Cooking With Pantry Staples: A List of Nutritious Foods to Include in Your Healthy Diet by 30Seconds Health
Today, more than ever, it’s important for adults, children and seniors to focus on healthy eating and healthy habits. To provide simple, tasty and nutritious mealtime ideas, The Peanut Institute has curated a collection of recipes that include a number of pantry staples.
Nutrition scientist Dr. Samara Sterling recommends building meals around foods that help support a strong immune system. “Whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense so finding ways to integrate them into a daily diet is important,” says Sterling. “They are also versatile ingredients that can be used in a variety of recipes or to round out a meal.”
Foods to Stock Your Pantry With
To boost whole grain consumption, Sterling suggests whole grain breads and pastas, as well as oats. “Oats are a good source of fiber and protein. Plus, they are rich in thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium and iron,” says Sterling. “They’re a wholesome ingredient for an oatmeal breakfast or can be used as the base for a healthy granola mix. To up your nutrient intake even more, add peanuts and dried fruit to the mix.”
Peanuts and peanut butter are another nutritional staple since they’re packed with nutrients and can be incorporated into either sweet or savory dishes. Peanuts are known as a superfood because they deliver significant nutritional value in a small amount. Just one serving packs 7 grams of protein, 19 vitamins and minerals, fiber and heart-healthy fats. One serving of peanuts is an ounce or approximately 35 peanuts and a serving of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons.
Dried or canned beans, such as lentils, chickpeas or kidney beans, also deliver protein and fiber. Plus, since peanuts and beans are high in fiber and protein and low in fat, they’re a healthy substitute for meat. They can be made into a hearty and filling side dish, salad or soup to create a meal that’s full of protein and fiber, which will help you feel full longer and avoid the urge to snack.
While intentional, healthy snacking is fine, Sterling warns against the unhealthy habit of mindless eating. “When reaching for something in between meals, think about the motivation for eating,” says Sterling. “Is having a snack in response to hunger? Or, is it related to stress, anxiety or boredom? Pausing for a moment before snacking is a good way to evaluate whether it’s actually your body that’s looking for something to eat or if it’s your emotions that are driving your urge.”
Back to Basics
Fruits and vegetables are another key ingredient for optimal health, and it’s important to remember they’re available fresh, frozen and canned.
Sterling says it’s vital to eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to get a mix of different nutrients. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients a body needs. “A smoothie for breakfast is a great way to fit a serving, or more, of fruits or vegetables into the day."
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