We all aspire to lead a healthier and cleaner lifestyle, but it can be difficult to find time in your busy lifestyle to prepare fresh healthy meals and avoid tempting junk food. As long as you enjoy everything in moderation, a healthier diet and lifestyle doesn’t have to be a miserable one – here are 10 healthy foods you should always have in your kitchen cupboard to help you lead a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Milk or Milk Alternatives
Whether it is long life 1% fat dairy milk, soya milk, almond milk or any dairy milk alternative you should always have some fresh milk in your kitchen fridge and long-life milk in your kitchen cupboards. Milk is a great ingredient for sweet and savoury dishes, and makes the elixirs of life (tea and coffee) taste great. You should always have some milk of your choice in your kitchen – dairy milk is high in calcium and vitamins D & K. Some soya milks have 10% of your daily folic acid intake and A-B vItamin complexes. Almond Milk is a popular dairy milk alternative as it has no saturated fats or cholesterol, D vitamins and E vitamins. They are easy ways to get your daily dose of vitamins in your daily brews.
Sage is easily stored in the spice rack in your kitchen cupboard, and can really enhance a dish. Add a pinch of sage to roast chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, soups to get some of its great health benefits. Sage contains an endless amount of nutrients including; fiber, folate, calcium, iron magnesium, copper, folic acids, C vitamins and E vitamins. Sage also aids cognitive functions such as memory retention.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthier fats you can cook with, so you needn’t feel as guilty when you indulge in a fry up if you’re using it. It can be stored in your kitchen cupboard and lasts a long time and comes with numerous health benefits, such as aiding menopause, relieving symptoms of oleocanthal arthritis and enhancing your immune system. Added bonus – it’s also an aphrodisiac.
We’re not adding kale on here because it seems to be a forever trending vegetable. It is because it is one of the top super foods ever. Frozen kale has a long shelf life, is low in calories, aids digestion and has vitamins C and B6. It also lowers the risk of certain cancers, reduces blood pressure and helps to relieve asthma. Whack it in your smoothie, add it to your eggs or bake some kale crisps. It will also give you great skin and hair. How much more convincing do you need?
Turmeric is another spice that doesn’t take up much room in the kitchen cupboard or spice rack, and can really enhance the flavours of certain dishes such as curries and jambalayas. Turmeric helps to inhibit tumours and holds the compound curcumin which helps quell symptoms of arthritis. Alongside this, hot Turmeric water helps to relieve colds and respiratory issues. Fun fact; in India, Turmeric Paste is applied to wounds due to its healing properties.
Canned tomatoes are a fantastic staple for any dish, from a spaghetti bolognaise to a hot pot or hang-over worthy fry up. They take up very little room in the kitchen cupboard and keep for a very long time. Tinned tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene and contribute to lowering the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular degeneration. Just make sure you check the salt levels in each tin as it can vary.
Bags of Frozen Fruit
Fresh fruit can be expensive, and as it only lasts for a few days you may find yourself throwing it away rather than eating it. Instead, you should always have frozen fruit in your freezer. Frozen fruit has a higher amount of vitamins, minerals and cancer fighting properties. Alongside this, it also contains polyphenols and beta-carotene. Pop frozen fruit in your smoothies, make a sorbet or bake a cake. Just get some frozen fruit in that freezer.
Ginger is a delicious spice that can really change the way any dish tastes. It has numerous health benefits and is brilliant for digestion and stomach pain. You can store ground ginger in your kitchen cupboard or fresh ginger in your kitchen fridge – it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Ginger is also good for muscle pain and reduces morning sickness. Whether you’re baking or making curry a stir fry just pop some ginger in and enjoy your healthier life!
Vegetable is a quick recipe fix and can help save soups, risottos, and much more. Because it is so small, it can easily fit into your kitchen pantry and lasts a long time. Vegetable stock is low in fat and has gut healing properties. Some vegetable stock can have high salt levels so always read the labels.
It is no secret that garlic is the spice of life – and the good news is that garlic has some amazing health benefits. It holds the compound allicin, which enhances the immune system and reduces the risk of cancer. Garlic also has calcium, copper, vitamins B6, C and manganese. Add it to your dishes, make your own garlic bread or it a eat whole clove – garlic should always be in your kitchen fridge or kitchen cupboards.