It’s time to clean house -- what foods are in your pantry that can be replaced with healthier, more organic options?
Striving for healthier habits for health and food? Start by getting your kitchen audited! Regardless of your goal, it's all about making the easiest choice to live a healthy lifestyle.
For example, if you tried to slim down, temptation and goodies (such as cookies, chips, or soda) that may sabotage your efforts will not fill your pantry, right? If it's in the kitchen, chances are it's going to be eaten at some point, period.
It's time to clean house.
If it’s expired, has an ingredients list longer than a CVS receipt, or doesn’t support your healthy lifestyle; it’s time to pitch it. And in place, make these healthy and organic pantry options staples in your household.
Why Go Organic?
Evidence indicates that organically grown foods are rich in nutrients , such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium , and phosphorus, with less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues in organically grown fruits, vegetables , and grains compared to conventionally grown products, and that organic farming helps minimize public health risks.
So, when choosing which foods to replace in your pantry, aim for organic/locally-sourced food choices like these Italian Cuisine Pantry Staples:
For a balanced, nutritious and fulfilling meal, pasta is the ideal base. Paired perfectly with many other foods, like fiber-rich vegetables and beans, heart-healthy fish, tomato-rich antioxidant sauce and protein-packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats, organic pasta is a staple in many authentic Italian Cuisines. As well, glucose, the key fuel for your brain and muscles, is produced by carbohydrates such as pasta and that energy is released at a steady and sustained level, so you don't get the energy bursts associated with simple/refined sugars.
As an added bonus, whole-grain organic pasta usually has a high content of fiber, manganese , selenium, copper and phosphorus, and is therefore lower in calories than processed pasta and higher in some micronutrients.
Peanut butter is a firm favorite of both adults and kids. Peanuts and peanut butter provide nutrients that can increase the health of a person's heart and improve blood sugar levels. It can help them lose weight, or put on pounds for bodybuilding, depending on how it is used in their diet. Magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and Vitamin B-6 provide a great source of protein.
Peanut butter is a relatively unprocessed food, however, many commercial brands add sugar, hydrogenated fats and other ingredients that aren't beneficial. Check the label to find natural, old-fashioned organic peanut butter minus the additives.
Quinoa is one of the most common foods for health in the world. Quinoa is rich in protein, gluten-free, and one of the few plant foods containing adequate quantities of all nine essential amino acids. Fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium , calcium, phosphorus , vitamin E and various useful antioxidants are also high in it.
While high levels of magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron are contained in Quinoa, it also contains a substance called phytic acid. These minerals may be bound by this material and decrease their absorption. You can, however, decrease the phytic acid content and make these minerals more bioavailable by soaking and/or sprouting the quinoa before cooking.
From gluten-free whole grains to a fantastic source of significant vitamins , minerals , fiber and antioxidants, oats and oatmeal provide many health benefits. This include weight loss, lower levels of blood sugar, and a decreased risk of heart disease. Oats are among the most nutrient-dense foods that you can consume, providing more protein and fat than most grains, as well as being an extensive source of fiber and carbs.
However, not all oats are created equal. The most highly-processed variety is instant oats. The bioavailability of such nutrients is degraded even though they take the shortest time to cook. For your new favorite breakfast carb, look for organic rolled, crushed or steel-cut oats while shopping.
Olive oil is a liquid fat derived from olives produced by pressing whole olives and extracting the oil, a traditional Mediterranean Basin tree crop. Its high antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory content and more are the benefits of drizzling some of this monosaturated fat onto your next Italian cuisine.
Buying the right sort of olive oil is extremely important. Extra virgin olive oil retains most of the antioxidants and bioactive compounds derived from olives. So, make sure to read the food label before deciding on your organic olive oil choice.
Beans come in a number of forms and are an inexpensive source of protein, fiber , iron, and vitamins that provide many health benefits. Amino acids, which are the protein building blocks that the body uses to heal and make new tissues, such as bone , muscle, hair , skin, and blood, are present in dried, canned, and frozen beans.
Research has also shown that beans improve gut health by enhancing intestinal barrier function and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria. Try incorporating a variety of organic beans into your healthy diet!
Tomatoes are considered a healthy food because they contain a pigment called lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from harmful factors. Existing research also indicates that tomatoes have probiotic properties , meaning they can increase the activity in the gut of healthy bacteria. Cooking tomatoes in a sauce can, through the digestive process, help preserve the integrity of this antioxidant, allowing more of it to be absorbed.
Tomato sauce is not just a tasty addition to your meal, it is also a great addition to a healthy diet. So make sure to add this pantry staple ASAP!
Rice is an excellent source of food, low in fat and high in carbohydrates that are starchy. Rice is filled with vitamins and minerals and provides an excellent source of vitamin E, potassium, and B vitamins (thiamin, niacin). Brown rice, widely believed to be the healthiest rice choice, retains the grain's outer layer, known as the bran. However, white rice provides the advantage of low-GI pain for those with diabetes.
There’s a variety of rice options, including brown, white, and jasmine rice that can provide essential nutrients as well as a filling based for many meals.
Dark chocolate is filled with nutrients that can improve your wellbeing significantly. Made from cocoa tree seeds, it is one of the planet 's strongest sources of antioxidants. Studies show that dark chocolate can boost your health and lower the risk of heart disease (not the sugary stuff). A good amount of soluble fiber is found in high-quality dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa content) and is filled with minerals.
The recommended "dose" is, experts suggest, around 1 to 2 ounces or 30-60 g. However, indulge in something more than that, and you might be eating too many chocolate calories.
There are many whey protein powders out there that serve as alternatives for meal replacement to keep you full while still supporting your health, but protein powders based on plants naturally leave you feeling full while keeping you leaner and healthier. Plant-based powders help keep your gut safe and are perfect for regulating your body from the inside-out, specifically Pumpkin Protein Powders.
Plant-based proteins tend to be deficient in some some amino acids, so make sure to look for complete protein content when searching for your protein pantry staple.