A well-stocked pantry leads to healthier diet

Published 9:37 am Friday, September 6, 2013

Preparing meals can sometimes be burdensome for considerable reasons including time, expense, variety, healthfulness and appeal issues associated with formulating daily fare.

Today, I’d like to share a list of fundamental ingredients to keep a well-stocked pantry or cupboard. These essentials will ensure more healthful, savory meals.

1. Tomato products. Tomatoes, their sauces and pastes can be added to a variety of dishes. Canned tomatoes could be used as toppings for pizza or sandwiches, added to soups or stews, and can make a great base for homemade sauces. Tomato fruit products reduce chronic inflammation, fight off oxidative stress to the body, reduce risk for cancer (lycopene) – including prostate and pancreatic cancers, and help control blood pressure. By the way, cooked and processed tomato products contain more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.

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2. Canned fish. Canned salmon is wonderful in salads, sandwiches, croquettes or stews. Canned tuna is excellent in salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes. Health benefits from canned fish include omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart and relieve inflammation. Canned fish also yield high quality, easily digested protein.

3. Canned beans. This staple is great, because beans are a great source of antioxidants, which protect our bodies from free-radical damage. Beans contribute protein and are high in fiber. The rich fiber content in beans makes them digest more slowly than meats, thereby helping you feel fuller longer. Beans are delicious in salads, casseroles, chili or as a side dish.