Good nutrition starts with smart choices in the grocery store. Cooking up healthy meals is a challenge if you don’t have the right ingredients in your kitchen. Here’s what every kitchen should have.
- Avocado: The fats in avocados are essential for the correct functioning of the body and brain. Mono-unsaturated fats help to reduce blood pressure, diabetes and lowers LDL cholesterol levels.
- Natural peanut butter: Aside from being absolutely delicious, peanut butter also gives you some fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.
- Almonds: These nuts are packed with nutrients — fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin E. They are also good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds are monounsaturated fat, which can help lower cholesterol levels when substituted for other fats.
- Whole grain rice: Brown rice is considered a whole grain and has more fiber than white rice. Brown rice also contains nutrients like magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
- Red beans: Small red, pinto and dark red kidney varieties are an excellent low-fat source of antioxidants, protein, dietary fiber and copper. They are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and thiamin.
- Salmon: This fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to provide heart benefits. Salmon is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein. If possible, choose wild salmon, which is less likely to contain unwanted chemicals such as mercury.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which binds to bile. Bile helps us to absorb fat and cholesterol from our diet.
- Olive oil: The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of anti-oxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels.
- Quinoa**: It’s delicious, high in protein, and gluten free. It is becoming readily available and is slowly becoming a staple in pantries across the country.
- Green tea: Green tea contains antibacterial agents that help percent certain forms of food poisoning. It also serves as a great stress releaser and helps you lose weight.
- Chia Seeds: These little gems have tons of omega-3 fatty acids (more than flax seeds!) as well as plenty of antioxidants, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, niacin and zinc.
**Skinny Ms. recently released a new Quinoa Recipe eBook with scrumptious dishes like, Enchiladas Verde, Asian Stir-Fry and even Apple Crumb Cake…all made with what might be the world’s most perfect food, Quinoa. Be sure to check it out here.