Eating healthy might be easy on a weekend when you have all the time in the world to cook a meal, but on busy workdays? Not so much. When you come back home in the evening completely exhausted, you’re more likely to reach out for a frozen pizza than to chop up vegetables. But healthy eating doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair each time. Having just a few staples in your kitchen at all times will help you whip up a healthy meal in no time. Make sure you always have these items on your grocery list if you want to eat healthier.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil drizzled over anything can immediately elevate the dish. It is also packed with monounsaturated fats which are good for your heart and your waistline. Olive oil can get very expensive, but don’t feel like you need to buy the costliest brand on the shelf. At the same time, you shouldn’t get the cheapest brand either because it’s very likely to have been adulterated. Instead, find a mid-range option from a reputable brand and make sure you never run out of it.
2. Bags Of Greens
Greens are not just healthy, they’re also extremely versatile. Keep a bag of greens stocked in your kitchen and you can add some to a salad, to your eggs or even steam them with a bit of salt and pepper. If you tend to come home late, make sure you get the kind that’s been washed, plucked and sold in a packet. This way you can just toss a handful of them in whatever you’re eating with minimal fuss.
3. Whole Grain
You can choose from a wide range of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and millet. Whole grains are great carb options because they have a low glycemic index and are high in fiber. They can also bulk up any meal and keep you feeling satiated. Whole grains do take longer to cook than other carbs, so make a batch to keep in advance or find quick-cooking variants of them.
4. Canned Beans
Canned beans take no time at all to cook and are nutritional powerhouses. Beans like chickpeas, kidney beans and black-eyed peas are excellent sources of protein, fiber and antioxidants. You can get them dried too, but dried beans need to soak in water for a while and take much longer to cook. Canned beans can be added to almost any recipe for additional nutrition, or can just be tossed with some onions and spices.
5. Lemons Or Limes
Lemons and limes have the magical quality of bringing almost any food to life. If you use frozen vegetables a lot, a dash of lemon juice could make them taste fresh and zingy again. They also form the base for a delicious salad dressing that you can make in a few seconds. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil along with salt and pepper and you’ll never have a bland salad again.
6. Fresh Herbs
Dried herbs make for great seasoning, but fresh herbs have more nutrition and bring freshness to any dish. Make sure you always have a bunch of cilantro and parsley in your fridge, so you can garnish all your dishes with them. For such tiny leaves, these herbs pack an impressive nutritional punch. They also instantly make any dish more visually appealing, so you’ll look forward to eating it more.
7. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is the perfect food for when you need a quick, healthy breakfast or snack. Always buy at least two kinds of fresh fruit a week and try rotating them to get the most benefits. Don’t try to substitute them with fruit juices because you’ll be missing out on all that wonderful fiber and spiking your blood sugar. Dried fruit isn’t a great idea either because the sugar in it is much more concentrated.