There is a very simple trick to having a healthy and balanced diet: fill the pantry with healthy and versatile food. If you have these foods on hand in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer, everything will be much easier when it comes to making food.
In this article we are going to show you which foods are essential and you should always have in the pantry.
In every pantry there should be lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas. They are great sources of plant protein and very rich in fiber. Some studies have shown that legumes reduce type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and the risk of stroke. The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics recommends a legume intake of a minimum of four servings per week. One serving is equivalent to 60-70 g of dried legumes or 125 g of cooked legumes.
Unsalted nuts have almost everything: they are rich in valuable fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. Have them as a snack between meals, in a smoothie or in a bowl of cereal in the morning. You can also add them to a sauce if they come in butter. Eating a handful (about 20-60 g) of nuts a day has been shown to have positive effects on chronic diseases such as cancer, respiratory diseases or diabetes . Walnuts and almonds are also very high in calories: 100 g of walnuts contain 650 kcal, which makes them perfect for healthy weight gain .
Eggs are packed with vitamins . In addition, they contain all 9 essential amino acids (valine, leucine, isoleucine, histidine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine and threonine). Eggs are very versatile so they should always be on your healthy shopping list. If you have this high protein food to eat in a salad, you will almost certainly not have afternoon cravings.
Both onion and garlic belong to the genus Allium . It is almost inconceivable that a healthy diet does not contain this pair, as both are crucial for adding flavor to meals.
Onions contain essential oils and sulfur-containing compounds. This makes them not only an herb, but also a medicinal plant: sulfides are phytonutrients, which have many benefits for the body. If eaten regularly, they are said to reduce the risk of cancer and protect you from bacterial diseases. Sulfides are always present in garlic.
Potatoes are a valuable source of potassium and are a very low calorie side dish. 100 grams of this tuber have about 75 kcal. You can make them fried, mashed or in soup.
Fresh red fruits are usually quite expensive. In summer you can buy extra strawberries or blueberries and freeze them for the winter. You can also buy them already frozen: frozen fruit sometimes contains even more vitamins and minerals than the same fresh fruit. Enjoy the berries in a smoothie on hot days or put them as a dressing in a cereal bowl.
They can be whole, ground, or in oil, but you should always have flaxseeds in your pantry. This superfood is a great source of soluble fiber, protein, and alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). For many people, it is unthinkable to go a day without taking this food: the mucins it contains are very good for the health of the intestines. Put these seeds in smoothies, yogurt or salads. But do not forget to drink plenty of water when you eat them in large quantities or there could be a risk of constipation.
The fruit of the date palm contains more fiber than whole wheat bread, more potassium than bananas and is good for digestion. Due to their high sugar content, dates provide runners (and not just runners) with a good boost of energy and make sugar cravings disappear. Dates also go well in smoothies and brownies .
Spinach, kale , arugula – from now on, make sure you always have them on your shopping list. Choose them according to their season and they will be a very versatile food. Try putting them in different dishes so you don’t get bored of them: from green smoothies and salads to pasta dishes and curries. These leaves are packed with nutrients and they fill up your food a lot. This way you will feel with a full stomach and you will not be consuming too many calories.
Oatmeal should also always be on a healthy shopping list and should never be lacking at home. Like legumes, it is a good source of fiber and has a low glycemic index, which means that blood sugar levels rise moderately and slowly after taking it. This way you feel on a full stomach for longer.
Yogurt is a great source of protein. Avoid the sugary fruit yogurts from the supermarket and stick with the natural version. This way you will save on sugar and calories. Natural yogurt is also a probiotic: it contains live bacteria that help you optimize the intestinal flora. Put it in a post-workout smoothie or enjoy it with fruit and oatmeal for breakfast.
Two to three ounces of dark chocolate take away your sweet tooth and make you happy. Cocoa is full of flavonoids (phytonutrients) so it is also considered a superfood. Dark chocolate not only reduces inflammation, it can also help lower blood pressure.
This is another essential food that cannot be missing from the shopping list. Green tea is a valuable source of flavonoids (catechin) and has an antioxidant effect. This drink contains caffeine (like coffee), but the effect is less, more gradual and lasts longer. So if a caffeine kick is what you need but coffee sets your heart racing, green tea is the perfect alternative. Try it and you will see!