10 Healthiest Foods To Have in Your Pantry (Part 2)

4Unsalted, dry nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, flax, chia and sesame seeds.  Studies have shown that eating nuts and seeds improve heart health.(1)  This benefit may be attributed to their many nutrients—which include folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, dietary fiber, protein, and phyto-chemicals, as well as to their favorable fatty acid profile of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Although the fat in nuts accounts for 80% or more of their total calories, it’s often referred to as “good” fat when consumed in moderation.

Tip: Love my seeds lightly toasted and sprinkled on my salads or pounding them with whatever fresh herb I can find to make a chunky garden pesto!

5. Nut or seed butters such as peanut, almond, sesame or pumpkin.  (See nuts and seeds above)  Be creative!  Use nut and seed butters as a sandwich filling, topped with raisins, grated carrot or sprouts.

Tip: Add to stir-fries, salad dressings or even smoothies for a little more richness and flavor.  For a hearty snack, try mashed winter squash or sweet potato, a little pumpkin seed butter and some toasted chili-spiced pumpkin seeds.

6. Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, millet, steel cut oats etc. Whole grains are packed with B vitamins, minerals like magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes(2) as well as anti-oxidants that prevent LDL cholesterol from reacting with oxygen.  It is important to remember that any products made with flour, whether whole-grain or not can have the same effect on blood sugar. The process of grinding whole grains into flour increases the surface area in which enzymes work to more quickly convert starch into glucose, and are referred to as being high-glycemic.  Lower-glycemic, sprouted grain, rye and extra seedy breads are a better choice.  Eating a moderate amount of grains in their original form helps slow the digestion of starch and prevent spikes in blood sugar (which over time may lead to insulin resistance).

Tip: Make a high protein morning porridge from last night’s quinoa.  Re-heat cooked quinoa with some almond, hemp, rice or soy milk.  Add a little cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, some berries and a little agave or stevia for sweetness.  Top it all with some fresh ground flax, chia seeds or soaked almonds.  You’ll have energy for hours!

Keep reading!  I have 4 more pantry favourites to go!  See you soon :)

(1) Kris-Etherton PM, Zhao G, Binkoski AE, Coval SM, Etherton TD. The Effect of Nuts on Coronary Heart Disease Risk. Nutrition Reviews 59:103-11 (2001).

(2) Penn State. “Whole Grain Diets Lower Risk Of Chronic Disease, Study Shows.” ScienceDaily, 11 Feb. 2008. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.


  1. Sharon Yoneda       May 10, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Hello O Neighbourly One,

    Thanks so much for this blog. I love it. Recently, I have thrown good fats from walnuts and almonds into the morning yogurt mix, and I feel less hungry.

    Your blog is beautifully designed with lovely, inviting colours. Keep up the good work. It’s hard to imagine me living beside someone who is so wholly and wholesomely gifted in so many ways, including container gardening.

    Stay well and I’ll do the same.

    • I am so glad someone as talented, artistic and inspiring as yourself likes my blog design and articles!

      Amazing how adding nuts and seeds to our diet can help our health and sustenance in so many ways…. Not to mention, they taste so darn great! My favourite these days is toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds with a little sea salt and or chili powder. Although, come to think of it…. I am going to try some matcha powder and nori flakes to my next batch in honor of you!! Yum :)

      My part 3 of Pantry Staples will be up momentarily!


Post Your Comment