Five Healthy Must-Haves In Your Pantry
In a world that gets busier each day, we can only find so many reasons why most of us don’t get the opportunity to eat healthy enough. Many of us opt for what’s readily available and easy to grab to spare them the hassle of meal prep and cooking. And while there are a number of healthy ‘instant meals’ in the market, nothing beats the ones that are prepped and cooked in your own kitchen. As much as we all think cooking our own meals is hard and time-consuming, it won’t be once we have all the right ingredients handy whenever we need them. So the next time you do your groceries, make sure to pop in these — healthy must-haves in your shopping list.
A form of slow digesting carb, oats are among the healthiest must-haves you can stack your pantry with. This healthy whole grain isn’t just hearty; it is also full of nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and the soluble fiber called beta-glucans. Beta glucans are known to have numerous health benefits on the body – boosting the immune system and helping the body conquer infections and bacteria, lowering the body’s cholesterol level, and stabilizing blood sugar level, among others. Moreover, oats are very filling and contain more protein and fat compared to other whole grains. With only 150 calories per half a cup of serving of this healthy grain contains 26g of carbs, 5g of protein, and 3g of fat.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A staple in the Meditteranean kitchen and arguably the healthiest fat in the world, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or simply “EVOO” to most chefs) is another in the top list of healthy must-haves everyone should have in their pantries. This legendary culinary oil comes with a number of health benefits – all from keeping both the heart and digestive track healthy, down to lowering the risk of the body to certain types of cancer.
A well known native to the Middle East, almonds are among the healthiest nuts you can keep in your pantry. These nuts are delicately flavored, and they come with a number of extensive health benefits. Almonds are known rich sources of vitamin E, riboflavin, alkali materials, and antioxidants. Combined, the nutrientds found in almonds make a hearty food for the brain. Additionally, almonds are ideal for those who are trying to lose weight as it is also a known source of the mineral manganese, which helps in boosting the metabolism. Although these nuts are generally high in calories (more or less 530 in a cup), eating the suggested amount (1 ounce or 23 almonds with 163 calories) can help you kick start weight loss and a healthier diet.
If you like to munch on something sweet every once in a while, then dark chocolate should always make it to your pantry. Not only is this possibly the most delicious healthy sweet treat you can give yourself, it is also loaded with antioxidants, soluble fiber, and minerals. Additionally, dark chocolate contains flavanols which stimulate the lining of arteries to produce nitric oxide. This process essentially improves blood flow and can lower blood pressure. Moreover, dark chocolates with high amounts of flavanols can also significantly improve cognitive function. However, be careful when buying these treats – make sure you buy quality dark chocolate, organic if at all possible, that contains 70% cocoa, and with minimal amounts of sugar.
A staple in the Indian cuisine, turmeric is among the healthiest spices that you can add in your diet. This spice that gives curry that yellow color contains a potent antioxidant called curcumin. This antioxidant can neutralize free radicals, and as a result, keeps the body protected. Another powerful characteristic of the curcumin found in turmeric is its ability to lower blood sugar levels and reversing insulin resitance, making turmeric an essential flavor add-on to those who are at risk of diabetes.