10 Pantry Staples You Must Have if You Want to be Healthy

If you have the right items in your pantry, it’s much easier to put together a healthy meal at home and you’ll be less tempted to turn to an unhealthy snack. While fresh ingredients are a must have for a nutritious diet, make sure to stock your pantry with the following ten staples to help ensure you create healthy food.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is an important part of any healthy diet. It’s a staple in the Mediterranean diet as well as an anti-inflammatory diet. The oil is comprised mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are considered a healthy dietary fat. These fats have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower total cholesterol levels while normalizing blood clotting and regulating blood sugar.

Olive oil shouldn’t be used for cooking (particularly not high temperature cooking), but it can be drizzled onto a salad or added to foods after they are cooked to enhance the flavor. Always choose organic, cold-pressed extra virgin oil and toss out high omega-6 oils like vegetable oil made from soybeans, corn or cotton seed.

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

As olive oil isn’t the best for cooking, which oil can be used? Coconut oil is the best. It was unfairly demonized in the past, but it’s one of the richest sources of healthy saturated fat. Populations who eat a large percentage of calories from coconuts are known to be much healthier than those in other countries.

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that are resistant to high heat and can easily turn into ketone bodies in the liver. The ketone bodies provide energy for the brain and can be used to improve a wide variety of health issues.

Plus, coconut oil has many other uses in addition to cooking. It can be used as a moisturizer, as an ingredient in homemade toothpaste and deodorant, a detoxifier and much more.

Raw Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds make a great snack that can satisfy hunger and keep you feeling fuller longer. Stock up on walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews as well as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or even hemp seeds – any type of nuts and seeds you enjoy should be a staple in your pantry. They offer a host of health benefits and can help burn stubborn belly fat as well, stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is a staple for anyone who wants to avoid gluten, and there are multiple reasons that most people should. It can be used to replace standard refined or wheat flours in many baking recipes. Coconut flour can also be a great substitute for regular flour.


Lentils are a Mediterranean favorite that are high in protein and contain about 17 grams of fiber per cup. They can be used in soups, served warm as a side dish or tossed with olive oil, garlic and lemon to make a classic and healthy Greek salad.

Organic Coconut Milk

Organic coconut milk is a great vegan-friendly substitute for traditional milk. It is high in plant-based energy-burning, short-chained fatty acids and also contains antiviral and antibacterial properties. The saturated fat it contains is good for you and will also help to increase satiety. Add it to your morning coffee or use it in a smoothie.

Dried Herbs and Spices

Every pantry should be stocked with plenty of herbs and spices. Not only do they add lots of flavor to a dish, most help to protect against chronic illness and a variety of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Seasonings like cinnamon, often lead lists of commonly eaten foods with the highest levels of measured antioxidant activity.

Be sure you have plenty of oregano, basil, parsley, cayenne, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, mustard powder, cardamom, coriander, cilantro, and turmeric.


Quinoa is often referred to as a whole grain, but it’s actually a seed. It contains the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition and it has a delicious nutty taste. Use it in place of oatmeal or rice, mix it into baked goods or casseroles – quinoa is extremely versatile and filling too.

Herbal Teas

Herbal tea is an excellent replacement for sugary drinks and it can also offer a solution to a number of ailments. There are teas that can help ease insomnia, digestive problems, anxiety, headaches, low energy, and even a common cold or the flu.

Stock up on all different types, such as peppermint and ginger which can aid stomach upset, chamomile to help ward off insomnia and Echinacea which can shorten the duration of a cold or flu. Green tea contains lots of antioxidants that help to provide energy and strengthen the immune system.

pantryCanned Organic Vegetables

Canned organic veggies (homegrown is best) can be an important staple, especially in the winter when there aren’t as many fresh vegetables available. If you have to purchase veggies, choose those packaged in non-BPA lined cans. Canned organic vegetables are extremely useful in preparing quick meals and bulking up recipes to make them more nutritious.

Do you have all of these pantry staples? If not, you might want to bring this list of essentials on your next trip to the grocery store.

-The Alternative Daily

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