Experts routinely investigate different types of ingredients to see if they’re still good for us. Something that was considered bad for us in the 70s has become a must-have in the kitchen now. Then there are the ingredients that are good for you put tend to be ridiculed—or those eating them are ridiculed because of the costs.
It’s time to look at foods that aren’t just good for you but will also keep your bank balance in check. After all, with a healthy bank balance, you’ll experience less stress. So here are the seven foods you need to stock up on for a healthier you.
Get Stocks of Broth from the Store (or Make Your Own)
Whether it’s beef, chicken or even vegetable, you want to stock up on the broth in your kitchen cupboards. You can even make your own from the bones of the meat you cook, which will help to keep the costs down even more in your shopping budget.
The major benefit of stock is that it lasts for weeks when open. When sealed, it will last for months. You can bulk buy while it’s on offer and benefit hugely from it.
Then there’s the benefit that it’s so inexpensive. Even the low sodium options are affordable for all, meaning that you get to look after your physical and your financial health. You can easily get the cheap options in the store, and they taste as good as the branded types.
The broth is also extremely easy to use. It’s perfect for soups, stews, casseroles, and more. You can even make it as a warm drink in the middle of the winter if you need. In fact, you can pick up grains or jarred broth that you add hot water to if you do want to make a drink to keep you feeling better throughout the winter months.
Chicken and beef broth tend to be the best for protein benefits. You can get as much as 5g of protein in a serving of broth. If you get vegetable, you can lose out on the protein, but there is fiber. You’ll only consume around 38 calories in a serving of broth too, making it the perfect diet option.
Get Turkey or Chicken Mince for Your Dishes
Rather than stocking up on the beef and pork mince, look out for the turkey or chicken. This is slightly more expensive, but not by that much. You’ll also benefit in your health so much more than if you opted for the ground beef. Even if you opt for lean ground beef, you’ll find the chicken and turkey are better options when it comes to saturated fat.
Turkey and chicken mince can be used in the same way as beef. You can make all types of dishes, including tacos, meat sauces, rice bowls, and even stuffed peppers. You can also opt for your chicken or turkey burgers, mixing in a bunch of herbs and spices (look out for these next).
By reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet, you naturally improve the health. You’ll reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and artery-clogging problems, helping to keep the blood flowing through the body and boosting the heart health. Blogged arteries increase your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and stroke.
At the same time, you make more use of the protein in the food. It’s easier for your body to digest the protein without the saturated fats, so you absorb more, and the body uses it to build the muscles.
When you do buy ground chicken and turkey, buy in bulk and freeze into separate portions. You can use cling film or ziplock bags for this. By freezing in portions, you only defrost the amount you need, so you don’t waste meat. If you do want to defrost extra portions to bulk make your food that is always a possibility.
Plenty of Herbs and Spices Will Do the Trick
Nothing tastes worse than bland food. Well, okay, go off food and really bad food tastes worse, but nothing’s as boring and off-putting as bland food. You don’t enjoy your meal, and that leads to never wanting to try it again. If this is your first step into healthy eating, you can start to rethink your options.
Well, it’s time to make anything taste amazing. Herbs and spices are the things you want to consider adding to your cupboard as a staple. Fresh herbs and spices are good, but dried are great for the long-term use. The fresh options are great when you know you’re going to use them on a night or when you want to add them to your water for a better taste.
There are certain herbs and spices that you’ll likely want to add, to begin with. Rosemary is excellent with chicken and turkey, while sage is popular with some meat dishes and stuffing. You can opt for curry powder and chili flakes for your curries and chilies, and don’t forget the tarragon to add a little extra to your roast potatoes.
You can use herbs and spices in all sorts of ways. Don’t rely on them for your main dishes!
Why are they so good for your health, though? Well, they add flavor without the nasty stuff. You have no added salts, sugars, and oils. Of course, buying dried, you’ll want to make sure the manufacturers haven’t added anything to them. They’re also packed with other health benefits. Turmeric is good for curing illnesses and boosting the immune system (as well as cleaning the teeth), while mint can help to boost your alertness and cognitive functions.
Once you know the types of herbs and spices that are delicious, you can start growing some. That will cut down on the money you spend in the store, and they’re great even for the apartment!
Stock Up on the Eggs
Eggs were once demonized for being the worst thing for your diet. They are full of cholesterol, and that was instantly viewed as a bad thing. Then we started to understand more about cholesterol and realized there were good and bad forms. The type of cholesterol eggs have is the good stuff, so you want to add them to your diet.
The good cholesterol helps to reduce some of the artery-clogging that can happen in the diet. Your arteries will be lined with a smooth, protective layer of the good cholesterol chains, helping the blood to flow through the body better. It’s easier to get the blood to all the organs, improving the overall health and keeping the blood pressure to a minimum.
Protein is another important food group that you find in eggs. This offers the same benefit at the protein from meat. You’ll boost your muscle health, as well as the health of all the tissues in the body.
Of course, you can still get too much of a good thing. You don’t need more than 2-3 eggs a day. If you opt for egg whites only, you get the protein without the cholesterol, offering even more benefits from eggs!
However, you want to stock up on them. They will last for at least two weeks, especially kept in the fridge.
You can also make a wide variety of dishes with them. Omelets, quiches, frittatas and even scrambled eggs are all popular when you’re in a rush for all meals. You can also make hard boiled eggs to use in your salads or thicken your stir-fries with some scrambled eggs.
Add Popcorn Kernels to Your Shopping List
This will likely be one of those items that you buy every month or two because the kernels will last. Quite honestly, popcorn is the best snack or dessert you could have. It’s virtually calorie-less.
But why is it so bad for you in the movie theaters? Well, that’s linked to the toppings that are put on them. The actual popcorn is just air, but it’s filling the air. When you eat a bag of popcorn, you’ll barely want anything else afterward. So, if you get the munchies on a night, topping up on popcorn is a good idea.
You don’t have to put up with tasteless popcorn. This is where your herbs and spices will come into play. You can add them to the popped kernels and mix them around. Try some rosemary and thyme or opt for a bit of sage or garlic powder. The savory tastes will help to keep the sweet cravings to a minimum, and you’ll enjoy the snack, especially knowing that it’s good for you.
Coconut or almond oil tend to be good options if you like more buttery-style popcorn. They are unsaturated options, so will help to improve your health.
Of course, because you’re eating popcorn, you’ll also trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating something naughty for you. But you know that you’re eating good food, so you’ll not feel guilty but will get rid of the cravings for other food.
Make a Note of Avocados
Put Avocados on your shopping list. This is one of those ingredients that millennials are told is a stereotypical, money-wasting purchase, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Okay, so they may be more popular with millennials, but that is linked to the health benefits that you gain from them.
At one point, avocados were viewed as an unhealthy option to add to your diet. After all, they’re full of fat. The difference is the type of fat, as experts now realize that unsaturated fats are good for you. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which will help to boost the health of the brain and joints while reducing inflammation and supporting the health of the liver. They’re the most popular additions to the keto diet.
You will also get plenty of other nutrients from avocados. They’re packed with vitamins A, C, and E, helping to support the immune system, skin health, and much more. The B vitamins in the fruits (they’re technically a fruit because of the stone) are helpful to boost the brain function.
Then there’s the fiber, and this is partially why they’re so good for weight loss. You feel fuller much quicker when you eat a dish with avocados. The fiber breaks down slowly, so you don’t eat too much, and you won’t feel the need to eat afterward.
Avocados will last in the cupboard or the fridge and can be used in a variety of ways. This is one of the best ways to start your day with plenty of healthy fats and fiber. Add them to your smoothies or mash and place on toast. You can also chop up for lunch to serve with a salad, add them to meat sauces, or just eat as a snack.
This is going to be the most expensive item on the list, but it’s also one of the most valuable for your health.
Opt for a Whole Grain or Two
Whole grains are must-haves in your kitchen. They are perfect for your pasta, rice, and oriental dishes. Think about stir-fries, curries, risottos and more.
You likely use white rice and pasta right now, but it’s not the best option for you. While not as bad as white bread, the white versions of pasta and rice will cause the blood sugar levels to increase. When you opt for brown versions or whole grains like quinoa, you end up with more fiber in the dish. The fiber will help to reduce the chance of the carbohydrates sugaring quickly in the body.
Quinoa is certainly a whole grain you want to investigate. This is a complete protein, offering you the nine amino acids your body needs. Only quinoa and soy offer this outside of animal products. If you’re planning on following a vegan or vegetarian diet, add it to your shopping list.
Whole grains are cost effective. They don’t go off, so you can store in airtight containers and keep them in the cupboard until you need them. If you use them regularly, you’ll find you need to top up on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. This is a great way to keep your food budget to a minimum, without feeling like you’re going hungry.
Make Up Your Shopping List Today
Now is the time to put your shopping list together. You want to check on your stock of the above seven foods. They are all good for your overall health and your wallet. By stocking up on them each week, month, or half a year (depending on the item and use), you’ll feel more confident, support your brain and body, and lose weight. What more could you ask for?