Around here we keep our pantries stocked with nutritious staples, since there are always times in which you just can't get to the store, or when you need to stretch your budget. We've made a quick list of items to keep on hand in case you need to save the day at mealtime.
Legumes provide a major source of soluble fiber, which, when passing through the digestive tract grabs and traps bile that contains cholesterol, removing it from the body before it’s absorbed. Soluble fiber found in beans may aid in insulin sensitivity and may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels.Other than fiber, beans are also high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Good for side items, in soups, and for quick dips. An added bonus… beans are a frugal choice when you don’t have enough month left at the end of the money!
This whole grain contains high amounts of insoluble fiber, the type of fiber some scientists believe may help protect against a variety of cancers. Use in place of white rice.
- Calories: 216
- Carbs: 44 grams
- Fiber: 3.5 grams
- Fat: 1.8 grams
- Protein: 5 grams
- Thiamin (B1): 12% of the RDI
- Niacin (B3): 15% of the RDI
- Pyridoxine (B6): 14% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 6% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 21% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 16% of the RDI
- Zinc: 8% of the RDI
- Copper: 10% of the RDI
- Manganese: 88% of the RDI
- Selenium: 27% of the RDI
In this study, 40 overweight women who ate 2/3 cup (150 grams) of brown rice per day for six weeks had notable reductions in body weight and waist circumference compared to women who ate the same amount of white rice. 
Additionally, the women who ate brown rice experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure and C-reactive protein (CRP) a marker of inflammation in the body.
Whether the fruit is dried in the sun or through a hot-air treatment indoors, it retains iron, potassium and other minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Use in place of extra sugar in breads and muffins and cereal. Make some home-made trail mix, or 3-ingredient energy bars to keep kids from becoming hungry.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions contain powerful antioxidants and cancer-attacking agents and also act as a natural antibiotic and natural anti-fungal. They add a lot of flavor to almost any dish as well as health benefits.
Nuts are good sources of dietary fiber, magnesium, copper, folic acid, vegetable protein, potassium, and vitamin E, all of which have been shown to be important for heart health. Nuts are also rich in "good" omega fats. Add to salad and pasta dishes for extra protein or just eat a handful as a snack.
This monounsaturated oil contains polyphenols, tocopherols, antioxidants and Vitamins A, B, E and K. Numerous studies have focused on the promising role olive oil plays in maintaining a healthy diet and reducing the risk of heart disease. Olive oil has been suggested to decrease age-related mental decline and helps rheumatoid arthritis. Can be used in place of vegetable oil or margarine.
Oats can help to lower LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) blood cholesterol levels. Though most of its cholesterol-lowering power comes from the soluble fiber beta-glucan, recent research suggests that other components of oats— such as natural antioxidants—may also contribute to heart health. Great for breakfast and as a thickener for soups.Simple, every day choices can really have a positive impact on health. With a little planning, healthy eating can be a natural part of your routine.
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 Kazemzadeh M., Safavi S.M., Nematollahi S., Nourieh Z. Effect of brown rice consumption on inflammatory marker and cardiovascular risk factors among overweight and obese non-menopausal female adults. Int. J. Prev. Med. 2014;5:478–488.
What is missing from this list? Comment below!
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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.