It’s been a long day at work. You come back home, and you need to make dinner. But you need it to be healthy, because it shouldn’t interfere with your health plans either. You raid the fridge. Now, you cannot eat a meal of takeaway Chinese and still be within your diet plan. So what do you need? Healthy food, that is easy to store and easy to cook into delicious meals as well. So, let’s get into the top 10 healthy foods that should always be there in your refrigerator.
Didn’t our mothers always say to eat our vegetables so that we become big and strong one day? And they were right. Vegetables are pretty much the best all round food that we have, and not without good reason.
They provide you with carbs, proteins, fibre, vitamins, essential minerals and a small amount of fats. And there is a wide range of vegetables, and a wider range of recipes available!
I’ve found that a few necessary vegetables like onions, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, beetroot, carrots and beans are always great to keep in the fridge.
And what can you do with them? The question is what can’t you do with them.
Cut it up and put it in a salad raw.
Mash it all up and make a soup.
Make a curry and eat it with some roti.
Add it to some rice with whole spices, and you have pulao ready.
So many things to do. All you are hindered by is your own imagination.
Fruits are also another thing that our mothers almost always insisted on us eating. And why? They are some of the most nutritious foodstuffs available on this planet right now.
They are usually full of fructose, which is easily broken down into glucose by our body and gives us our energy requirements. They are also filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Chuck those supplements and grab a fruit salad instead. Or maybe a fresh fruit juice. So many tasty fruits to choose from, so little space to keep them.
Bananas, oranges, apples, papayas, chikoo (sapodilla), guavas and sweet limes are some of the main fruits that you can keep in your fridge. They taste heavenly and are easy to dice and eat.
Eggs are a staple pretty much everywhere in the world.
And they are cheap too! They are filled with essential proteins and fats that are great to meet our daily calorie requirements and there are a variety of recipes available.
Chop some onion and chillies, and mix with a couple of eggs to make a quick omelette! Put it between two slices of bread, and you have a meal ready there itself!
Lazy to chop, whisk, fry and flip? Chuck them into boiling water for 5-15 minutes, depending on how runny you want the yolk to be, and voila, you have hard boiled eggs ready!
Feeling fancy? Boil water, add a teaspoon of vinegar, swirl the water there’s a nice whirlpool formed and break an egg directly into the whirlpool. Strain it out gently after 5 minutes and, voila! A poached egg ready to sit on your meal.
So keep always eggs in your fridge. They are perfect emergency meals and give you a good boost of energy.
Everyone must have seen the famous cartoon Popeye. A person really close to me loves the cartoon and admitted that Popeye was responsible for getting her to eat spinach, amongst other crazy things that she did for him.
Greens like spinach, mint, coriander, kale, bok choy and cabbage are a few of the popular greens available in the market right now. Spices like thyme, rosemary and curry leaves can also be kept for taste purposes. You know, spice up your meal and your life.
They can be added in salads, cooked in a curry, blanched and added to pasta, or even made into a juice and drank. The varieties are limitless.
Greens are excellent sources of iron, and are packed with vitamins and other minerals. They make excellent all round meals which are important for the health of the body.
Go mad! Go green!
Lean meat like chicken, turkey and lean beef are all great sources of proteins and minerals, and they can be kept for a long time in the freezer. You need a nice meal, just remove them from the freezer before leaving for work, let it thaw, then come back and cook it into a delicious meal. They are perfect post-workout foods as well, and they’ll sate your food cravings after the intense workout session you’ve had. Read our article on TOP 10 PROTEIN RICH FOODS. If you like to increase muscle growth instead of fat
And what varieties you can make with them. Chicken curry, chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, pasta; the list is endless.
You just need some patience and decent cooking skills to take the meat from its raw state to a finished product.
Now, you must be thinking why milk is on this list. Milk is great for those who don’t have a lot of time to cook in the morning. Plus, it is filled with proteins, minerals and vitamins, which makes it all the more better for our bodies.
Milk is great for breakfast, and it can be used in many ways. Have cereal? Pour some milk in and make it a wholesome meal. Don’t have time to make a full breakfast? Pour some milk into the blender, add some fruit, some nuts, and some sugar and blend it all into one glorious smoothie. Perfect breakfast drink.
And it doesn’t take all that much space! Keep it in the carton or packet you got it in, and throw it out once it is empty. And don’t drink spoilt milk. It is not good for your digestive system.
And for those who are lactose intolerant, there’s always alternative sources of milk, like soy milk, almond milk, etc.
Yogurt is the end product of fermentation of milk after adding bacteria to it. Curds is the end product of curdling of milk by heating it and adding a spoonful of curd.
Food for thought; to make curds, you need curds. So where did the first curds come from?
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, vitamins, minerals and probiotics.
Curds is also rich in all the above nutrients, but one major difference is that curds can be consumed by people who have lactose intolerance.
And what can you eat it with? A bowl of fruit. Or just add some sugar and spoon it into your mouth like when you were a child. It’s a great snack and can stave off the hunger demons for a while until your meal time.
8.Nuts, dry fruits and seeds
Dry fruits like raisins, cashews, figs, apricots and dates are all great sources of instant carbs, fibre, vitamins and fats. They can be a healthy snack and can be carried around quite easily too.
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and chestnuts are some common nuts available. They are excellent sources of proteins and fats and essential vitamins. They can also be consumed as snacks between meals, or can be added to your breakfast smoothie to liven its taste.
Seeds like sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are all great snacks for those who like munching on something while working. They are full of fats and proteins and are great to temporarily appease the hunger gods.
You don’t have a big enough fridge to keep all the fruits that you want. But you still want to get the benefits of the fruits even though you can’t keep them for long. So what do you do?
Simple. Juice them and store them in bottles in your fridge.
Drink them whenever you feel thirsty and are not in the mood for water. Or you can have it with meals, instead of soda or any other unhealthy drinks.
And while everybody might follow the craze of a cold press juicer, I would advocate against it and say that a simple blender is enough to get the job done.
Yes, I know. How is cheese healthy? How can something that is so decadent be healthy? I say that the answer lies in moderation. Studies have shown that cheese is safe to eat so long as it is the size of four dice. Now don’t be a smart-ass and say that the dice can be of any size. A block of cheese roughly 2x2x2 cm is considered healthy.
Anything is healthy so long as it is in moderate quantities.
And some healthy cheeses? Cottage cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, feta, Swiss and cheddar are a few healthy options to choose (or should I say cheese?) from.
Cheese is filled with essential fats and proteins and minerals. Casein and whey are usually higher in cheese than other milk products.
And I don’t need to tell you what to add cheese to. Anything that you add it to, it becomes heavenly by itself.
So now you know what foods should almost always be kept in the fridge at all times. So go on! Get your shopping bags and go to the nearest supermarkets and buy these items, and live healthy! Get cooking and lead a happier and healthier life!