Great kitchen Ingredients Everyone Must Have
Food is only as nutritious as the contents in it. Ingredients make a big difference when it comes to the health benefits provided by any meal. For this reason, it is recommended to make a set of healthy ingredients a permanent part of your kitchen, this will make it much easier to incorporate them into your present meal.
The Right Ingredients
Picking the right foods and ingredients for this can be challenging, however, since not everyone is fond of the taste of some healthier food options. To make things easier, start by substituting ingredients that already are part of your kitchen for healthier options. This will still permit you to cook some of your traditional dishes but with healthier ingredients.
Coconut and olive oil are good sources of healthy fats. Substituting-in these choices to replace other cooking oils is a good start. Coconut and olive oils are not only healthy, but they are flexible in the kitchen and result in delicious meals.
Both of these oils have shown to reduce blood pressure and atherosclerosis, some of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has shown to help with urinary tract infections and promotes kidney health. Coconut oil consumption has also been associated with raising levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) in the blood, this is what we refer to as “the good cholesterol.”
- Olive Oil: Olive oil, on the other hand, helps to reduce levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the bad cholesterol and has an inhibiting effect on inflammation. The powerful antioxidant oleocanthal in olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties similar to that of ibuprofen.
On a culinary note, both of these oils are extremely flexible in the kitchen. Coconut oil is great for making desserts and spreads, and can even be used in a stir-fry.
Olive oil is also good for cooking, but because it has a lower heat capacity compared to coconut oil, it is more likely to smoke and start browning at lower temperatures. Use olive oil for salad dressings or with bread!
Season your Life
Garlic and nutritional yeast are good for giving food flavor and are great additions to any kitchen.
- Garlic: Garlic has been found to contain a high level of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. It is also known to significantly reduce the number of days that one is sick as a result of common colds, due to the allicin found in garlic.
- Nutritional yeast: This seasoning is rich in B vitamins, which play a role in energy harvesting reactions in the body. It contains a high level of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12. Vitamin B12 has been found to play a major role in nerve health.
But the health benefits of both these condiments are just a plus to their great taste. Garlic is a major source of flavor in many styles of cooking, including Italian, Mexican, and Japanese (teriyaki!).
Nutritional yeast holds most of its culinary value in its flavor flexibility, it is a great addition to grilled meats and veggies as well as a great topping for snacks like kale chips, popcorn, and even salads!
Feel the Berry!
Lastly, be sure to make different kinds of berries part of the kitchen. They are very high in antioxidants and vitamin C on top of being delicious. There is truth to the common saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Having a daily vitamin C intake is associated better immune function and reduced illness in individuals. Vitamin C is necessary for the proper function of t-cells and phagocytes in the immune system.
The antioxidant content of berries is where most of their medicinal value kicks in. Antioxidants play a major role in the reduction of inflammation. Inflammation is often the cause of circulation problems and is a big part of the development of cancer. Berries work well as desserts and toppings, and also provide a good amount of filling fiber.
Hesitant to purchase items you may not think you will eat? Start with one suggestion at a time and see how you utilize it. Try some of our recipes on the Santa Cruz CORE blog, or follow our Pinterest page to see how we recommend utilizing these key ingredients!