Life can get pretty busy. And a busy schedule can often lead to poor food choices like pasta or bread. It’s best to know which good-for-you foods you should always have on hand. It’s the only way to ensure that when you reach for a meal in a pinch, you’ll be getting something that will support your health. But what are the foods you should always have in your kitchen pantry?
Check out these 5 healthy foods you should always have in your kitchen or pantry. Not only are these foods tasty options, but they’re also free of lectins.
Five Gundry-Approved Foods You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen
When it comes to having healthy ingredients at the ready, you want your pantry full so you can whip up healthy dishes for any occasion. Whether you load up on lectin-free vegetables or stock your kitchen with flavorful ingredients for healthy recipes, you’ll want to stock your pantry with foods that love you back.
So, the next time you make your shopping list, be sure to include these 5 foods:
- Dark leafy greens and lectin-free vegetables
- Gundry-approved nuts like walnuts, macadamia, or pistachios
- Extra dark chocolate (72% or darker)
- Olive Oil
These should make up most of the go-to foods in your fridge and on your pantry shelves. You never know when you’ll need to pull ideas from your box of recipes and put together last-minute dishes.
But with so little time to cook, the 5 staple ingredients listed above should be accessible at all times.
Healthy Lectin-Free Vegetables: Fresh Leafy Greens
Leafy greens (like kale, swiss chard, microgreens, spinach, and collard greens) can support your health in amazing ways and often make for the best salads.
For starters, leafy greens are full of polyphenols. Polyphenols are micronutrients from plant-based foods that support overall health and longevity.1,2,3
Moreover, a salad of leafy greens might even help curb your hunger. They’re packed to the brim with thylakoids (tiny sac-like membranes that help suppress your hunger). Leafy greens also boast quite a bit of fiber to help fill you up and support healthy metabolic function.4
Salads are great because they can be the vehicle for all sorts of foods such as olive oil, omega-3 eggs, and avocado.
Gundry-approved Nuts: Walnuts, Macadamias, Or Pistachios
When it comes to nuts, you have to be wary. Some kinds of “nuts” — like cashews, for instance — are really just seeds. And they’re full of lectins. So steer clear of cashews and peanuts. Similarly, nut butter made from those nuts is no good either.
But other types of nuts such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pistachios can do wonders for your overall health.
Macadamia nuts, for example, are high in monounsaturated fats. In fact, macadamias contain about 80% monounsaturated fats.5 The monounsaturated fat in macadamia nuts is said to have potentially beneficial health effects on your overall cholesterol and may even help lower your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, or bad cholesterol.6,7
Let’s Talk Dessert: A 1 Oz Square Of Extra Dark Chocolate (72% Or Higher)
A one-ounce square of extra dark chocolate can be the perfect midday treat or after-dinner dessert.
And believe it or not, dark chocolate can provide some measurable health benefits. Chocolate boasts high antioxidant and flavonoid content.8
The true magic lies in plant-derived cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate. In fact, recent research demonstrates the positive effects of antioxidants in cocoa on your blood pressure, blood sugar, and overall heart health.9,10
But this doesn’t mean you should go buy a bag of Halloween candy. You must make sure when you pick out your chocolate treat, you grab the right bar. The chocolate has to have at least 72% cacao. 85% cocoa or higher is even better. And limit yourself to just 1oz per day.
An Avocado A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Seriously, you can have a delicious, buttery avocado every day if you want. Avocados are full of all of the best fatty acids to support heart health, weight management efforts, and even healthy aging.11
Also, avocados contain over 10 grams of fiber per cup. And they’re full vitamins your body needs like vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and even folate.12 With foods as filling as avocado, you won’t miss the bad-for-you dishes like the pasta that used to be your go-to dinner. Avocado is even great atop your eggs at breakfast.
Toast To Your Health With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As is often mentioned by Dr. Gundry, those who enjoy a regular helping of olive oil know that it can be deliciously rich and full of healthy polyphenols, antioxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins.13
And one of the most wonderful benefits of supplementing your diet with healthy fats like monounsaturated fats in olive oil is the ways in which they may help to keep your hunger at bay. Plus, when you cook with olive oil instead of other oils, you get a peppery, buttery flavor that’s tough to beat.
But olive oil also contains oleuropein and recent studies show that oleuropein might actually be able to:
- Help your body fight against damaging free radicals
- Support artery health
- Support heart health14
Bonus: Wild Caught Fish And Shellfish Like Sardines, Lobster, Oysters, Alaskan Salmon, Shrimp, And More
Another great healthy food to have on tap is wild-caught seafood like fish and shellfish. Seafood comes in handy because it contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Your body needs DHA, but it is unable to produce it on its own. This means you need to consume DHA through diet.15
Recent studies confirm that supplementing your diet with DHA-rich foods might help reduce the risk of developing a wide-range of health issues.16
Of course, you can also take supplements to get a healthy helping of DHA. But if you do decide to consume fish, make sure you eat no more than 4 oz of wild-caught fish or shellfish in a day. Here are some great options:
- Wild-caught Salmon
- Wild-caught Sardines
- Wild-caught Shrimp
- Wild-caught Lobster
- Wild-caught Oysters
- Wild-caught Tilapia
- Wild-caught Scallops
- Wild-caught Cod17
There are some great plant-based food sources of DHA as well. Perilla Oil – Perilla oil (the oil pressed from roasted perilla seeds) has a delightfully nutty flavor and contains DHA.18 Microalgae and algal oil are great vegan sources of DHA.19