5 Phone Apps for Healthy Green Eating

GlenBledsoe/CC BY 2.0

Trying to makeover your eating habits in January has its pros and cons: On the pro side, the post-holiday season probably has you feeling like you never want to eat a cookie again. On the con side, it becomes all too easy to fall back into your old routines...at that moment when everyone else gives up on their resolutions.

But enlisting your smartphone, iPad, or iPod Touch in the fight for healthy eating could be just what you need to make your changes stick: These apps help you choose and store fresh produce, teach you what to make with it, show you where to buy local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, and give you the inside-track on food additives.

1. Harvest

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Even with a grocery list packed with healthy vegetable and fruit options -- spinach, watermelon, avocados, garlic -- the produce section can feel overwhelming: How hard should a red pepper be? What should a ripe melon feel like?

And that's where Harvest comes in, with an accessible, detailed list of tips for choosing perfect produce.

You can also find out which items usually have the highest pesticide levels -- in case you need to prioritize buying organic -- and receive tips for storing the items once you get them home. (Harvest, $1.99)

2. Food Additives 2

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Focusing on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins is the beginning of a healthy diet -- but it's nearly impossible to never eat anything prepackaged.

Food Additives 2 lets you take a closer look at exactly what's in your cereal, canned soups, whole wheat crackers, or ice cream by giving you access to a 450-strong glossary of additives.

Find out if the additive has been linked with health problems, fits in with your vegan diet, and is considered safe (or risky). (Food Additives 2, $3.99)

3. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

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Whether you're trying to overhaul your eating habits by trading meat-based dishes for vegetarian options or you're just tired of eating the same three vegetable sides in rotation every night, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian can help.

This app includes more than 2,000 no-meat recipes and other features of Mark Bittman's classic vegetarian cookbook (think clear illustrations, menu planning suggestions, and more) -- plus 900 vegan recipes and a comprehensive search function for easy navigation. (How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, $4.99)

4. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

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If you aren't ready to give up meat entirely, switching to seafood for some of your meals is a healthy way to take in fewer calories -- but you'll want to make sure you're choosing sustainable fish.

The Seafood Watch Sustainable Seafood Guide from Monterey Bay Aquarium offers suggestions for the best choices in your area (using your phone's GPS to figure out where you are), includes a list of seafood to avoid, and lets you share your own experiences finding sustainable options with other users via Project FishMap. (Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Free)

5. Locavore

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Locavore has a habit of ending up on healthy green eating application lists, but that's because eating locally and seasonally is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make healthier choices (you can pretty much guarantee that diet soda and chocolate chip cookies aren't showing up at your farmer's market).

The recent updates added even more details about which fruits and vegetables are in season in your area, but you can still find local food sellers in your area, track down the hours and locations of nearby farmer's markets, and see what in-season foods your Facebook friends are eating, too. (Locavore, Free)

Tags: Apps | Fruits & Vegetables | Technology | Vegetarian

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