Being “healthy” is a relative term, wouldn’t you say? We sure would. According to a survey, about 75 percent of Americans claim to eat healthy. What’s the problem with that? Nothing, if there weren’t also statistics stating that 80 percent of Americans are also obese. Are you now convinced?
There are probably lots of different things that have resulted in these contradictory findings—what people personally consider “overweight” to be, the ever-going debate between if a meat-eating, vegetarian or vegan diet is best and how so-called healthy foods are prepared, for starters. But we think if there’s one thing that all of us can agree on, it’s that we can never be too proactive or intentional about having the kind of diet that results in us having a healthy mind, body and spirit.
That being said, do us a favor. Before you make your next weekly grocery store run, check our list of 10 things our research has revealed needs to be in everyone’s pantry and fridge. Does your personal list reflect any, some or all of these healthy items?
Eggs contain protein and that’s something we all need. But when it comes to figuring out which ones are the healthiest—goodness! There are literally dozens of differing opinions. From the research that we did, your best bet is to get some pastured eggs from a local farmer (like one who sells his food at your local farmer’s market) because the chickens live in the open outdoors, away from chemicals and stuff like cow dung.
Your second best bet is probably omega-3 eggs because omega-3 is a fatty acid that does everything from fight depression and reduce heart disease to improve eye health and strengthen the brain. The egg that comes in third? Organic ones. The may not offer the absolute most, nutrition-wise, but they contain no antibiotics, so it’s still a win.
Organic Lean Cut Meat
For the same reasons that organic eggs are a good idea, so is organic meat. Just make sure that it’s as lean as possible so that you’ll get less fat and more nutrients. Some of the best meats to be on the lookout for are lean chicken, turkey and ground beef.
Ever since we were kids, we’ve known that we need to eat fresh fruits and veggies on a regular basis. In order to do that, it’s best to avoid canned (processed) items and go with food that’s in your produce section instead. Please make sure you pick what’s in season. It’s also a good idea to become friends with the manager over that particular department. That way, you can find out what day the freshest produce is put out and also what days things are marked down the most too.
If you have a big family, you already know that buying highly-perishable items is oftentimes expensive; plus, if you don’t use them quickly, they can go bad and that’s a waste of money. As far as fruit goes, fresh fruit should be the top priority, but it doesn’t hurt to have some dried fruit in your pantry too. It’s loaded with fiber and antioxidants and, on average, has the shelf life of about six months. As far as which ones are best, dates, apricots, mangoes,raisins and cranberries top the list.
There’s no time to get into all of the reasons to switch out from cow’s milk. For now, let’s just leave it at the fact that humans are the only mammals that 1) drink another mammal’s milk and 2) do it even past being a baby’s age. Oh, it also should go on record that the same antibiotics that are in red meat are in cow’s milk, plus it’s actually a myth that you can get a good dose of calcium from it.
That said, we recommend going with an alternative like almond milk. It’s low in calories, a great source of vitamins A and D and it also is lactose-free. Just make sure to get the kind that is fortified; otherwise, you won’t get as much protein as you would probably like. (Some other cool substitutes are coconut milk, rice milk and cashew milk.)
As far as water goes, it’s probably best to put a filter on your kitchen’s faucet. But if you’d prefer to purchase water, get spring water. It comes from uncontaminated springs so that you’re able to get all of the minerals that comes from water without the bacteria and debris. Plus, unlike distilled water (that basically removes everything in its purification process), spring water tastes fresh rather than flat.
If all-things-fresh-and-original is what you’re after, you definitely don’t want to eat anything that’s genetically-modified. What that basically means is when it comes to food plants, scientists decided to remove one or more genes from the DNA of some other food and then insert it into these plants.
There are all sorts of problems with this, but one of the main ones is scientists oftentimes don’t know if they made a “good” match or not. As a result, that can create a variety of toxins and allergens in the food. That’s why, when it comes to anything you eat, you should go with the “non-GMO label”. We listed condiments here because that is oftentimes used—and overlooked, health-wise—the most.
If you want a little sugar in your house but you want it to be as healthy as possible, pick up some vegan sugar. What in the world is that? Long story short, sugar comes from two main sources—sugar cane or sugar beets. Vegan sugar comes from sugar beets and since it’s not processed with bone char, that makes it acceptable to vegetarians and vegans alike. As far as the best alternatives to sugar altogether, molasses and honey certainly top the list.
Looking for some vegan cooking ideas? We have great recipe just for you! Go check it out!
Breads and pasta are the kinds of foods that should definitely be consumed in moderation simply because they are carbs. But that doesn’t mean you have to go without them completely. The key is to buy the kind that are made with whole grains. Why? Whole grains are packed with protein, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants. Some of our favorite whole grains include brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain popcorn.
Cranberry and Tart Cherry Juice
Men’s bodies are made up of about 60 percent water; due to women’s extra fatty tissue, they are made up of around 55 percent. Because of this, the more water we consume, the better (even if it’s have sparkling or seltzer water and half juice). But if you want some juice in your fridge, cranberry and cherry juice are great ones to have.
Cranberry juice contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals, improve digestion, keep UTIs at bay, prevent infection and even assist with menopausal health. Tart cherry juice strengthens immunity and muscles, promotes brain health, reduces blood pressure and, thanks to the melatonin that’s in it, cherry juice helps you to sleep better too. Just make sure that with both, you get actual juice and not cocktail; that way, you’ll get more nutrients and less sugar.
Happy (grocery) shopping!