Top 20 healthy ingredients to have on hand

Discover the latest healthy foods to stock your fridge and fill your pantry with.

What to keep in your fridge and freezer
This story was originally titled "Best Buys" in the Live Right Now special issue. You can purchase the Live Right Now special issue here.

Keeping healthy ingredients on hand makes it easy to prepare quick, nutritious weeknight meals. Our registered dietitian, Cara Rosenbloom, compiled a list of 20 healthy staples that should always be in your kitchen. If not, make sure they’re on your next shopping list. With these essential ingredients, your well-stocked kitchen will provide you with endless recipe inspiration.

In the freezer
• Frozen berries

Perishable, delicate berries stand up well in the freezer. these antioxidant superpowers can be added to smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt to help reduce the risk of developing cancer.

• Skinless chicken breast
Chicken is high in niacin, a B vitamin that helps the body convert food into energy. Stick with white meat, which has double the niacin of dark meat.

• Mixed vegetables
Flash-frozen at the peak of their freshness to retain vitamins, plain frozen vegetables with no added salt are perfect for quick stir-fries.

• Nuts and seeds
Lower your risk of heart disease by munching on 1⁄4 cup (60 millilitres) of mixed unsalted nuts and seeds a few times each week. They'll stay fresh longer if they're kept frozen.

• Lean beef
Packed with protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12, lean beef delivers nutrition without too much fat. Opt for eye of round or top round cuts.

In the fridge
• Eggs

Once maligned as cholesterol raisers, eggs have now been vindicated. People who consume up to seven eggs per week have no greater risk of high cholesterol than those who avoid eggs entirely.

• Dark leafy greens
Whether you use kale, collards or spinach, greens deliver the essential vitamins A, C and K to your diet, and they are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.

• Plain nonfat yogurt
High in calcium, yogurt can replace sour cream or be used to make savoury tzatziki or raita. Add fruit for a sweet dessert.

• Apples

Just behind berries in antioxidant content, apples are a source of vitamin C. Plus, the phytonutrients in apples may help regulate blood sugar levels. (Check out some of our favourite apple recipes here.)

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