22 Feb 7 Foods you need in your cupboard2 minute read
Eating well is much easier when you have the right supplies on hand.
These foods can keep for months if stored correctly—so you don’t have to rush to the shops to create a health-boosting meal.
We all know they can help keep you regular, but did you also know that these are a good source of vitamin C? This essential nutrient has many functions, including neutralising the free radicals that contribute to a range of chronic health conditions. Look out for prunes that come with no added sugar or preservatives (these are usually sold in jars rather than tins).
2. Brown rice
Unlike white rice, this retains its bran, germ and aleurone layers—and thus a whole host of nutrients. It’s a particularly rich source of magnesium, a mineral that’s involved in your body’s insulin secretion. A systematic review of studies, which looked at the diets of more than 160,000 women, found that those who frequently ate whole grains, including brown rice, enjoyed a 21 per cent reduction in their risk of type 2 diabetes .
Not only are these wonderfully quick and easy to prepare (simply simmer with some stock), their fibre content helps to keep your heart healthy. One study, which followed 10,000 adults for 19 years, found that those eating the most fibre (21g per day) had significantly less coronary heart disease .
This beautiful spice is a stalwart of Indian cooking, and for good reason. A known powerful anti-inflammatory, emerging research is now investigating into the link between the spice and improved cognitive function. It’s early days, but it’s hypothesised that curcumin (a constituent of turmeric), can stimulate the production of DHA—a fatty acid that’s critical to brain function.
One tin of these small fish of sardines contains more than half of your recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These health-giving fats have a range of benefits, including protecting your vision and reducing blood pressure .
This spread, which is made from ground sesame seeds, frequently flavours Lebanese cuisine. Sesame seeds are a fantastic source of zinc, a mineral that contributes to healthy bones. This fact was supported by study of nearly 400 men, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found a positive association between higher zinc intake and bone mineral density .
Start your morning with porridge and you’ll be ingesting a specific type of soluble fibre called beta-glucan. Studies have shown that daily consumption of just three grams of soluble oat fibre—the amount in a single bowl of porridge—can reduce the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol (LDL) by up to 10 per cent .
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