If you are researching for new diet trends, you will find that one thing they have in common is to avoid processed foods. Processed food is when foods go through several mechanical or chemical operations that help to preserve the food. Processes can range from freezing, canning, brining, baking, or drying. Even though we are told to avoid processed food, there are a few products that are actually quite beneficial to our health.

Dried Apricots

Fruits can go bad easily and soon you will be stuck with a moldy apple instead of a red crisp one. Almost 50% of all produce in the United States is thrown away and wasted. In this case, fresh isn’t always the best way to go. During the heat-drying process, very little nutrients are actually lost. In dried apricots, for example, you will find that after being dried they contain more potassium than what is found in a banana.

Smoked Anchovies

These salty little fish may not appeal to everyone’s tastebuds, but they are a great source of protein. You will find that there is about 12g per half tin! A whole tin has more protein than some protein bars. On top of being packed with protein, Sardines are great source of iodine, zinc, and calcium.

Orange Juice

The debate over whether orange juice is a processed item has gone on for a long a time but has been deemed innocent by many nutritionists. When browsing for OJ at your grocery store, look for juice that has been fortified with vitamin D. OJ naturally has plenty of vitamin C, which helps increase the absorption of Vitamin D. In a study conducted by The University of Seville, if you deep freeze your orange juice it can make the heart-protective carotenoids found in OJ easier to absorb. In general, buying orange juice is much easier, and more cost-effective than squeezing your own juice.

Baked Beans

Rather than taking the time to soak and cook dried beans at home, it’s best to make canned beans a staple in your home. Beans are high in B vitamins as well as iron. In addition, the heart-protective folate and thiamine in haricot often survive the canning process better than prepping dry beans at home.

Marinara Sauce

Everyone’s low-fuss dinner spaghetti dinner has more advantages than just being quick. Due to the puréeing, and pasteurization process that is done to a jar of marinara sauce, your body can absorb more lycopene, an anti-cancer compound.