Apples are low in sodium and a good source of fiber.


    Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A and also provide vitamin C, iron, potassium, and fiber.


    Barley contains gluten, so it should be avoided by those individuals with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. In ¼ cup of uncooked pearl barley, there is on average 2.5 g of betaglucan soluble fiber; but individual barley labels should be referred to for specific soluble fiber contents (Barley Facts, 2007).

    Barley Nutrition: Barley is high in fiber, selenium, iron, and niacin. Studies have shown that barley is more effective in lowering blood cholesterol than wheat or rice because of its beta-glucan content. For best health benefits from barley, 3 grams of beta-glucan should be consumed each day.

    ALLERGIES: Compared to oats and wheat, barley has a higher percentage of beta-glucan content because beta-glucan is throughout the whole barley kernel. The beta-glucan in other grains is only in the bran layer and is removed when the bran is removed. Even products that are refined, like barley flour, contain beta-glucan (Conway, 2006).


    Brown rice has more fiber than white rice, due to the difference in the way the two are processed. Brown rice does not have the husk removed so the bran is kept intact, providing more fiber. White rice is polished, is either pre-cooked or parboiled, removing the bran. Brown rice is the only form of rice that contains vitamin E. It also contains magnesium, manganese (88 percent of our daily value), selenium, and zinc. While white rice also contains these nutrients, brown rice has a higher amount.

    ALLERGIES: Like white rice, brown rice is gluten free, so is not a commonly allergenic food and is actually a great alternative for individuals with gluten or wheat allergies.

    brown rice

    Canned foods maintain mineral content for their entire shelf life. Vitamins A & C will decrease rapidly after fruits and vegetables are picked and cooked. Vitamins are lost during heating processes. However, once canned, vitamin A and C loss slows to 5 to 20 percent per year. Other vitamins remain close to fresh food levels (OIUC, 1995). Salt or sugar is not necessary for safe canning and is only added for flavoring.

    ALLERGIES: Be sure to label canned goods with ingredients when canning mixed foods like sauces to accommodate those with food allergies.

    Cherries are relatively high in potassium and low in sodium. They are an insignificant source of vitamins not listed above.


    Chile peppers are known for being good sources of Vitamins A, C, E and folate. They are high in potassium and low in sodium if not processed with added salt.


    Corn is a good source of carbohydrates and food energy. Yellow corn has vitamin A and all corn has minerals and protein. Fresh corn is 74% water and has 85 calories per ear. Canned corn has 170 calories per cup.

    Dry beans average about 22 percent protein in the seed, the highest protein content of any seed crop. They contain many essential amino acids. Beans are an excellent source of fiber, starch, minerals, and vitamins. Some beans do have a human digestion enzyme inhibitor. This enzyme can cause a nutritional deficiency if the beans are eaten raw. Cooking destroys the enzyme. Most beans naturally contain cyanogens. These are sugars with a cyanide component attached (C-N).

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows levels of cyanide in dried beans up to 25 ppm. Small amounts can be handled by the human liver and are not toxic. Cooking will also help break down and remove the cyanide. Toxicity levels are hard to reach. It would require a person eating approximately 1 pound of beans for each pound of their weight at one sitting (Vetter, 2000).

    Dried eggs maintain a fair amount of nutrients after drying, but as with all stored foods, the nutrient retention lowers the longer the food is stored. Dried eggs are a good source of riboflavin, Vitamin B12, and phosphorus, and a very good source of protein and selenium.

    ALLERGIES: Eggs are a common allergen, and dried eggs are no different than fresh eggs in regards to allergies. Individuals with albumen/protein intolerance, or any other egg allergies, will not be able to use dried egg products.

    dried egg

    The dehydration process of fruit concentrates the nutrients. The nutritional content of dried fruits includes protein, carbohydrates (sugars), fiber, and little to no fat. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to dried fruit is that the sugars are concentrated in the food because the water has been depleted. A small serving of dried fruit can be relatively high in calories, thus, giving us instant energy.

    Dehydrated fruits are also a good source of vitamins A, B1, B6, and B12. Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, copper, and manganese are also found in dried fruit.

    dried appledried fruit, raisin

    The primary nutrient found in meat is the protein. Unless individual food storage contains canned meats, it can be a challenge to get a complete protein and all of the essential amino acids meat provides. Therefore, many people like to add dried meats to their food storage for the complete protein it adds. The protein content is quite stable in dried meats.

    dried meat

    NFDM is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and nutrition, providing 80 calories per serving. Most vitamins in dried milks are present in comparable levels to those of whole milk. Vitamins A and D are not present in non-fat milk and must be supplemented. Individuals with lactose intolerance may have difficulties with NFDM.

    dry milk

    Drying, like all methods of preservation, can result in loss of some nutrients. Nutritional changes that occur during drying include (Kendall et al., 2012):
    • Calorie content: does not change, but is concentrated into a smaller mass as moisture is removed.
    • Fiber: no change.
    • Vitamin A: fairly well retained under controlled heat methods.
    • Vitamin C: mostly destroyed during blanching and drying of vegetables.
    • Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin: some loss during blanching but fairly good retention if the water used to rehydrate is also consumed.
    • Minerals: some may be lost during rehydration if soaking water is not used. Iron is not destroyed by drying.

    Blanching vegetables to destroy enzymes before freezing and drying reduces the amount of heat-sensitive and soluble vitamins to some degree. There could be some nutrient loss if canned and dried food is stored at high temperatures (Rabb, 2007).

    A research article in American Journal of Food Technology reported that ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) reduced to half in leafy vegetables as a result of drying, but storage for 12 weeks in polyethylene wrappers did not result in much further loss. Light destroys vitamins A and C content during storage. It can be prevented by use of a dark colored or opaque container. One typical change that occurs during storage of dehydrated vegetables is darkening or “Maillard Browning.” This browning is a complex chemical reaction between the food’s sugar and protein.

    dried carrot

    Lipids (fats and oils) perform many life-supporting functions in each cell of our body. They are part of every cell membrane and every organ and tissue. Fats add flavor to the foods that many of us are used to and savor and they also serve as a great energy source that provides 9 calories for every gram of fat consumed. A few vitamins only dissolve in lipids (Haas, 2006).

    In a normal diet (non-emergency situation) there are healthier choices for fat intact. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are less likely to cause heart disease compared to saturated fat. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated trans-fats also cause health concerns. However, during an emergency situation, long-term heart disease will take a back seat to immediate concerns for survival.

    ALLERGIES: There are no known allergies associated with fats or oils. Some may think that soybean oil would be an allergen; however, commercially processed soybean vegetable oil contains no protein and therefore it is not allergenic.

    Figs add iron, calcium, potassium and fiber to your diet. They contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium.


    Lentils are high in nutritional value, low in fat, high in fiber, (both soluble and insoluble) and a good source of protein. They are also rich in folate and a good source of potassium. Legumes are recognized for their role in promoting good health. Researchers find that they may reduce heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.


    A typical military MRE contains between 1,200-1,300 calories. (Forester, 2007) The military designed their menus knowing that soldiers in the field should not eat more than 21 days straight of MREs. Most MREs offer complete nutrition, including vitamins. Typically, military MREs contain 39 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein, and 36 percent fat. 

    ALLERGIES: MREs procured for military use may or may not have an allergen statement on them. However, all commercial MREs made for direct sale to consumers are required to carry both ingredients and an allergen statement. Most will also have a nutrition facts panel.

    Oats have been referred to as a cleansing grain because of their relatively high soluble and insoluble fiber content. They cleanse both your blood and your intestinal track. Eating high-fiber foods, such as oats, can help reduce high cholesterol, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer, can help lower blood sugar for people with type II diabetes, and can help prevent heart disease.

    Antioxidant compounds unique to oats, called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oats are a very good source of manganese and selenium, as well as a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Oats are also rich in the B vitamins and contain the antioxidant vitamin E.

    ALLERGIES: An oat allergy, commonly referred to as “oat sensitivity,” is a condition in which a person’s body is intolerant to a protein found in oats called avena sativa. A person can be sensitive to the oat protein internally or externally. Oat allergies are relatively rare, and mostly occur in young children who often outgrow it.


    A cup of cooked, fresh snap beans contains only 30 calories, no fat, sodium or cholesterol and is a good source of dietary fiber. It contains 93% water, 2 gm protein, 63 gm calcium, 8 mg iron, 680 IU vitamin A and 15 mg vitamin C. 

    Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack. Popcorn contains substantial amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, many of the B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, pantothenic acid, copper, manganese, linoleic acid, polypheonls (antioxidants), and all the essential amino acids. When air popped or served with light butter, it is low in calories and high in nutrition (McAdams, 2011).


    Compared to other common grains like wheat, rice, corn, and barley, quinoa is higher in protein and fat content (Ng, 2003). The high fat content is due to the high amounts of the polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid, which is a health promoting fatty acid. All ten of the essential amino acids are found in quinoa. Amino acids are building blocks to proteins in the human body. Essential amino acids are those that can’t be made in the body, so they have to be consumed through the diet. Because of the high essential amino acid content in quinoa, it can be compared to casein, the protein in milk. The amount of amino acids in quinoa is higher than other common cereals (VegaGalvez, 2010).

    Quinoa is high in calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc; higher than most grain crops. However, the amount of mineral content depends on the soil that it is planted in. Some soils produce a higher mineral content. It is also high in vitamins C and E, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin (Vega-Galvez, 2010). Quinoa is high in the polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid, meaning that it can’t be made in the body. Polyunsaturated fatty acids help to prevent cardiovascular disease and improve insulin sensitivity. It has a low glycemic index, which is a great alternative for those with diabetes (Vega-Galvez, 2010).

    ALLERGIES: Quinoa is generally considered gluten free. However, new research indicates that it may contain other protein properties that activate the immune system. So this may be one to avoid if you have celiac disease (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012).


    The nutrition of spelt is similar to wheat flour except that spelt contains more riboflavin and niacin (B vitamins) than wheat.

    ALLERGIES: Because spelt contains gluten, individuals with celiac disease are not able to safely consume it. However, spelt may be an alternative to those allergic to wheat; but individuals should check with their physician first before substituting it for wheat. Also, research has shown that spelt may be easier for humans to digest than wheat (Bastin, 2010).


    Table salt and seasoning salts will obviously contribute sodium to the diet.

    ALLERGIES: Spices offer little nutritive value as a food source and allergies are generally rare. However, if they do occur they are usually fairly mild. Spices that cause the most reactions are mustard, coriander, caraway, fennel, paprika, and saffron. Less frequently do people react to onions, garlic, and chives (Foods Standards Agency, n.d.).

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate spices, meaning they often are not noted on food labels, making spices possibly the most difficult allergen to identify or avoid. According to rough estimates, spice allergy is responsible for 2 percent of food allergies. However it is underdiagnosed, particularly due to the lack of reliable allergy skin tests or blood tests (ACAAI, 2012).

    Dried peas, like other legumes, are rich in soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that binds bile (which contains cholesterol) and carries it out of the body. Dried peas are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (Bazzano et al., 2003). Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis (Liu, 2004). A single cup of cooked dried peas provides 65 percent of the daily value for fiber.

    ALLERGIES: Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal (McIntosh and Miller, 2001).


    Sugars have approximately 15-20 calories per teaspoon, all in carbohydrates. Sugars will have no fat, cholesterol, fiber, vitamins, etc. Raw versions of sugars may have a few additional nutritive items, but nothing that would make them stand out.

    ALLERGIES: Since sugars are carbohydrates and do not have protein, they do not cause any known allergies. They also do not cause any food intolerance.

    One cup sliced (100g), fresh summer squash has approximately 18 calories, 1 g fiber, and 1 g protein. They are an excellent source of vitamin C. Cooked squash will have essentially the same calories, fiber and protein, but will lose approximately 75% of the Vitamin C during the cooking process.

    The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C is 90 mg/day for adult males and 75 mg/day for adult females. The maximum dose is 2,000 mg/day for adults (Bellows, et al., 2012).

    ALLERGIES: There are no allergen ingredients in any standard vitamin formulation.

    A typical serving of whole wheat is 16 grams. It is recommended that adults get at least three servings (48g) per day. Wheat grain is high in protein, fiber, calcium, and iron. Spouting wheat can obtain small amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and E not present in whole grain wheat. Other health claims for sprouted wheat remain unsubstantiated and lack science based credibility.

    ALLERGIES: Some people are allergic to wheat proteins. The allergy can cause a variety of symptoms due to an autoimmune inflammation of the digestive system, such as diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and pain. Ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome may be caused by a food allergy. A severe allergy can result in life-threatening anaphylactic shock. In some, the allergy is life-long and non-reversible and is called “celiac’s disease.”

    Other people may be simply “intolerant” to wheat. In this case they suffer from symptoms, but there is not an immune response. People with minor allergic reactions or intolerances can lose them over time. Always seek the advice of a physician to help with any allergies. All varieties of wheat and processed wheat (flour, germ, cracked, etc.) contain the allergy proteins.


    White rice is low in sodium, contains no cholesterol, and has no fat.

    ALLERGIES: There are no known common allergens associated with rice, making it a good grain choice for so many people with wheat intolerance, Celiac, or other similar concerns.


    One serving of zucchini (1/2 medium squash) has 20 calories. It provides approximately the following recommended daily allowances: Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 30%, Calcium 2%, and Iron 2%.