How many times have you flipped over the package to look at the nutrition facts label to make a decision about a product? Look beyond the nutrition facts label and take a look at the ingredients to help you make a more informed decision.
We don’t eat numbers, we eat food. While the numbers on the nutrition facts label provides you with insight of the nutritional breakdown of a product, don’t just stop there. The ingredients listed on a nutrition facts label are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest amount – meaning whatever the product is mostly made up of is listed from first to last.
A good rule of thumb is to scan the first three ingredients, because they are the largest part of what you’re eating. In Luvo’s Chana Masala Bowl, the first three ingredients are: cooked chickpeas, cooked black lentils, & tomatoes. In all of Luvo’s frozen meals the ingredient lists always start off with whole food ingredients.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the nutrient dense ingredients that make up Luvo’s Chana Masala.
Did you know chickpeas come in a variety of different types and colors, not just the common beige variety? Chickpeas, and beans in general, can help you maintain a healthy weight. They are rich in plant-based protein and fiber, which can help you feel fuller longer. They have double the amount of protein per serving compared to quinoa. Chickpeas also contribute to improving gut health. Chickpeas, along with other pulses, are a source of prebiotic fiber – the preferred food of our gut bacteria that contributes to good gut and heart health.
Black lentils, also known as Beluga lentils, are known to glisten like caviar when cooked. They have a rich, earthy flavor, and a soft texture. Black lentils pair well with pasta, rice, or vegetable dishes. The dark rich color of black lentils indicates that they are high in the antioxidant anthocyanin. Several studies have found an association between the consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods and cardiovascular disease protection.
The age-old question, are tomatoes a fruit or vegetable? Botanically, a fruit is a ripened flower ovary and contains seeds. Tomatoes, plums, zucchinis, and melons are all edible fruits. Many identify tomatoes as a vegetable, because the term “fruit” is used to describe sweet and fleshy botanical fruits, and “vegetable” is used to indicate a wide variety of plant parts that are not so high in fructose. In many cultures, vegetables tend to be served as part of the main dish or side, whereas sweet fruits are typically snacks or desserts. Tomatoes contain key carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene. These can protect the eye against light-induced damage. Lycopene is a polyphenol, or plant compound, that has been linked with one type of prostate cancer prevention. It also gives tomatoes their characteristic red color.
Brown Jasmine Rice
Containing a nutty flavor and subtle floral aroma, brown Jasmine long grain rice is native to Thailand. Because it is a brown rice, Jasmine Brown rice does not go through the milling process like its white counterpart and retains the nutrients found in the parts of a whole grain – the bran, germ, and endosperm. Jasmine brown rice is a significant source of manganese. Just one cup will provide you with 88% of the recommended daily value of manganese, and this trace mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates.
As a member of the Brassica family, better known as cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and contains fiber that helps with satiety and a healthy digestive tract. Currently, cauliflower is mostly grown in France, Italy, India, the United States, and China. Just 1 cup of cauliflower meets 80% of your daily needs for vitamin C.
According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most of the fat found sunflower oil is unsaturated fat. In moderation, sunflower oil may provide certain health benefits as part of an overall balanced diet.
Although the fatty acids in sunflower oil are important and essential in our diet, sunflower oil does have higher omega-6 content than most other vegetable oils. There has been some concern about this, particularly for people who have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. If sunflower oil is consumed in excess, without the intention of boosting the omega-3 intake, it can result in an imbalance of fatty acids in the body. Maintaining overall healthy diet and lifestyle, sunflower oil can be a beneficial addition to your diet.