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In the past few years, people have been mindful about what they eat and what foods they include in their diets and what they avoid. A lot of people now prefer buying their daily dietary requirements which are organic or grown in ways that are not harmful to their bodies or the environment. Some people have also replaced some of their products and brands with organic products.
Brands across the world also now make their products in such a way that it is sustainable and doesn't harm the health of the earth or the people who consume it. In the time of the pandemic, if we have learned anything is that good health is an investment, we all must make. It is important that as we navigate through the pandemic, we build up our health's and immunity and hence eat healthily. We bring to you 10 such products that need to make a place in your kitchen pantry.
1. Peanut Butter
Contrary to previous beliefs, peanut butter is filled with a lot of good fats, protein and goodness. It is completely healthy for your health if you buy the type that doesn't have added sugar or salt to it. A lot of peanut butter brands available in the market are sugar-free and yet flavoured with chocolate. So, dunk the chocolate spreads made with sugar and palm oil and dig in a jar of organically made peanut butter.
2. Coconut Oil
A lot of people in the past have associated coconut oil with increased cholesterol levels. There were also rumours about coconut oil was being tested on animals. However, those myths have been debunked and it has been scientifically proven that coconut oil is indeed good for your health. It is also ethically sourced and is carb and fat-free. So, the next time you crave pakoras, make sure you fry them in coconut oil. PS - If you are following the keto diet, coconut oil is your best bet. Coconut also works brilliantly on your skin and hair Make sure you add it to your black coffee and give it a whip. The final product will make you feel like a domestic goddess. Grandma wasn't all that wrong about it.
If you are fond of eating rice, as we all are on the western coast of India, it might be difficult to give it up. However, adding Quinoa to your diet is the perfect and healthy replacement for rice. A lot of dishes can be made using Quinoa. Also, if you can get your hands on quinoa flour, you can make delicious bread, cookies, rotis out of it. It is a fat-free and gluten-free product that is grown and made quite organically. It has a lot of fibre and hence a great friend of your gut health as well.
Oats or dalia as we call it is the perfect substitute for sugary and white flour breakfast items. Oats is also rich in fibre and great for your digestive tract. You can make several dishes using oats, be it sweet and savoury. So, if you are looking to replace white flour products, Oats could help you on your weight loss journey. PS- Add bananas, milk, stevia, honey to oats. Mix them up and in a measuring cup add them to a frying pan. You can have the most delicious and healthy pancakes ever.
Over the years there has been a lot of debate about the procuring of honey and many vegans and wildlife enthusiasts believe that it was a cruel product and that it was harmful to the ecosystem of the bees. But we now have honey that is completely organic and is plant-sourced. A lot of vegans now use honey that is not an animal by-product but is instead made from flowers, plants and fruits. It has helped a lot of cottage industry workers who produce such honey as their livelihood and helps restore the balance in the environment by not disturbing the bees. Because it is ethically sourced, it is also a rich source of iron and is a great substitute for white refined sugar. So, if you have a sweet tooth, we suggest you replace sugar with plant-based honey.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you are planning to choose an alternative oil to sunflower or vegetable oil, then your best bet would be extra virgin olive oil. It has just the right amount of fats required by your body daily. It can also be used as the main ingredient in your salad dressings. You can make a number of dishes using extra virgin olive oil including your daily dals, sabzis, kinds of pasta, and rotis. All you need is one tablespoon of olive oil.
7. Greek Yogurt
Mayonnaise may not be easy to give up, but we say do give a try to Greek Yogurt. If you have been diagnosed with any gut issues or lactose intolerance, Greek Yogurt is your go-to product. It is easy to digest and is a great supplement to include in your daily diet. You can use it to make salads or smoothies or even protein shakes. If you like things sweet, you can add chopped nuts and fruits to it and voila you have your healthy breakfast. You can also add chopped chillies and garlic to Greek yoghurt and eat it as a dip for your midday snack. Make sure that you choose a low-fat and sugar-free version though.
If you aren't too afraid of experimenting with your taste buds and of fermented drinks, Kombucha can be a great addition to your diet. It has been touted as a super-food by several health journals and magazines all across the globe. It is made using fruits, yeast and good bacteria and can be made at home as well as by companies using organic and ethical means. Several restaurants also have Kombucha on their menus.
Health benefits include a gut detox, lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Research has found that regular consumption of Kombucha may also help lower sugar and glucose levels.
9. Legumes and Beans
For people on vegetarian and vegan diets, it is difficult to get the right source of protein. That's why we suggest you include legumes and beans in your daily diet to make up for your body's protein needs. Legumes and beans unlike animal protein are low in fat content and do not increase your cholesterol levels. They were declared a superfood and you can vary recipes and ways online to whip up an excellent meal. Legumes and beans, previously touted as a poor man's diet are now prescribed to people who are avoiding meat. Legumes help in reducing cardiovascular problems if taken in the right quantity and even provide soluble fibre to the body.
Tahini is made from sesame seeds and is not just used for making shawarmas and hummus. It is a great source of minerals, vitamins and healthy fats and proteins. It can be used in several dishes such as soups, salads, dals, sabzis, dips, and can add that extra zing to your daily food. Tahini can be made at home or is available in the supermarket where many brands make it organically and cruelty-free.