Let's be real: eating healthy isn't always easy. A lot of times, it's hard—especially when you see that bag of potato chips sitting innocently on your pantry shelf. But the key to keeping a healthy diet comes down to one simple thing: preparation. And not the hard kind either! We're talking about the simple step of putting the correct, yummy stuff in your grocery cart so that you're prepared with healthy food you enjoy!
Not sure where to start? No worries! Check out our list of 15 must-have healthy staples to keep in your pantry below!
Our personal favorite is oatmeal and with good reason! Oats are one of the world's healthiest grains, packing a load of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants in every serving! For the biggest health perks, buy whole grain oats and use them in your own delicious recipes!
An apple a day is always a good choice! They're good for your heart, aiding weight loss, and are even linked to a lower risk of diabetes. Plus, you can keep fresh apples on hand in your pantry for up to 3 weeks, so you can grab one whenever a craving hits.
Nuts and seeds
Mix up your morning yogurt, shake, or oatmeal with a healthy serving of almonds, walnuts, cashews, flax seeds, or chia seeds. They're also perfect for an easy-to-grab snack during the day.
Give yourself a quick boost of protein, vitamins, and minerals by adding an egg to your daily breakfast. They only take a few minutes to cook, they're super affordable, and they can be popped into many mouthwatering yet healthy recipes!
Full Fat Yogurt
Those half-fat yogurt cups may sound tasty, but you're actually cheating yourself out of a lot of health benefits. Opt for a big tub of full-fat yogurt instead, and turn it into fruit smoothies or parfaits for breakfast. Spoiler: full-fat yogurt can prevent belly fat! Who knew?
Did you know certain teas can curb cravings and reduce your risk of heart disease? Keep a mix of black, white, and green teas on hand and aim to drink a cup at least three times a week—especially when you're tempted to binge on a sweet.
Lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and even pomelos are delicious and healthy staples to keep stocked. Not only are they packed with fiber and vitamins, but they're a great avenue to curb sweet cravings.
Lunch & Dinner Staples
Dried and Canned Beans
Feel free to stock up on beans because they keep forever! (Well, 2 years for dried and up to 5 for canned, but close enough.) Beans are a great addition to every meal because they're incredibly easy to prepare and full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.
Rice and Quinoa
Add some grain-based rotations into your diet with recipes like salads, pilafs, grain bowls, and even soups! They're tasty, low-effort, and provide you with fiber and lots of nutrients.
Some fats are better than others, so be sure you're picking out the right oils for cooking. The best ones to keep on hand are coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee, which can last for more than a year at room temperature. They'll make a tasty addition to your cooking while helping you intake more fat-soluble minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins!
If you don't have onions on hand, you're missing out on an easy and delicious dinner addition. Many healthy recipes call for onions, so make sure you use them to supplement your meal and give your whole body a health boost.
Yummy, inexpensive, and easy to cook—there's no downside to keeping sweet potatoes on hand. Bake, mash, or roast them for an easy side you'll want seconds of every time! Plus, they're linked to all sorts of healthy perks like stress reduction, Vitamin A, cancer prevention, and blood pressure management!
Well-Stocked Spice Rack
One of the easiest ways to eat healthily is just to spice things up! A few dried herbs can turn a blah healthy meal into a tasty delight! Plus, many herbs and spices are linked to health benefits like reduced inflammation and lower disease risk.
You can use this tasty spread for so much more than PB&J sandwiches! Pair it with apples or celery for a snack, mix it in sauces for food, or whip it into a shake for extra protein. It's full of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that you don't have to feel guilty about eating!
Whole Grain Pasta
Mac and Cheese, Chicken Alfredo, or oil and butter noodles—whatever your comfort food is, you can make it healthier by opting for whole-grain pasta instead! It has more fiber and fewer calories than refined pasta, plus it's full of the micronutrients your body needs to stay balanced. And since it can last for years in your pantry, you can stock up now for the long haul.