We recently published an article, 5 Healthy Fridge Swaps for a More Natural Diet, that suggested healthy ways to swap out refrigerated foods for better versions of them. However, the fridge isn’t the only place that could use a health and wellness overhaul in the kitchen. There are also lots of ways to boost the nutritional quality of your dry goods in order to fuel your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to thrive in the new year.
So, here are five healthy pantry and cupboard swaps to improve your diet and eat more natural foods.
1. Buckwheat Noodles Instead of White Pasta
Pasta is a staple in many pantries because it makes a quick, easy, and affordable meal. However, white pasta is high in carbs that weigh you down and provide low nutritional value.
Swap standard pasta noodles out for buckwheat noodles because these healthier noodle alternatives are high in magnesium, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Buckwheat noodles are also filling so you’ll feel satisfied quicker while eating and be less likely to overeat.
2. Organic Nut Butter Instead of Standard Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is delicious on sandwiches, as a dip for carrots and celery, and even straight out of the jar. However, many commercial peanut butters contain GMO ingredients and have added sugars that your body doesn’t need.
Swap standard peanut butter in your cupboard out for organic nut butter made with almonds or cashews. When shopping for nut butters, look for ones that contain the fewest ingredients.
3. Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oils are commonly made with GMO canola or soybeans and offer little or no health benefits. However, olive oil makes an excellent swap for vegetable oil because it contains a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid that can reduce the risk of heart disease. Shop for extra virgin olive oils that are 100 pure and that do not contain other oils, such as Seagate’s olive oil in both glass and plastic bottles.
Coconut oil is also a good pantry swap for vegetable oil because it may improve digestion, improve metabolism, and have other health benefits.
4. Chickpea and Almond Flour Instead of All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is used for various cooking and baking recipes, but this refined type of flour has been linked to increased obesity, diabetes, and weight gain. Prevent blood sugar spikes, increased inflammation, GI disorders, and metabolic slowdown by choosing flour made with chickpeas or almonds instead.
Almond flour, for example, is low in carbs while being high in protein and fiber. Meanwhile, chickpea flour contains essential nutrients, like iron and vitamin B6, and is a healthier option than all-purpose flour as well.
5. Quinoa Instead of Rice
Rice is a commonly used food all around the world that is affordable, versatile, and fills you up. But instead of just filling yourself up, fill yourself with nutrition by swapping rice, especially white rice, out for quinoa.
Quinoa has many essential amino acids to fuel you with protein. It is also packed with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours after your meal but not bloated and lacking energy like you might after eating a hefty serving of rice.