Having the forethought to stock your pantry with nutritious foods is one of the best things things that you can do to aid your healthy eating efforts. It goes without saying that if you do not have junk food in the house that you will be unable to consume it! So throw out the foods that you know are causing you harm and fill your cupboards with delicious plant-based alternatives instead!
The key here is variety as monotony with your eating habits can soon lead to you reverting to old, unhealthy habits. To help inspire you to bring goodness into your pantry, and therefore into your body, I am going to show you what’s in my pantry!
My favourite legumes to stock are chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, kidney beans and pinto beans.
Legumes are all generally great sources of protein, fibre, calcium, zinc and iron. They also contain a range of additional nutrients that are known to be beneficial to your health.
My favourite whole grains to stock are brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat and oats.
Eating whole grains instead of refined grains provides your body with much greater health benefits because whole grains have a much more complete nutritional profile. Whole grains can help to lower your risk of developing many chronic diseases as well as reducing inflammation and helping to regulate blood pressure. They are also useful when it comes to weight management and tackling obesity.
My favourite flours to stock are buckwheat flour, coconut flour and quinoa flour.
Buckwheat flour is high in fibre and protein as well as many essential vitamins and minerals. Coconut flour is also high in fibre and protein as well as a type of healthy fats known as medium-chain triglycerides. This type of fat is easily digestible and provides instant energy. Quinoa flour has an exceptionally healthy nutritional profile. It is a great source of many essential vitamins and nutrients as well as also being high in fibre and protein.
All of these flours are suitable for people seeking gluten free alternatives to normal flour.
My favourite oils to stock are extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil is bursting with antioxidants that are especially useful for preserving the health of your heart. You should always choose this type of olive oil over other varieties because it is manufactured using natural methods instead of chemical extraction. Coconut oil is a must-have and is great for using topically on your body as well as for cooking your food. Avocado oil allows you to enjoy all the health benefits of avocados in oil form. Avocado oil is similar in taste and texture to olive oil and should be used in the same way.
My favourite nuts to stock are almonds, pine nuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts and walnuts.
Raw, unsalted nuts are packed full of heart healthy fats as well protein, vitamins and minerals. Keep a variety in your pantry that you can snack on in moderate amounts throughout the day.
My favourite seeds to stock are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Seeds are fantastic because they are powerhouses of nutrition that you can sprinkle on practically any dish. Do not underestimate their many health benefits because of their small size!
My favourite natural sweeteners to stock are maple syrup and raw honey.
Maple syrup is a great source of manganese and zinc, which are essential for energy production and the function of the immune system respectively. Raw honey is incredibly rich in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as being a great natural defence against allergies.
Berries / Dried Fruit
My favourite berries and dried fruits to stock are goji berries, dried cranberries, raisins and dates.
Berries and dried fruits are great for adding to your breakfast cereal, including in baking or just snacking on throughout the day.
My other favourite foods to stock in my pantry are cacao, spirulina, bee pollen, almond butter and tinned coconut milk.
words by Julie Montagu