Tuesday, July 16

Top 5 Staples for a Week of Easy and Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is made easy if you have these staple foods on hand!

Nutritionists and dieticians rave about meal planning. But it can be hard to do this, especially if you do not know the staples of healthy eating!

In reality, meal prep is harder than it seems, and there are myriad recipes out there.

Not to mention, the bigger your family, the harder it can be to pre-plan and pre-make healthy meals. But this does not mean that you should have a hard time making healthy meals.

The issue can be easily solved if you have a couple of healthy staple foods in your home. That way, you have the building blocks, and all you need to do is get a bit creative in the kitchen and use them up!

If you want to see which are the best staple foods to have around in your kitchen and pantry, make sure that you stay with us in this article! We’ll share the items, their health benefits, and some prep suggestions to make your life easier!

Do you meal prep? How do you go about it? Which are your to-go items? Share your answer with your fellow health lovers in the comments!

Image By Anna Puzatykh From Shutterstock

Whole wheat spaghetti

While many would be quick to discredit pasta, if you go for the whole wheat kind, you can easily enjoy this delicious food without having to worry too much about it.

Not to mention, the whole wheat in the noodles brings another depth of flavor that we all need in our lives!

There are a lot of health benefits to going for whole wheat pastries instead of the normal ones, including the fact that they are higher in fiber than the normal type.

Fiber will help with digestion and help you maintain your weight, all while also aiding in the reduction of cholesterol.

Pasta is a pantry staple, no matter how you look at it. Keeping a pack or two of whole-wheat pasta will help you be able to assemble a quick dinner in as little as half an hour.

Whether you go down the route of making a red sauce with tomatoes and basil or you choose to make it with jarred or homemade pesto with fresh arugula and cannellini beans, you can make healthy dishes with them easily!

Spaghetti is thin yet delicious noodles, and they go with about any sauce you may dream of! So experiment away!

Chicken breast

Yes, we know some of you may be done with chicken breast, but we cannot deny that it is the best protein. It is fairly affordable, and it is a high-quality, complete protein choice that is also extremely versatile.
Not to mention, poultry like chicken breast helps you build muscle, promotes wound healing, and even aids your immune system!

Now, when it comes to what you can use it for, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Be it for stir-fries, rice dishes, pasta, sandwiches, and casseroles, to name a few, you can use chicken breast in a ton of ways and still have left-over dishes and recipes to try.

Keeping a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts around in the fridge or freezer is the easiest way to add protein to your meals and is also easy to build around them.

You can even go down the easy route of adding a whole grain and a vegetable, and you are set for a quick and easy dinner!

One thing to never forget is to season your meat!

Keep spices around and make sure you condiment your chicken well for a boost in flavor and health; the likes of oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika, and basil should never miss from your pantry.

Image By NIKCOA From Shutterstock

Grape tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes are never missing from my staple food stash, especially grape tomatoes. When I can, I grab a variety of tomatoes from the farmer’s market, but when I am in a rush, getting grape tomatoes from the supermarket works just as well.

These small tomatoes are the perfect staple since they are versatile and healthy, being more well-rounded than you expect.

Lycopene is one of the best antioxidants known to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Not to mention, they are full of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamins C and K, and potassium, just to name a couple.

Having them on hand means that you can add them to pizzas, pasta, and salads in a matter of minutes for an added layer of flavor and health. Not to mention, you can easily transform savory dishes with the addition of a small grape tomato!

And they work great as a side, just tossed with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano! Give it a try next time you need a little something on the side, and thank us later!

Quick-cooking oats

If you are looking for a quick breakfast, then you need to have the staple of breakfast: quick-cooking oats! They may seem to be overhyped, but they have definitely earned their title of superfood over the years!

They are soluble fiber, which we already know how important that is, and studies have shown it is linked to reduced cholesterol. Oats also contain beta-glucan, which is a blood sugar stabilizer.

There are many health benefits for oats, and another one you need to keep in mind is that they are whole wheat and they are great at lowering the risk of colorectal cancer.

Otherwise, keeping your pantry stocked with this healthy food is a must. You can make so many variations of a healthy breakfast, be it that you make a quick 2-minute oat bowl with fruits and your choice of accompaniments or that you use them in other foods.

People have been experimenting with the likes of muffin oats, so there must be recipes out there.

No two breakfasts will be the same, and they are easy to make too!

Image By Karel Pesorna Form Shutterstock

Red lentils

Last but not least are red lentils. This grain has been used by other cultures for years as an important staple in their cuisine, and it is time that we use it more in our meals here in the United States as well!

Red lentils are part of the pulse family, and they come with a myriad of health benefits. They have both antioxidants and fivers, which make them the best friends for heart health. If you have been looking for a way to add more protein to your diet without eating more meat, then give them a chance!

A cup of dry red lentils contains 46 grams of protein, and you can make a lot of staple foods with that!

The boiling time for red lentils is midway, so you can expect them to take about 20 to 25 minutes. And while you can choose any color of lentils (since they also come in yellow, black, brown, and green), the red ones are perfect for stews and curries due to their earthy and milky flavor, which is slightly sweeter!

You can make a daal easily with them, which will also include tomatoes, spices, and onions, along with other aromatics and spices. You can customize this Indian dish to fit your preferences, and it can be a quick and healthy dinner on the table with minimum effort!

Not to mention, you can make a lot of soups with them and they are great additions to vegetable cream soups too!

If you are new to using lentils, make sure you get the organic variety, as they are better for your health. Since not everyone has access to organic stores, we’ll let you in on a secret. This one is the best choice you can get online, and it is affordable and delicious!

What you eat is important, no matter if you end up meal planning or not. And some foods are better for you than others! If you want to make sure you lower your chances of developing chronic diseases to the best of your ability, check out this article: 5 High-Fat Foods That Might Lower Your Risk of Chronic Diseases.

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