It’s the reason we learned the value of a quarter (5 Swedish Fish), the first place we short ordered via the deli counter, and the only place we could go without an older brother/sister/cousin to get a 5lb bag of rice for dinner. A bodega is to the Bronx—and NYC in general—as a bodega cat is to a bodega.
Today, people are being more selective about the food they buy and where they buy it from. But the only thing organic at your neighborhood bodega may be the cashier’s accent, and there’s no gluten-free option for the bread the bodega cat is sleep on either.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find some healthy options in the aisles of this neighborhood staple though—beyond the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Takis and $0.99 Arizona Iced Tea.
Check out the healthiest things we found in a regular Bronx bodega that prove they’ve been living in 2027 all along.
Despite having more calories, plantain chips are lower in sodium and contain more fiber and Vitamins A and C than potato chips. Did we mention they’re not processed? They’re not processed.
It might seem like an obvious choice but sitting among juices, sodas, beer and other beverages full of flavor (and sugar), water gets forgotten. When you’re browsing for a refreshment, remember that a bottle of water will help flush your body of toxins, regulate its temperature, increase energy, relieve fatigue including headaches, and promote clearer skin complexion and elasticity. There’s basically a fountain of youth in your facet and your bodega fridge.
Dried Fruit & Nuts
Dried fruit and nuts are an easy source of essential nutrients. They’re rich in heart-healthy fats, supply hunger-satisfying fiber and provide a convenient, alternative source of protein to the usual red meat, poultry and eggs we typically rely on.
Beef jerky is low in calories—many measuring under 100—and is a good source of protein. Look for a brand that’s low in cholesterol and added sugars like Krave.
Surprise. One of America’s favorite cinema snacks is also one of the healthiest—minus the butter and salt we sometimes soak it with. It’s sugar-free, fat-free, gluten-free and low in calories, but contains protein and fiber. It’s like the swiss-army knife of snacking. Plain is best, but seasoned ones are OK too. And so are popcorn chips if you want to try something different. Just check the nutrient info to avoid recipes that may be too unhealthy.
What do you usually buy from your bodega?