disease.

15 of 30
Blue Curled Kale
365 Everyday Value

“Leafy green veggies live up to their nutritional hype offering fiber, folate, and iron as well as other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant,” says White. This Blue Curled Kale packs 210 mg of potassium and 1g of fiber per cup, as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The frozen version means you won’t have to worry about it going bad, and it’ll be ready to use when you need it.

16 of 30
Hearty Morning Fiber Cereal
Cascadian Farm

If you run later in the day, get a daily dose of fiber (8g per serving!) in the morning with this whole-grain breakfast cereal. Simply mix with milk for a balanced meal or sprinkle over plain Greek yogurt for extra protein.

17 of 30
Whole Wheat Fusilli Pasta

Higher in fiber and minerals like magnesium, iron, and zinc, whole grain pasta is a healthier alternative to white pasta during your regular training cycles. For carb-loading before a race, opt for the white version, which your body can more easily digest.

18 of 30
365 Everyday Value

a quick roast almonds can go a long way to fuel workouts between meals, with 6g protein, 4g fiber, 80mg calcium, 210mg potassium, and 75mg magnesium per serving. Stash single-serving baggies in your gym bag, desk drawer, or even your car. 

19 of 30
Classic Guacamole

“There’s no denying the healthy benefits and comforting feeling that comes from a bowl of guac!” says White. “The creamy, green goodness is filled with fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K to help promote healthy skin, blood, bones and provide calories to fuel performance.” Keeping avocados or guacamole on hand can be a great complement to toast, omelets, salads, and smoothies.

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Lemon + Lime Electrolyte Supplement

Keep an electrolyte supplement on hand for quick rehydration after excessive sweat losses. Nuun’s tablets can be added to your water for the boost of electrolytes you need after a hard run.

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Organic Carrots
365 Everyday Value

Crunch on some carrots paired with hummus or guac for a snack, or sauté them with other roasted veggies for a bigger boost of beta-carotene and vitamin A.

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Smoked Sliced Salmon
Echo Falls

Salmon wins accolades from sports dieticians like White, because it’s low in mercury and high in coveted omega-3 fats. “Getting in enough omega-3s helps promote heart, skin, brain and eye health and also fights inflammation and promotes circulation,” White explains. It’s easier to prepare than you may think, too. She recommends giving it a quick roast in the oven.

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Whole Grain Quinoa

This whole-grain quinoa is naturally gluten-free with a low glycemic index and complete protein (5g per serving). Cook it as a fiber-rich side dish or blend with salads and soups.

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Original Kombucha

Kombucha, or fermented tea, is full of probiotics that can boost your digestive health. If fermenting your own homemade batch sounds like too much effort, GT’s original kombucha is made from black tea, green tea, and kiwi juice with just 6 grams of carbs and sugar.

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Chopped Spinach
365 Everyday Value

This frozen spinach maintains its flavor and nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. White suggests using these leafy greens to “stir into soups, stir fries, pasta dishes and even smoothies.”

[What You Eat May Actually Help Prevent a Type of Skin Cancer]

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Ground Flaxseed With Mixed Berries

Enjoy stuffing down omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein from flaxseed with yummy bits of blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries that can be added to enrich your cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal.[Eating Enough of These Two Nutrients May Lower Your Risk of Lung Cancer]

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Lowfat Cottage Cheese
Horizon Organic

If you can’t resist a late night snack, new research shows that eating cottage cheese before bed can help you build muscle, thanks to its impressive 14 grams of protein per serving.

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Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
Applegate Naturals

These grilled chicken breast strips are ready to eat. Just pop them in the microwave or on a skillet, then enjoy the healthy lean meat with a salad, pasta, or roasted veggies.

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Triple Berry Blend Frozen Fruit
Wyman’s Of Maine

Frozen berries can help you keep nutritious fruits on hand no matter the season. “The antioxidant boost will help fight inflammation that virtually all athletes experience after exercise,” White says.

[7 Unexpected Benefits of Blueberries You Probably Didn’t Know About]

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
365 Everyday Value

These diced fire roasted tomatoes will make meal prep a breeze. Just crack open a can to add to your pasta sauce, stir fry, soup, or salsa.

[Use This Healthy Grocery List to Fuel Your Miles]

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