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For Busy People: 20 Must-Have Healthy Foods In Your Fridge

For Busy People: 20 Must-Have Healthy Foods In Your Fridge

Does your fridge need a makeover? When you’re tired, short on time, or just plain hungry, having healthy food in your fridge can make junk food cravings vanish instantly. Keeping these 20 must-have healthy foods in your fridge can ensure your body gets the needed nutrients without the gratuitous calories.

1. Eggs

eggs-healthy-breakfast

    Eggs are an excellent breakfast choice and are a go-to source of high-quality protein, nutrients and vitamins. If you’re in a hurry or relaxing at home, eggs are a great way to enjoy your breakfast without feeling bloated or unhealthy. (Sorry waffles!!)

    Plus, they’re inexpensive and filling. If you like a sweeter version, I like to add a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract to my scrambled eggs! (Like French toast without the bread and sugar!)

    2. Chicken and Lean Meat

    chicken-healthy-dinner

      What is considered “lean meat”? Lean meats are relatively low in fat and are usually skinless. Chicken and other lean meats are essential healthy foods to keep around as they can make a main course pop with just the right ingredients. In a pinch, mix chicken, stir-fried veggies, and soy sauce for a healthier version of take-out.

      3. Apples

      healthiest-foods-for-your-fridge

        What better breakfast, snack, or dessert than a succulent, crisp apple? Not only are apples fiber-laden, but they’re great for helping people lose weight. Try slicing an apple up and tossing it in your morning oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon. You can find a ton of creative recipes, or enjoy them straight out of the fridge!

        4. Yogurt

        greek yogurt-healthy-foods

          Now, before you grab that 200-calorie topping-heavy yogurt with loaded sugars (artificial or not), stop! The best type of yogurt to eat is plain Greek yogurt with added toppings like fruit, nuts, seeds, or a drizzle of honey. (Greek yogurt also makes a great substitution for mayo in chicken salad!) Greek yogurt makes for a satisfying dessert, breakfast, snack — or even dinner!

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          5. Cheese

          cheese-healthy-food

            Cheese lovers, rejoice! Yes, cheese can be a healthy food! You just have to watch your proportions. Low-fat, part-skim string cheese and shredded cheeses are a delicious addition that can add a huge flavor punch to many recipes or on their own (String cheese is my go-to lunch snack; I’m still a child at heart!). Just be sure to eat sparingly — (I know, it’s hard) as cheese can add a lot of fat and sodium to your diet before you can even think to drop the cracker. Treat yourself to a better-quality cheese so you’ll not feel the urge to overindulge.

            heathy-foods

               6. Organic Lunch Meat

              Lunch meat is the traditional work lunch staple, right? But it’s just a grab-and-go food, right? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the healthy foods kept in your fridge. It all comes down to which lunch meat you’re purchasing.

              By purchasing good-quality meats that are grass-fed and/or certified organic, and avoiding harmful ingredients such as aspartame, corn syrup, and sodium nitrate, you’re able to brown-bag your lunch without having to worry that your meal is unhealthy. Add a handful of greens, mozzarella, and tomatoes on whole grain bread for a filling and healthy afternoon choice.

              7. Staple Vegetables (Pre-Cut)

              health-benefits-veggies

                Vegetables are delicious — yes, I said it. I love pairing baby carrots with peanut butter, hummus, or even shredded in my oatmeal. Oatmeal + raisins + carrots = The carrot cake of oatmeal! You can have a whole lot of fun with vegetables; try pairing pre-cut veggies including cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli with your favorite healthy spread. Just avoid the cream-heavy ranch dressings and other sugar-laden dressings.

                8. Hummus

                health-benefits-hummus

                  Hummus, a combination of chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini, provides your body with protein and a number of vitamin and minerals. Perfect as a sandwich spread, vegetable dip, or even on pita by itself, hummus is healthy, packed with vitamins, and tasty.

                  9. Nut Butters

                  health-benefits-almonds

                    Often nut butters can get a bad reputation for being nothing but a dessert addition or a sugar-filled snack — but what’s the difference between nut butters and plain old mixed nuts? The added sugar/salt many brands contain. Try buying nut butters without added sugar, salt, oils, or nonsensical chemicals. If you want a little sweetness, try pairing your nut butter with a little drizzle of honey, bananas, or any other sweet fruit. (Peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, anyone?)

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                    10. Mixed Greens

                    mixed greens health benefits

                      Mixed greens, including spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale are perfectly paired with any course of the day and we don’t need to remind you of the whole array of health benefits in your greens. In fact, spinach, a versatile green, is low in fat, high in niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, and a whole variety of vitamins.

                      For lunch or dinner, try adding grilled chicken strips, cut-up veggies and a sprinkle of olive oil and vinegar to salad greens for a heart-healthy, filling meal. For breakfast, try making a frittata with eggs, spinach, and your favorite other veggies/toppings. (Yes, you can even add some cheese!) If you like smoothies, add a handful of spinach or kale to your favorite smoothie, and you won’t even notice the taste of greens.

                      11. Onions

                      oniond

                        Don’t cry, onions are good for you! Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, B6, calcium and fiber. Plus, they contain good amounts of folic acid, vitamin B1 and K.

                        High in beneficial polyphenols, which play an important role in preventing and also reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, onions are a necessity for every fridge.

                        For a quick and tasty meal, sauté onions with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and ground chicken, and you’ll have a dinner with lots of leftovers.

                        12. Lemons and Limes

                        healthy-foods-lemons

                          But, what can I really do with lemons/limes, you may ask? A whole lot! Lemons and limes are actually great ways to add flavor to your otherwise bland water.They are both excellent sources of vitamin C, B6, potassium, and folate. Plus, if you’re a seafood/poultry lover, add a sprinkle of lime/lemon juice over your food before cooking. Voila!

                          13. Plant-Based Milk

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                          healthy-foods-almond-milks

                            Plant-based milks, whether almond, soy, rice, cashew, hemp, or rice milk, are a kitchen staples that add a huge burst of flavor to any meal. (Did you know an ounce of almonds provides 3.5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein?)

                            Plant-based milks can be used in a variety of simple or complex recipes and also as a go-to for breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and smoothies. If you want a healthier version of ice cream, try pureeing frozen bananas, honey, and almond milk. You’ll forget all about the heavy milk and cream of normal ice cream.

                            14. Fresh Herbs

                            herbs

                              Put that salt down! Fresh herbs add flavor and freshness to nearly every recipe and most herbs and spices also contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables.

                              Try adding parsley, thyme, sage, dill, and rosemary to your favorite dishes, such as chicken, eggs, and pasta dishes.

                              15. Salsa

                              healthy-food-tomatoes

                                Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and can also help combat free radicals known to cause cancer. Good-quality salsa can be an excellent addition to handmade tortilla chips, burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.

                                16. Avocados

                                healthy-foods-avocado

                                  Avocados are not only packed with dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and healthy fats (yes, the good kind), but they’re exceptional as a sandwich spread, partner in your guacamole, or on their own with a little salt and pepper.

                                  17. Whole Grains

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                                  healthy-foods-oatmeal

                                    By whole grains, we’re not talking multi-grain; we’re talking whole grains, as in, in contains the entire part of the grain, like oatmeal, quinoa, or brown rice. If you think grains are bland on their own, you can add so much to them to spice them up! Take oatmeal for example: A little bit of plant-based milk, some mixed nuts, dried fruit, and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract will make your morning a breeze!

                                    18. Hot Sauce

                                    healthy-foods-hot-sauce

                                      Hot sauce adds a powerful kick to many dishes and offers a boost of vitamin C and capsaicin, found in hot peppers. Aside from the spicy flavor in hot sauce, vitamin C and capsaicin have both been known to assist in boosting your metabolism. For the healthiest option, find an oil-free brand with minimal ingredients, such as chili peppers and vinegar and add it to your shrimp and tomato dish for a healthier version of shrimp creole.

                                      19. Fish

                                      salmon

                                        Many types of fish are high in protein, low in fat, and chock-full of health benefits, including salmon and cod.

                                        Broil it and eat it as your main dish with a little bit salsa on top, or grill on your stovetop with a blend of mixed veggies.

                                        20. Leftovers

                                        chicken skewers

                                          This one may not be classified as a certain “food item,” but leftovers are great for keeping prepared healthy foods around throughout the week.

                                          On Sunday nights, try and prepare a huge meal which can double as weekday dinners and even as tupperware-friendly lunch dishes for work.

                                          Featured photo credit: Zlatko Unger via albumarium.com

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                                          Last Updated on January 11, 2021

                                          11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                                          11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                                          Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

                                          Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

                                          1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

                                          Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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                                          2. Stress Relief

                                          Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

                                          3. Improved Sleep

                                          Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

                                          4. Appetite Control

                                          Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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                                          5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

                                          When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

                                          6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

                                          Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

                                          7. Mosquito Repellant

                                          Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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                                          8. Pain Relief

                                          While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

                                          9. The New Anti-Viral

                                          Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

                                          10. Improved Cognitive Function

                                          Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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                                          11. Money Saving

                                          With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

                                          Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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