10 Healthy Foods You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen
We asked a a nutrition and health coach which saintly foods we should always be stocked up on.
We don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if our fridge and cupboards are packed full of yummy, healthy foods we’ll eat yummy, healthy foods. If they’re loaded full of junk on the other hand? Then you can bet our good intentions will fly out the window. That’s why a healthy diet starts with the foods we keep in our kitchen.
We asked nutrition and health coach Lyda Borgsteijn what foods we should absolutely be stocked up on.
1. Herbs & Spices
“They’re great for not only flavour but also act as powerful anti-inflammatories,” explains Lyda. “Herbs can protect you against diseases, clear toxins from your body, and provide you with vitamins and minerals. Every time you flavour your meals with herbs or spices you are literally ‘boosting’ your food without adding a single calorie.” The best ones to be stocked up on? Cinnamon, curcumin and turmeric.
2. Nuts & Seeds
“Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are one of the easiest things to store and add to your juices, smoothies, soups & salads,” says Lyda. “They add a nutritional boost with vitamins and minerals including A, E, K, B, Potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper. In addition, you will get some added fibre and protein.”
Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are literally ‘boosting’ your food without adding a single calorie.
3. Homemade Broth
Never had broth? “It contains healthy fat, but also important minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and trace minerals, as well as the broken down material from cartilage and tendons,” explains Lyda. “Simply throw a whole chicken (or carcass) or leftover bones into a pot with some garlic, herbs and chopped root vegetables, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for up to 12 hours,” she instructs.
Protein-loaded eggs are essential to the building, maintenance, and repair of your body tissues.
“Garlic should be on your menu every single day,” Lyda recommends. “It boosts your body’s natural abilities to protect you from hypertension and osteoporosis, and research is mounting that it decreases your risk for various forms of cancer. A hot tip? “If you feel under the weather, boost your garlic intake to really stimulate your immune system,” Lyda suggests.
5. Organic free-range eggs
They’re our go-to brunch options and they’re also great for our bods. “Protein-loaded eggs are essential to the building, maintenance, and repair of your body tissues, including your skin, internal organs, and muscles.” Lyda explains. Proteins are also major components of your immune system and hormones.”
6. Coconut oil
Is there anything our humble jar of coconut oil can’t do? “It imparts a range of health benefits,” Lyda explains, “including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens. For a quick energy boost, you could simply eat a spoonful of coconut oil, or add it to your food.”
Tinned fish like sardines and wild alaskan salmon often come with the bone included which is one of the best sources of calcium you can get.
7. Himalayan Sea Salt
Yes, salt can be a part of a healthy diet. “It’s important to realise that there are major differences between the refined and highly processed salt found in regular table salt, and unrefined natural salt, like sea salt or Himalayan salt,” says Lyda. “Himalayan sea salt carries many benefits like carrying nutrients into and out of your cells, helping maintain your acid-base balance, supporting the function of your adrenal glands and helping regulate blood pressure.”
8. Tinned anchovies, sardines & wild salmon
“They’re a great and easy way to give your lunch a much needed nutrient & Omega-3 boost,” Lyda suggests. “Omega 3 plays multiple roles in our body such as keeping our cell memberanes healthy and fighting chronic inflammation. Tinned fish like sardines and wild alaskan salmon often come with the bone included which is one of the best sources of calcium you can get.”
9. Fermented vegetables
Why are fermented veggies a foodie’s friend? “Your gastrointestinal tract (GI) houses some 100 trillion bacteria,” explains Lyda. “You can keep these fellas happy, by adding just one quarter to one half cup of fermented food up to three times a day. Ideally, you’ll want to include a variety of cultured and fermented foods in your diet, as each provides different beneficial bacteria.”
Yep, Lyda reccomends you stock up on good old-fashioned butter. “When made from grass-fed cows, it’s a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A and all the other fat-soluble vitamins,” she explains. “Add to that, “butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, and selenium (a powerful antioxidant) and a substance called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), known to help fight cancer and diabetes and it may even help you to lose weight.”