10 Foods to Keep in the Kitchen for Clean Eating

| Food

Trying to clean up your diet? The clean eating lifestyle can completely turn your health around by removing bad food habits, adding more nutrition back into your diet, and revving up your metabolism. If you're new to clean eating, check out our list of clean eating dos and don'ts to get started and learn the basics. If you're ready to purge your pantry of the bad stuff and replace it with the good stuff, we've made a list of ten clean foods to keep in the kitchen.

  1. Coconut Oil: With lots of healthy fatty acids, coconut oil is a pantry staple that you'll definitely want to keep around. Coconut oil has a low smoke point, so it is fine for low-temperature cooking or with foods that require no cooking. Use coconut oil in place of butter on toast or in baked goods, or add it to your morning oatmeal or smoothie.

Coconut-Oil

2. Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios are a few highly underrated healthy nuts. Many people are afraid of the fat and calories in nuts, but the protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats in nuts make them a healthy food to keep in the kitchen. Nuts have been linked with better heart health, lower cholesterol and weight management. However, watch your portion size! It's easy to eat a few too many nutrient and calorie-rich nuts. Check out this healthy trail mix guide for quick, healthy snack ideas.

mixed nuts

Keep these ten clean eating staples in your kitchen and a delicious, heathy meal will never be far off.

>> Read more: Clean Eating 101

3. Eggs: Think beyond sunny-side up or scrambled. Eggs are vitamin-rich and packed with protein. Contrary to popular thought, eggs won't make your cholesterol shoot through the roof when consumed in moderation. Their versatility makes them good any time of day. We've put together a list of some favorite egg recipes, including breakfast muffins, quiche and healthy deviled eggs.

eggs

4. Spinach: Stock up on fresh spinach to get your greens in! Antioxidant- and vitamin-packed spinach is easy to sneak into recipes for maximum nutrition. We love a good salad, but also try adding spinach to your smoothies, on a sandwich, or in your scrambled eggs.

spinach

5. Broccoli: Actually, all cruciferous vegetables could be on this list, including cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Broccoli and its cruciferous family are high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that stave off cancer. Add broccoli to stir fry or mix into a casserole with some lean chicken.

>> Recipe: Broccoli Tots

6. Sweet potatoes: Famously high in vitamins A and C, these slightly sweet tubers also have a low glycemic index, making them a healthier carbohydrate. There are seemingly endless possibilities to the versatility of sweet potatoes. Lighten up your fries and trade out your heavy sweet potato casserole. Or try something new and put sweet potatoes in a soup!

sweet potato

7. Avocado: They're not just for guacamole anymore. Unlike most other fruits, avocado contains healthy mono-unsaturated fats, which will help lower bad cholesterol when eaten in moderation. Avocados also pack in lots of fiber, potassium and folate. Add avocado to a smoothie or use it as a creamy substitution for mayo or dressing. Check out this list of unlikely ways to use an avocado.

avocado

8. Berries: Keep these low-sugar fruits around for a healthy, no fuss snack. Berries are also a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Freeze berries and add to smoothies, or top off a salad with berries to add sweet and tangy flavor.

Eat Fresh Berries

9. Salmon: Put salmon on your list of lean proteins to buy regularly at the grocery store. Wild, sustainably caught salmon is preferable. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, protein and vitamin D. Check out our top salmon recipes to try with this lean, healthy protein.

omega 3

10. Quinoa: This high-protein grain is an easy-to-cook pantry staple. Quinoa also has twice as much fiber as other grains. It's gluten-free, vegetarian friendly, and versatile. Some of our favorite quinoa recipes include quinoa pancakes with bananas, a lunch-friendly wrap, and quinoa stuffing. Try these other 11 easy quinoa dishes  for more inspiration to use this unique, healthy grain.

quinoa