I am frequently asked to come up with a list of healthy pantry staples and I have done that a time or two.
But pantry staples do not always include fresh foods and meat sources, so this time I decided to compile a list of staples for the grocery list (things that should be on your grocery list each week).
I started my list by reviewing the dietary guidelines. Here are the foods I decided would be good grocery list staples:
Dark leafy greens to be exact, like collards, turnip greens, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, green and romaine lettuce! First off, it is recommended that we consume one and a half cups of greens each week. Most of us do not get that or the recommended amounts of other fruits and vegetables. So since we do not get the recommended amounts of veggies, I think we should just flat out go for the most nutritious ones we can when we do eat them. Dark, leafy greens are high in Vitamins A, K, C and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iron, not to mention the antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Oranges and Bananas:
These foods do not necessarily “go together” but they are all high in potassium. A lot of fruits and veggies are high in potassium but these are particularly high. Eating a diet high in potassium can help to lower blood pressure.
The goal here is omega-3 fatty acid, of course! All seafood has a some omega-3 fatty acids and the consensus is that if we eat the recommended 8 ounces of seafood each week (various kinds of seafood), then we will get adequate omega-3 fatty acids. But salmon is the best source so I do recommend that fish weekly. Canned salmon or tuna is a good replacement for salmon fillets and can be easier on the budget.
Yogurt, Beans and Whole Grains:
These will round out my list of grocery staples. Yogurt because it is a great source of calcium, protein and live active cultures. Beans because they are so high in fiber, potassium, protein and phytochemicals. They are also inexpensive. We need whole grains because we are as a nation consuming more whole grains than before but we can do better, so continue putting them on your list, in your cart and on your table.
I hope this will help you as you write your weekly grocery list! Until next time, shop well and eat well!