The uber-fast lifestyle of the 21st century absolutely necessitates healthy eating. In an increasingly variable world filled with supplements and chemicals, what you consume now is what will reflect in your health years later.
Having a healthy diet makes you feel better both physically and mentally. It also enables good family bonding, because the entire family comes together to enjoy healthy, delicious meals – another thing often missing in the modern era.
The very first step towards having a healthy lifestyle is having a pantry with healthy and tasty staples stocked up in it. Here at HueTrition, we help you and your family develop healthy habits with what you eat. These healthy pantry staples range from veggies and snacks to food items that can serve as meals at any time of the day.
Healthy and Delicious Items to Have in Your Pantry
Having a pantry filled with nutritious items that also happen to be delicious is extremely essential. It allows you to put together meals for yourself and your family that you know are going to make them happy while also giving them the nutrients they need.
Here are kitchen essentials to have around that can serve as healthy pantry staples:
Not only is quinoa one of the most versatile and nourishing whole grains, but it’s also a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, and protein. Containing all the nine essential amino acids, it’s versatile enough to be included in every kind of meal, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or even dessert.
Quinoa can be used throughout the week in salads, stuffed veggies, soups, breakfast bowls, and quesadillas. You can also opt to stir-cook quinoa with leftover beans, herbs, and veggies, by adding in a bit of olive oil and seasoning to create a nutrition-filled meal.
Rich in dietary fiber and protein, beans are one of those healthy pantry staples that should be a part of every household. Containing a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they work really well in managing and controlling your cholesterol levels, while also aiding you in watching your weight.
Beans can be thrown into a variety of concoctions, including salads, pasta sauces, burgers, burritos, quesadillas, salsas, etc. They can also be used to create healthy and delicious dips.
Peanut butter is that one breakfast spread that’s loved by both kids and adults alike. In fact, any kind of nut butter should serve as a kitchen essential, be it almond or peanut or whatever you prefer. Nut butter acts as a primary source of healthy fats, and is rich in protein that helps in burning fat and building lean muscle.
In order to go for the most nutrition-rich choice, choose the nut butter containing the two most important ingredients, namely nut and butter. Apart from applying it to your breakfast toast, nut butter can also be added to a mix of garlic, hot chili sauce, and soy sauce to marinate vegetables and tofu.
Studies indicate that eating eggs in the morning makes you consume less food for the rest of the day. Eggs contain amino acids that hep in the preservation and formation of lean muscle mass, which in turn boosts metabolism and burns fat.
Eggs serve as an excellent source of protein and a wide variety of vitamins such as A, D, and B12. The choline it contains helps with brain development, and also enhancing muscle health and energy levels.
The good thing is that eggs can be consumed in various forms, be it scrambled, hard-boiled, poached, and more. You can also choose to add them in pastas, salads, sandwiches, and breakfast burritos.
Greek yogurt has an immense amount of probiotics that help in providing your body with a healthy digestive system. Rich in calcium, protein, vitamin B12, Greek yogurt contains calcium that aids in burning off cortisol, which is a hormone that produces belly fat.
It can be used as a substitute for cream in soups, curries, and sauces. You can also choose to add a cup of Greek yogurt to your breakfast smoothie.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil are not stored as fat, and are instead burned as energy, which is one of the many benefits of having it as a kitchen essential. When picking out a good coconut oil, make sure to look for certain words on the pack. If the words “virgin/extra virgin”, “unrefined”, “organic”, and “cold-pressed” are mentioned, then go for it.
You can’t really go wrong with fish preparations. They’re delicious, healthy, and loved by pretty much everyone in the family. The best thing is that fish is filled with vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The omega-3 fatty acids keep your heart healthy, reduce inflammation, and also lowers your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Fatty fish such as tuna, trout, mackerel, and salmon serve as great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Avoid consuming the fish high in mercury such as swordfish, orange roughy, bigeye tuna, and king mackerel, and you’ll be good to go. You can make either poached or steamed fish, as they’re both the healthy kind of meals. Having baked fish is an easy and nutritious option as well.
Oats contain a lot of good carbs, protein, and fiber, such as the beneficial fiber, beta-glucan. Rich in antioxidants, oats aid in lowering cholesterol levels and also protects the LDL cholesterol from getting damaged.
Those who suffer from diabetes or are overweight can greatly benefit from oats, as they help in improving your blood sugar level. Oatmeal is a go-to breakfast option for many, regardless of whether you have it before leaving for school or work. Oatmeal keeps you full and helps you lose weight.
Oats can also help in reducing the childhood asthma. They’re great for your skin, and work well in controlling constipation, too.
Lentils are not only cost-effective and easy to prepare, but their nutritional value makes them a healthy pantry staple to have. They contain fiber, folic acid, and potassium, all of which contribute towards improving the health of your health.
Lentils possess selenium that helps reduce the risk of several types of cancer, namely colorectal, prostate, lung, bladder, skin, esophageal, and gastric. They are rich in nonheme iron, that keeps you energized and helps you fight fatigue.
Lentils are also known to aid in digestion. They make you feel full and reduce your overall calorie intake.
Bone broth is rich in several nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. It’s also rich in gelatin, which in turn helps in protecting the joints. Bone broth also helps those who display signs of osteoarthritis.
The amino acids present in bone broth help in improving the process of digestion. It also aids in reducing inflammation, heals the gut, and is a great way to get anti-inflammatory amino acids into the body.
The protein present in bone broth makes you full, thereby leading to less calorie consumption and helping in weight loss. Drinking bone broth before going to bed is a good way to ensure proper sleep as you get to consume the amino acid known as glycine.
Bananas are rich in fiber and antioxidants. The pectin and resistant starch it contains helps in moderating blood sugar levels. The dietary fiber present in bananas makes it a good source to promote digestive health.
Including a banana in your breakfast ensures you get enough nutrients for the rest of the day. Bananas also provide your body with potassium, which helps in improving the health of your heart. The various kinds of antioxidants present in it, namely dopamine and catechins, reduce the risk of heart disease and degenerative illnesses.
With the busy schedule almost everyone has these days, it’s increasingly easy to ignore our health. Be it for reasons related to work, relationships, kids, or anything, more often than not, we find ourselves resorting to unhealthy food choices.
It’s definitely easy to simply order takeout without caring about how greasy the food is, but all those unhealthy snacks eventually combine together to give our bodies a lot of grief. The only way out of this is to have a pantry that’s not only filled with delicious choices, but also healthy ones. That way, not only will you be eating well, you also won’t be tempted to order the oily and unhealthy options available elsewhere.
So, stock up your pantry with the healthy pantry staples listed above, and you’ll slowly see yourself building towards a much healthier life. Find out more about how HueTrition can help you meet your health goals.