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How to Give Your Pantry a Healthy Makeover

By Sara Butler

The items you have on hand in your pantry can make or break your meal choices. How many nights have you been searching through your cabinets, completely unsure what you can or even want to make for dinner? Everyone has been there and if you want to focus on eating healthy, then it's something that you have to plan for.

Making sure you have healthy ingredients in your pantry to whip up a meal is one way you can give healthy eating a jumpstart in your home. Here are some essential pantry items you need to give your pantry a healthy makeover.

Canned or Dried Lentils and Beans

Lentils and beans are incredibly good for you and they happen to have incredibly long shelf lives as well! They're simply a great non-perishable you can turn to when you're on the hunt for an easy but nutritious meal.

Canned beans can be kept for anywhere between two and five years. Dried beans, if stored properly, will keep for up to 10! So stock up on chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and black beans and experiment with your favorite ways to make a meal out of them.

Grains

When you're in a pinch, a grain can help to serve as a base for really healthy meals. Grains such as bulgur, quinoa, oats, brown rice, spelt, and amaranth can be kept at room temperature safely in your pantry for a few months to a few years. That's why you simply can't go wrong buying these products in bulk.

Grains are a great source of fiber and other nutrients such as magnesium and manganese. They're good for you and will fill you up.

Frozen Vegetables and Fruit

OK, so this isn't exactly a pantry staple, but frozen vegetables and fruits can go a long way in creating healthy meals, so you should make sure you have some in stock.

Many people worry that frozen fruits and vegetables aren't as healthy as their fresh counterparts, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is that frozen vegetables and fruits are picked at their peak and then flash frozen. That means that they retain most of their nutrients as if they had been plucked straight of the vine or out of the dirt for you to enjoy. They're really good for you, so keep some around!

Make sure to have healthy things on hand if you want to encourage yourself to eat in a healthier way!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.

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