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The Top 7 Health Foods to Keep in the Kitchen

[ 1 ] 10/22/2013 |

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“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”
― Paulo Coelho, Brida

Variety keeps life interesting. We’re naturally curious creatures and one of the great pleasures of life is the joy of discovery and experimentation.

Eating is just like life. If we’re going to stay healthy and focused, we need to keep it interesting. Eating a variety of fresh, whole foods is an absolute must for overall health and wellness. Try approaching your plate with the joy of a 5 year old who’s just been given a blank canvas. Craft a masterpiece of color with fruits and vegetables that will satisfy and nourish both your body AND mind.

Along those lines, these are The Top 7 Health Foods to Keep in the Kitchen:

Greens: Kale has been a smash hit among health-conscious buyers in recent years, but Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, and spinach are other options that pack the same perks. In addition to being a cancer-fighting food, they help reduce risk of hypertension since they’re so high in calcium and potassium. Leafy greens are also iron-rich — a must-have for athletes and pregnant women. You’ll find them at their peak season in late summer and early fall, but use them all year round in omelets, salads, soups, and more to eat you way to a smaller size.

Best Nutritional Bet: Kale and Broccoli

Berries: The benefits of berries are endless. They’re higher in vitamin C than oranges, which will keep your skin glowing no matter what season it is, plus they’re filled with other antioxidants that fight aging, boost your immunity, and protect against heart disease. The B vitamins rev metabolism and have been linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Plus with an average of 8g of fiber per cup, they’ll keep you full without puffing out your stomach.

Best Nutritional Bet: Blueberries

Nuts or Nut Butters: There’s peanut butter, almond butter, macadamia butter, cashew butter, and hazelnut butter, to name just a few nut-butter options, but the choice is ultimately yours. As long as it’s unsalted you’ll get tons of health perks, because they’re all packed with good fats like omega-3s as well as vitamin E to keep your brain and memory functioning smoothly. The fiber and unsaturated fat will also help protect your heart. Make sure to read the label before purchasing. Look for nut butters that do not have partially hydrogenated oils.

Best Nutritional Bet: Almonds and Pistachios

Sweet Potatoes: These tasty orange spuds are rich in vitamin A, which helps improve vision and immune function, plus the beta-carotene helps soothe inflamed skin. They’re also loaded with fiber and they generally they can last a whole month at room temperature, so they’re an easy, budget-friendly purchase.

Best Nutritional Bet: Organic

Cabbage: Cheap and uber good for you! In addition to costing very little, cabbage contain glucosinolates, which are believed to stop carcinogens in their tracks, helping protect the body from the inside-out. Cabbage is also loaded with fiber, folate, and antioxidants.

Best Nutritional Bet: Purple Cabbage

Lean, Clean Protein: When choosing animal protein, fish is far and away the best contender; especially fatty fish such as anchovies, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon. These fish reduce inflammation, improve memory function, and lower the risk of heart disease. If opting for other lean protein sources, put on emphasise on free-range, cage-free, non-factory farmed animals, reducing your intake of harmful hormones, antibiotics, and toxic chemicals.

Best Nutritional Bet: Wild Caught Salmon

Beans: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, and kidney beans have tons of filling fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, they can be a great substitute for animal protein in the diet. Beans can be hard on digestion, so be sure to soak thoroughly before cooking.

Best Nutritional Bet: Lentils

To keep your meals tasty, your senses intrigued, and your mind focused on your health goals, experiment with recipes, cooking methods, and flavors. And of course, add plenty of other fresh, whole, delicious foods to the 7 listed above, nourishing your body and helping it thrive.

salad berry chicken

 

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Category: Jodi, NUTRITION, Nutrition, Nutrition, The Sisterhood

About jodi: Jodi Geigle is a board certified nutrition counselor and founder of Eat Clean Health, a holistic health and wellness company that specializes in weight loss, digestive problems, food sensitivities, and women's health. Jodi helps clients transform their health and energize their life through food; one delicious bite at a time. Find out more by visiting Jodi at: www.eatcleanhealth.com Jodi loves new friends, so follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter! View author profile.

  • Ann Gregory

    I always have nuts in my pantry, and I usually have berries of some sort in the fridge. During Thanksgiving time I usually will buy a sweet potato or two but rarely fix them at any other time. Sadly, I rarely (if ever) have the other top choices in my house. I guess I need to expand my palate….Thanks for sharing the reasons behind why I should eat these things!