30 Foods that should always be on your healthy grocery list
Many people agree that cooking your own meals at home is one of the most important things that you can do for your health. If you cook your own food and you use fresh produce, you get far more of the nutrients your body needs and you also get far fewer additives and unnecessary ingredients. If you watch some of the celebrity chefs on TV, though, you might be left thinking that home cooking is far too complicated and time consuming to make it worth your while, but, of course, that’s not true. If you stock up your kitchen with a good range of ingredients, it’s easy to rustle up a healthy meal in no time at all. Here’s a list of healthy foods to add to your healthy grocery list that will ensure you always have something delicious and nutritious in the kitchen to cook a tasty meal with.
Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and they are so versatile. They also contain choline, which is used by the body to maintain heart function and brain health. So long as you have half a dozen eggs in the refrigerator, you have the basic ingredient for a healthy meal; just throw in some of our other delicious ingredients, like veggies and spices, and you’ll have a delicious omelette in a matter of minutes.
Tomatoes are another one of those foods that should be in your healthy grocery list, as it can be used in so many different ways and they are so good for you too. Tomatoes will provide you with plenty of vitamin C to boost your immune system, and they add sweetness to dishes without giving you an overload of sugar. Cook them, slice them, or dice them, there’s always some way that you can make good use of a tomato.
Green vegetables are a must for a healthy grocery list too, and kale is one of our favourites. Kale provides you with a whole range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, and Vitamins A, C and K. Like all green vegetables, kale is also full of dietary fibre and it fills you up for very few calories. Kale can be used as a vegetable or eaten in salads, so it’s one food item that can be mixed with a myriad of different meals.
You can use oats in baking, eat them for breakfast, and add them to smoothies. You can even add oats to your bathwater and they will keep your skin soft and healthy. Oats are a great source of slow release energy and fibre and they are known to be able to reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream too. Eat oatmeal for breakfast and it will provide you with energy for the whole day, as well as many of the essential minerals that your body needs to stay healthy.
Spinach is another one of the super green vegetables that can be used in salads, in cooking and in smoothies, and should definitely be on your healthy grocery list. Spinach is brimming with essential minerals including folate, iron, and magnesium, all of which are essential to maintain energy levels. Spinach is a delicious and versatile green vegetable that truly deserves its healthy reputation.
No healthy grocery list would be complete without a selection of fresh fruit and what better way to start your fruit selection than with some super nutritious blueberries. Blueberries are high in fibre and they are deliciously sweet, but with surprisingly low sugar. They are also a great source of the antioxidants – anthocyanins, which are one of the most powerful antioxidants there are.
Onions add flavour to so many dishes and they really should be an essential in anyone’s healthy grocery list. Not only do they provide a wonderful flavour to food, they are also high in sulphur, which keeps the liver on good working order and helps to flush toxins out of the body. Raw or cooked, onions also boost the immune system, so they will help to keep coughs and colds at bay too.
Salmon is a fish that is often labelled as a super food because of its many health benefits. Oily Fish, like salmon, should form a regular part of a healthy diet because of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that it contains. Salmon is also a very good source of protein, magnesium and Vitamin D. Not to mention the fact that salmon tastes absolutely delicious too.
Strawberries are many people’s favourite fruit and they are a wonderfully tasty source of Vitamin C and they are low in sugar too. They make a great low sugar, high fibre snack or a desert. Just don’t smother them in full-fat cream and sugar, however tempting that may be.
Avocados should be an addition to your healthy grocery list and they go great with seafood, like salmon and prawns, which you should be eating every week. Avocados are a fantastic source of the healthy kind of fats that are good for your heart as well as potassium, magnesium and Vitamin E. Add them to salads, sandwiches or smoothies and enjoy all the wonderful benefits that they bring.
Bananas are a wonderful source of potassium and they are great for a pick-me up snack that will give you energy boost just when you need it. Take a banana to work with you for a snack, or you could make delicious banana muffins. Keep a few bananas in your refrigerator and you’ll have a sweet tasting, healthy snack that won’t make you pile on the pounds.
Celery also deserves a place in your healthy grocery list, it is the perfect snack to eat when you are watching the calories because it is actually one of the foods that you burn more calories digesting than you gain from eating it. Despite that, celery isn’t just all water and little else. It also provides a good source of fibre and Vitamin K and it acts as a diuretic, so it helps to flush toxins out of your system.
13. A selection of fresh herbs
No meal will ever be bland and boring if you have a good selection of fresh herbs in your kitchen. There are so many delicious herbs to choose from, you can add a slightly different taste to all your dishes every time you cook. Herbs are also a good source of antioxidants and other nutrients, so buy them fresh at your supermarket, or grow your own in your back garden and you will never get bored of cooking your own food.
A selection of unsalted nuts will also be a good addition to your weekly healthy grocery list. Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, potassium, magnesium and fibre and you can eat them as snacks or add them to your cooking and baking. Nuts like walnuts are also good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which will help to keep our heart healthy.
Let’s not forget our friends the cruciferous vegetables in this healthy grocery list items. The little green florets of broccoli are an absolute powerhouse of nutrients and they taste pretty good too. Broccoli will supply you with plant based protein, Vitamin C, fibre and a range of the B Vitamins too. It’s good for the brain and it also helps the body detox as well.
Artichokes are not usually in everyone’s healthy grocery list, but give them a try and see what you think. If you don’t usually eat artichokes, they have a tangy, but slightly sweet flavour that is really delicious. Artichokes also contain more antioxidants than most other vegetables and they are a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
Seeds are tiny little powerhouses of concentrated goodness, so don’t overlook them in the supermarket isles. You can sprinkle them on your breakfast cereals, add them to your cooking or include them in your favourite smoothie recipes. Seeds will provide you worth extra fibre and plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals too.
18. Olive oil
The oil of oils and accredited by many as being responsible for the longevity of people who follow the Mediterranean diet, no kitchen would be complete without a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can buy and you can cook with it, drizzle over your salads and even use it as a moisturiser on your skin. Make sure you never run out of olive oil; make it a permanent fixture on your healthy grocery list.
Grilled or sautéed, asparagus is a delicious vegetable to go with meals and it’s brimming with nutrition too. Asparagus is rich in folate, which the body needs to maintain a good balance of hormones and for brain health and it’s also a good source of potassium and fibre.
20. Greek yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is a wonderful source of lean protein, calcium and Vitamin B12. What’s more, yoghurt contains all those good bacteria that will keep your digestive system in good working order. The calcium that is found in dairy products has also been found to help reduce the amount of fat that is stored by the body, so that’s good news if you following a weight loss plan too.
21. Green tea
While you are making up your healthy grocery list, don’t forget to add green tea. Green tea is a wonderfully refreshing drink that will calm and soothe you after a hectic day at work. It’s also brimming with those all-important antioxidants that fight cancer and the signs of ageing. Green tea can also be useful for when you are losing weight, because it increases the metabolic rate, which will mean you will burn off fat faster.
22. Whole grains
When you are shopping for flour, bread, pasta or cakes, always look out for the whole grain options. When you eat whole grains, you get all the goodness and much more fibre, so it is a much better choice than the refined grains. Basically, the less processing that any food has gone through before it reaches your table, the better that food will be for your health.
Apples are the best of nature’s portable snacks and deserve a place in your healthy grocery list, so grab a bagful when you next go shopping. They are full of fibre, Vitamin C and many other essential nutrients. They also help to keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh too.
24. Red peppers
Red peppers are sweeter than the other varieties and they can be used in salads as well as in cooking. As well as adding that glorious red colour that brightens up any dish, they also provide a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and fibre. Despite the fact that they have a sweet taste, they are actually low in sugar, so they don’t overload the blood sugar levels.
Let’s not forget the spices for your food. Just like herbs, spices can turn a boring meal into something really special and their nutritional value of often overlooked. Many spices contain powerful antioxidants, Vitamins and minerals too. The hot spices, like cayenne pepper, will also boost the metabolism and help you lose weight.
Honey has so many uses in the kitchen and is also a great item for your healthy grocery list. You can spread it on some wholemeal tots, drizzle it over your morning oatmeal, or add it to smoothies for some sweetness. Honey provides so much energy that athletes in ancient Greece used to eat it to boost their performance in the Olympic Games. Honey also has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it will fight infections too.
So many recipes call for a squeeze of lemon juice that we couldn’t possibly leave it off our healthy grocery list. Like all citrus fruit, lemons are great source of Vitamin C and that will help fight infections like colds. If you add lemon juice to water, you will also have a great tasting detoxifying drink that will help to flush out some of those unwanted and harmful toxins from your body.
Crunchy carrots are just delicious and, yes, they really do help you see in the dark. They are a great source for Vitamin A that is needed for good eye health and can help to prevent macular degeneration in old age. They also contain a good amount of fibre, magnesium, and Vitamin C, so add carrots in your healthy grocery list and enjoy!
Quinoa is often mistaken for a grain, but it is actually a seed. You can use like a grain, though, and it is gluten free. It’s one of the very few plants that are considered to be a complete protein and it also comes with a healthy supply of iron, B-vitamins, phosphorous and magnesium.
30. Dark chocolate
Let’s finish our great, healthy grocery list with a little bit of a treat. Dark chocolate is a great way to satisfy a sugar craving and it’s extremely healthy too. It contains antioxidants, magnesium and iron and not too many calories, if you don’t eat too much of it.
These are just thirty of the wonderful foods that nature has given us to cook with, so who needs processed food, ready meals and fast food? The best way to eat healthy is to eat fresh produce and eat a varied diet. Cut down on the things that you know are going to be bad for you, like fatty foods, salt, and sugar, and fill your plate with some of these wonderfully fresh and natural food instead. It’s better for you, better for your figure, better for your complexion, and you will live longer too.
What are your favourite items from your healthy grocery list?