It is necessary to have healthy ingredients at home that you can use on a regular basis to fix healthy meals for you and your entire family.

They should be low in fat, salt and sugar with no added preservatives.

Some of the healthiest cooking ingredients to have in your kitchen include:

1. Olive Oil
Olive oil has no saturated fat and is considered the healthiest oil by many authorities, including, the American Heart Association. It can be used for baking, and for pan cooking. It can be used for salad dressing also as long as you don’t put it in the refrigerator. It gets very thick and slow moving when cold.

2. Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.                                                                                                                                                          Coconut Oil has gotten a very bad rap from the main stream medical profession, but new research is showing that it actually has quite a few health benefits.

  • It contains medium chain triglycerides which are metabolized differently. They are used as a quick energy source by the liver, they can also be turned into ketones, which may help with brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
  • The Lauric Acid in coconut oil helps to fight off infections, is a fungicide and can kill bacteria and viruses.

3. Yogurt
I especially like Greek yogurt it’s a wonderful substitute for recipes that call for mayonnaise, or sour cream. It can also be used to thicken a variety of sauces and also makes a great snack or breakfast food.

4. Onions and Garlic
I love onions! That wasn’t always the case, as a child, teenager and young wife, I didn’t use the real deal. I used only onion powder. But now I put onions and garlic also into almost everything I cook.

OnionsIt is possible to include onions in a number of recipes like soups, salads or in stir-fry. Onions have a very distinctive flavor, I love putting sweet vidalia onions in my tossed salads.

Onions help balance blood sugar for people struggling with Diabetics and those diagnosed with pre-diabetes. They also contain anti-inflammatory benefits for those who struggle with allergies when they include them regularly in their meals.

When eaten in large amounts, they provide anti-bacterial properties for the body to fight harmful bacteria that may cause illnesses.

002-bonus-health-aGarlic is related to the onion family and is high in selenium. It helps in reducing blood cholesterol that can cause problems in the heart. It is necessary to allow garlic to rest after chopping before cooking to obtain the maximum health benefits. It increases iron absorption which is essential in the production of red blood cells.

Furthermore, it is believed to help in the fight against obesity.  It is also used In Treating: Atherosclerosis, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease, and Hypertension.

5. Tomatoes  

Tomatoes whether fresh or in a paste are a must have ingredient. They can be eaten raw in a salad or made into various sauces for a sumptuous meal.

The red pigment in tomatoes is called lycopene and promotes the production of collagen for gorgeous firm skin. Lycopene enables one to enjoy a good night’s sleep healing to the mind, body and soul. Tomatoes are also believed to help the skin fight against sunburn when eaten in abundance.

Tomatoes also lower the risk of osteoporosis by strengthening the bones when eaten regularly.

They contain antioxidants necessary in the fight against cancer.

Drizzling olive oil on your tomatoes ensures you obtain additional nutritional benefits.

Finally, cherry and grape tomatoes are very low in calories, they can be eaten in abundance for snacking and with meals.

6. Herbs

Most fresh herbs contain strong aromas that make a meal enjoyable, and they can be grown on your windowsill and therefore be easily accessible to create healthy and delicious meals.

  • Rosemary can be included in soups, for chicken dishes and in your cup of tea.
  • Rosemary is believed to help improve the brain health of people who forget easily.
  • Parsley is full of minerals and vitamins; additionally it adds color to a salad for a mouth-watering meal and it was used in colonial times as a breath freshener.
  • Ginger is another herb that is good for the digestive health and is believed to settle an upset stomach. It can be dried and used in a tea to relieve a cold because it is known to open the sinuses for easier breathing.
  • A number of people have used it to relieve pain in a tooth by chewing it.

7. Spices    

Spices help to make meals more flavorful without any added fat and calories. Spices also have many health benefits.

  • Chili Peppers    

Benefits:  Antioxidant, Anti-Irritant Properties, Cold Remedy, Weight Loss, Heart Health. Digestion, Balances LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Plus the capsaicin that is found in hot peppers is very good for inflammation that causes arthritis, and can also be helpful for people that suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome.

  • Turmeric

Antioxidant Loaded With Nutrients: Protein, Dietary Fiber, Niacin, Vitamins C, E and K, Sodium Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc.                                                                    Benefits: Cancer Prevention, Arthritis Reliever, Diabetes Control, Heals Wounds, Alzheimers Prevention, Improves Digestion, Natural Liver Detoxifier, Weight Management, Reduces Cholesterol, Boosts Immune System. Also reduces inflammation.

  • Oregano  

Benefits: Antioxidants for Immune System Support, Antifungal, Antibacterial, Anti-inflammatory Properties, Cancer-Fighting Effects and Upper Respiratory Infections.

  • Basil                    

Also Known As Saint Joseph’s Wort, This Spice Is Rich In Antioxidants, Vitamins A, K, C, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, and Calcium.   Benefits: Reduces Inflammation and Swelling and Has Anti-Aging Properties.

  • Thyme

A Wonderful Herb with Culinary, Medicinal and Ornamental Uses.    Benefits and Uses: Acne, High Blood Pressure, Protection from Foodborne Bacterial Infections, Colon Cancer, Breast Cancer and Yeast Infections.

  • Rosemary

Great Source of Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Elements.   Benefits and Uses: Improves Digestion, Enhances Memory and Concentration, Neurological Protection, Prevents Brain Aging and Helps In Cancer Treatment.

  • Parsley

Nutrients: Vitamins K, C, A, Folate, Fiber, Iron, Anti-Oxidants.       Benefits and Uses: Heart Health and Protection from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

  • Ginger

Used In Antacid, Laxative and Anti-Gas Medications.  Benefits and Uses: Relieves Muscle Pain from Exercise, Chemotherapy Nausea, Ovarian Cancer, Asthma, High Blood Pressure, Painful Menstruation and Migraines.

  • Clove

Benefits and Uses: Diarrhea, Upset Stomach, Expectorant, Hernia, Bad Breath, Intestinal Gas, Nausea, Vomiting, Tooth Ache Pain, Topical Remedy for Pain, Mouth and Throat Inflammation.

I will add that with the exception of Turmeric and Chili Peppers, you can find all of these herbs and spices in Essential Oils. Since the oils are much more concentrated than the herbs and spices, you would not be using as much of them.