Consumption of whole grains has been associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and stomach and colon cancer. Additionally, whole grains are believed to be nutritionally superior to refined grains, richer in dietary fiber, antioxidants, protein (and in particular the amino acid lysine), dietary minerals (including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium), and vitamins (including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E).
Some grains that are great choices include:
*Avoid refined grains, like white flour or white rice, whenever possible, as it lacks nutrients, disrupts your blood sugar levels, and can make you gain weight that's difficult to lose
Legumes, which is another name for beans, peas, and lentils, are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. This group also includes chickpeas, baked and refried beans, soymilk, tempeh, and tofu.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are very healthy and nutritious. In addition to being excellent sources of protein, nuts and seeds have many other benefits such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other chemicals that may prevent cancer and heart disease. Although many people are hesitant to eat nuts because they are high in fat, eating nuts can provide a sense of fullness or satisfaction that actually causes you to eat less of other high-calorie, high fat foods.
*Most nuts and seeds are considered acid unless they’re sprouted; however there are some that are neutral or just slightly alkaline such as almonds, Brazil nuts, and sesame seeds.
Vegetables are pretty much the healthiest foods on the planet. Some of the most nutrition-packed are kale, broccoli, spinach, and peppers.
Tip: Eat the rainbow! The varying, vibrant colors in vegetables exist because of the thousands of healthful phytonutrients.
Fresh, raw produce is usually the best choice, but there's benefits to cooked, canned, and frozen, too. When you can afford to do so, buy organic produce, as it has the best flavor and the most nutrients; if you're on a tight budget, purchase organic produce if the conventional alternative is typically high in pesticides—like peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.
Here is a helpful list:
- Alfalfa grass (lucerne)
- Barley grass
- Beet greens
- Bok choy
- Dandelion greens
- Green beans
- Green juices*
- Leafy greens (most)
- Mustard Greens
- Sea vegetables
- Sweet Potato
- Swiss Chard
- Wheatgrass juice
- Wild greens
Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and beta- carotene. Include fruits that are high in vitamin C—citrus fruits, melons, and strawberries are all good choices. Choose whole fruit over fruit juices, which do not contain very much fiber.
- Berries (most)
- Corn (sweet)
- Kiwi fruit
- Passion fruit
- Young coconut
A great place for organic produce is Annie's Buying Club. They have locations all across the US and their prices are reasonable.
Other items to include in your pantry:
Spices, Miscellaneous Condiments & Other Goodies:
- Artichokes (marinated)
- Spicy dijon mustard
- Gluten-free Organic Tamari or Soy Sauce
- Vinegars for salad dressings (Balsamic, Red Wine and Apple Cider)
- Ground Saigon Cinnamon (for coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, even chili)
- Chili powder
- Ground Cumin
- Cayenne Pepper
- Dried Oregano/Basil/Parsley
- Turmeric, Curry Powder, Garam Masala
- Soy Cheese (shreds & slices available)
- Soy Cream Cheese
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
*All products can be purchased either online, local supermarket or health food store.