10 Foods to Keep in Your House if You’re Trying to Eat Clean

By: Laura Peill – (Check out her blog Chronicles of Passion & Facebook)  

There are certain foods that hang out in my pantry that I just can’t be without. When they are running low, or (god forbid!!), they run out, it’s time to take some serious action to get them back in stock. I’ve been known to make a special trip to the grocery store to buy just these single items if necessary. That’s how serious the action is. It’s because these foods are the key items to eating a clean diet and helping your body naturally detox itself every day.

Have a look at the list and see if you need to make a trip to the store to stock up your pantry:

1. Kale

A superfood in the greens department, kale is loaded with nutrients and is a source of plant based protein. It is extremely high in vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which all play a role in healthy skin and boosting the immune system. It is also a source of antioxidants to help fight free radicals and keep the body free of unwanted toxins.

2. Avocado

Rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, avocado is an excellent way to get our healthy fats. These fats help with skin health, help ensure the digestive system is able to function properly and help maintain energy levels in the body. Avocado is also a great source of fiber, which further aids in digestion and in helping to reduce weight by making you feel fuller longer.

3. Lemon

What seems like an acidic food, is actually alkalizing to the body and is a very good detoxifier. Lemon is rich in vitamin C, and is an antioxidant. Start your day with hot water and half a lemon to cleanse your body and set your digestive system up for a healthy start.

4. Chickpeas

A significant source of fiber and protein, these legumes are incredibly versatile and can be used in everything from main courses to dips to desserts to breads. They also offer high levels of manganese, a mineral necessary to maintain healthy joints and bones, and plays a role in helping moderate blood sugar levels, preventing you from craving sweets and reaching for the bag of cookies.

5. Cabbage

A member of the cruciferous family, cabbage is most beneficial when it is fermented into sauerkraut, acting as a healthy source of probiotics to help the gut. It is high in fiber, and an excellent source of vitamin K for hair and nail health.

6. Blueberry

Extremely rich in antioxidants, blueberries are a great fruit to add to your smoothies and have as a snack, as they are low in sugar and don’t cause major disruptions in your blood glucose levels. This makes them a great choice for individuals looking to lose weight and lower their caloric intake.

7. Almonds

An excellent source of protein, almonds fill you up and stop you from reaching for unhealthy foods in the middle of the afternoon. They are an excellent source of healthy fats, helping the digestive system move food through your body and preventing toxin build up, and they are also a great source of fiber.

8. Beets

These ruby red beauties are an incredible source of antioxidants and an excellent source of nitrates. Nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body and enhance blood flow to the muscles. Beets also have impressive anti-inflammatory properties, and are a great source of folate.

9. Millet

This delicious grain powerhouse is the next quinoa. A gluten free whole grain, that is a source of protein and is slow to digest in the body, this grain is loaded with fiber and helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels. It can be cooked in place of rice or quinoa for dinner, made into a cereal for breakfast, or used as a flour for gluten free baking.

10. Sweet Potato

A versatile addition to main meals, breakfast, breads and dessert, this is a fiber packed root vegetable, that is high in beta carotene and a source of antioxidants. Beta carotene, a form of vitamin A, is good for healthy skin and eyes. Try the less popular purple sweet potato for an even bigger dose of antioxidants!

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