Lifestyle

Essentials for Your Pantry

If you’re looking to make good choices for your mind and body,

starting with what you put into your body is an easy way to transition into or keep a healthier lifestyle. It’s easier making healthier choices when you have access to a good group of versatile foods. Here are some of our favourite staples we think would be great additions for your food pantry.

 

ORGANIC COCONUT OIL

We recommend organic, raw, virgin coconut oil to maximize its benefits.

– Benefits –

Rich in antioxidants to boost your immune system.

High in saturated fat (lauric acid). Helps to lower high blood cholesterol, increase metabolism, balances hormones, weight loss.

Contains Caprylic acid. Helps to kill bad bacteria and yeast, so it helps with scars, acne and other skin problems.

– Uses –

Cooking – You could substitute canola or vegetable oil for this, as coconut oil can withstand high temperatures. Its flavour and aroma are absolutely delicious and compliments almost any dish.

Moisturizer – It is great for your skin, as it absorbs the oil really well and is non-greasy. It is also great for the face because it has anti-aging and bacteria-fighting properties.

Conditioner – Can be used as a leave-in conditioner for your hair, heat protector, or as a shine booster after your shower/bath. It is also good as a scalp treatment to help with dry skin; just massage into your scalp and comb through to the tips.

Shaving – Can be used as an alternative to shaving cream, and it doubles as a moisturizer.

Massage oil – A good oil to use for facial or body massages, especially for cellulite.

Hair Growth Serum – A healthy and possibly cheaper alternative to expensive serums on the market (where you don’t know what ingredients you’re putting into your system). Can be used anywhere you want hair growth, like eyebrows, eyelashes, beard,  or the roots or end of hair on your head.

Makeup Remover – Used with a cotton ball/pad, works wonders removing stubborn makeup. Doubles as a moisturizer, so your face does not feel dried out afterward.

Consumption of this oil should be in moderation.

 

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Not only does it taste good, but it’s light and smells good.

– Benefits –

High in good monosaturated fats.

High in antioxidants.

Anti-inflammatory properties.

Suggested to help prevent Alzheimer’s.

– Uses –

Cooking – It is good for low to medium heat settings. Adds good flavour to food.

Salad dressing – Light flavour and compliments almost any food really well.

Nails – Used as a warm soak, can penetrate nails to repair damage and soften cuticles.

Hair – Can be used as a mask or scalp treatment. It helps to fight dandruff and strengthen hair.

 

SEA SALT

Preferably non-iodized. Himalayan Sea Salt aka “Pink Gold” is worth mentioning as it contains a lump sum of nutrients, including 84 elements naturally occurring in your body.

– Benefits* –

*depending on which type of salt

Improves brain function.

Regulates body water content.

Aids respiratory health.

Helps sinus cavity health.

Expels mucus buildup.

Regulates blood pressure (with enough water and potassium).

Improves bone health.

Builds a stronger immune system.

Increases energy levels.

Promotes regular sleep.

– Uses –

Flavour enhancer – Sea salt is a good flavour enhancer. It is a good alternative to table salt, as most generic table salts contain added synthetic chemicals. Some of these include fluoride, anti-caking agents, MSG, processed white sugar and large amounts potassium iodide that can be harmful to your health.

Natural electrolytes drink – Instead of purchasing Gatorade, which has 56 grams of sugar in a bottle, you could make your own drink. Your basics include water or coconut water, a pinch of sea salt, lemon juice, and organic raw honey.

Baths – Soak yourself in a warm bath featuring sea salt to help relax and help joint and muscle aches and pain. 

 

Obviously, salt should be taken in moderation. If you have existing health conditions, high blood pressure for instance, then you should limit your consumption as per your physician’s orders.

 

ORGANIC AND/OR RAW HONEY

– Benefits –

Good source of antioxidants.

Antibacterial and antifungal properties – Can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus since it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide.

Anti-inflammatory properties – Raw honey contains phytonutrients, which helps to maintain good health.

– Uses –

Natural sweetener – A good addition to tea, coffee, shakes, smoothies, or while you’re cooking in replacement of sugar.

Allergy alleviator – Raw honey made from local sources is known to help with seasonal allergies, as the consumption of it introduces particles of local pollen spores into your immune system, helping to build immunity to the environment.

Wound or burn treatment – Honey can be applied topically, as it has natural antibacterial properties.

Cough treatment – Its thick consistency helps to treat the throat by coating it to prevent coughing.

Face mask – Honey has natural antibacterial properties and natural antioxidants, helps to aid in skin restoration and treatment for acne-prone skin.

Scalp or dandruff treatment – Its natural antibacterial properties helps aid in itchy, dry scalps. Use by itself or in conjunction with coconut oil or egg.

Lip scrub – In combination with brown sugar, helps to exfoliate and remove dead skin for softer lips.

You should never feed raw honey to babies less than 1 year old.

 

PURE ORGANIC STEVIA

Stevia is a plant-based zero calorie sweetener, said to be more than 100 times sweeter than regular sugar and does not appear to have any health risks when used in moderation. You can also enjoy baking by substituting regular white sugar for stevia, just use a conversion chart.

– Benefits –

Better alternative for those with diabetes – This sweetener is shown not to affect response in blood glucose or insulin.

Weight control – There are countless studies proving that sugar has a direct impact on weight gain. The use of stevia could be a factor in reducing energy intake along with a good diet and exercise.

Metabolism – Once absorbed and reaches the colon, the bacteria in the gut converts stevia into steviol which is metabolized in the liver, then becomes urine.  None of its byproduct is left in the body during metabolism.

May help lower blood pressure – Glycosides in stevia can increase the secretion of sodium and urine output.

– Uses –

Sweetener – Can be used as a sugar replacement.

As always, to make use of its benefits, use in moderation.

 

ORGANIC CHIA SEEDS

– Benefits –

Easy to incorporate into meals – Just sprinkle a few spoonfuls into drinks or food and you’re good to go.

Organic – Usually grown organically, non-GMO and naturally gluten-free

Loads of nutrients – A good source of fibre, protein, iron, dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, maganese, omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids, and phosphorus.

Helps aid in weight loss – They are high in fibre and protein. They could help as an appetite-reducer.

– Uses –

Added nutritious component in smoothies, juice, shakes, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salad or baked goods

Egg replacement -Mix with water to replace eggs

 

LEMONS

– Benefits –

Antibacterial and antiseptic properties – Good for sore throats

Source of vitamin C – Loaded with antioxidants to help to boost your immune system.

Vitamin E booster – Vitamin C helps increase Vitamin E levels for healthier skin and better complexion.

Nutritious – A source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, copper, calcium, magnesium, protein, zinc, and phosphorus.

Aids in digestion

Helps reduce stress and anxiety

– Uses –

Skin whitener for dark spots – Lemons are loaded with antioxidants, so it acts as a natural exfoliant to remove dead skin, improve skin tone and stimulates collagen. You could use lemons on skin spots and hyper-pigmentation from sun damage, or dark areas around face/underarms/elbows/knees

Black head and acne treatment – Lemons have antibacterial properties, so they can help treat acne and skin problems. Create a small mixture of baking soda with a few drops of lemon as a scrub and/or mask on your nose/cheeks/chin to help remove dead skin, sebum, oil. 

Water flavour – Acts as a flavouring and a cleanse with hot, cold, or room-temperature water or tea.

Disinfectant – Can be used in conjunction with vinegar as a natural disinfectant

Food – Can be used as a flavour and/or garnish

Sore throat remedy – Lemons are a natural astringent so it will aid in reducing mucus in your throat. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C to help strengthen your immune system. You can mix hot water with lemon (drops or slice), raw/organic honey, and tea (optional).

 


Links

https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-uses/
http://www.doctoroz.com/article/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/04/coconut-oil-benefits_n_2805109.html
http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cn400024q
http://www.livestrong.com/article/86764-use-olive-oil-nail-growth/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/87040-benefits-olive-oil-hair/
https://draxe.com/10-benefits-celtic-sea-salt-himalayan-salt/
https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-salt/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15689218
https://draxe.com/10-benefits-celtic-sea-salt-himalayan-salt/
http://www.himalayancrystalsalt.com/clinical-research.html
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/08/01/peds.2011-3075
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758027/
http://www.naturallivingideas.com/raw-honey-benefits/
http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/top-raw-honey-benefits#4
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19961353
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287251.php
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257742/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210834/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12738193
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27743/all-you-need-to-know-about-stevia-how-to-switch-from-sugar.html
http://natures-intent.com/portfolio/black-chia-seeds/
http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#section3
https://bellatory.com/skin/Can-Lemon-Juice-Really-Lighten-Skin
https://www.earthclinic.com/lemon-for-sore-throat-treatment.html
https://hope4cancer.com/blog/lemons-and-cancer/

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