10 Healthiest Foods To Have In Your Pantry (Part 3)

7. Whole-grain pasta such as from kamut, spelt, quinoa or wild-rice.  These pastas have a delicious, nutty and somewhat sweeter flavor than regular whole-wheat. They have higher protein than wheat and are easier to digest than regular pasta.  Trying to decrease you carb intake?  Not to worry!

Tip: Reverse your ratio of pasta to sauce. Saute lots of garlic, onions, kale (may need to pre-blanch or steam before using), spinach or chard.  Add chickpeas, salmon or chicken and fresh chopped herb of choice.  Toss in your cooked pasta.  Add a little olive oil if needed, shredded parmesan, goat feta or soy cheese and you’ve got yourself a deliciously satisfying meal without all the bloat.

8. High fiber whole-grain crackers like “Ryvita”, with only two simple ingredients: rye flour and salt.  Eating foods high in soluble fiber, such as rye, can substantially lower Type 2 diabetes risk (3), fight cardiovascular disease and promote gastrointestinal health.  Tip: Ryvita crackers are great underneath home-made hummus, a nice slice of cheese, avocado or nut or seed butter.

9Green tea.  It has been suggested that matcha has greater potential health benefits than other green teas.(4) Did you know that matcha has 10 times the potency of regular brewed green tea?  Not to mention 70 times the anti-oxidants of orange juice and 9 times the beta-carotene of spinach.  Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis.  Green tea also contains L-Theanine, which stimulates alpha waves in the brain, characterized by a calm alertness and relaxed mental clarity.  My favorite is matcha (read here for my absolute favorite matcha producer/matcha info/wonderful recipes).  I rarely start my day without a steaming matcha latte!

Tip: Blend up a divine smoothie for two with 2 cups rice or almond milk, a frozen banana and 2 teaspoons matcha powder.  Indulgent?  Toss in a couple of squares of dark chocolate and finish with a shake or two of cocoa, cinnamon or nutmeg.  Don’t forget to share!

10. Dark chocolate.  Naturally high in flavonoids, the organic compounds that stimulate antioxidant activity, chocolate can protect the heart, increase blood flow in the arteries, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Chocolate also stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin which help boost one’s mood (5).  Having given you the good news….  Eating too much chocolate can cause anxiety, high-blood pressure, headaches and digestive problems.  Too much chocolate can also result in kidney stones, due to it’s oxalate content.  Lastly, the calories in chocolate can contribute to weight gain.

Tip: For an extra-special treat, melt some dark chocolate in a double-boiler.  Toast some nuts or seeds until golden brown.  Dip popsicle sticks into peeled bananas and then into melted chocolate.  Roll in toasted nuts or seeds and freeze till hardened.

(3) Manisha Chandalia, M.D., Abhimanyu Garg, M.D., Dieter Lutjohann, Ph.D., Klaus von Bergmann, M.D., Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D., and Linda J. Brinkley, R.D.  Beneficial Effects of High Dietary Fiber Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. N Engl J Med 2000; 342:1392-1398.

(4) Weiss DJ, Anderson CR.  Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography.  J Chromatogr A.  2003 Sep 5; 1011 (1-2):173-80.

(5) Monica Myklebust, MD, and Jenna Wunder, MPH, RD. 2009. UMIM: Healing Foods Pyramid. Healing Foods Pyramid: Dark Chocolate. University of Michigan.

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.

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