These Are The 10 Healing Food Kitchen Staples You Need For Eating Healthy

When you make the decision to start eating for vibrant health and wellness one of the most important things you need to do to be successful is to stock your home with must have healing foods kitchen staples to make eating healthy and preparing meals a breeze. If you always keep wholesome ingredients on hand it’s so much easier to quickly put together a nourishing meal after a long, busy day. To make your transition easier and budget friendly you can choose two or three new foods to buy every week to replace the unhealthy foods you no longer want to eat. If it’s in your budget, try to buy all organic and non-gmo kitchen staples for the most clean, nutrient-dense and healthy foods for radiant health.

I personally shop weekly for both my own home and for my clients gift baskets so I can get fresh produce, grass-fed, pastured meats, wild seafood, organic poultry, organic dairy, eggs, and pantry staples at my local farmer’s markets and grocery chain stores. My favorite chain stores to shop at are Trader Joe’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, Costco and Whole Foods Markets. I always check out the latest weekly ad circulars before shopping at the chain stores so I can get the best prices on some of the foods I love.

Once or twice a month I go online to get top quality pantry staples, personal care products, supplements, superfoods and therapeutic grade pure essential oils at discount prices that are lower than what I can find in my local stores. I find the best deals on ghee, natural sweeteners, herbal coffee, raw honey, coconut flour, almond flour, raw cacao butter, coconut oil, gluten free items, personal care products, essential oils, supplements, superfoods and other goodies when I shop online.

Since a big part of my work involves dealing with food, I don’t always want to go out shopping. I spend most days either coaching clients on how to eat healthy, recipe testing, cooking, blogging, photographing food, developing new healing foods recipes and cooking for my family so the last thing I want to do after that is spend hours in a grocery store. When this happens I save both time and money by shopping online in the comfort of my own home and then having it delivered to my doorstep which is so easy to do.

One of my new favorite places to buy organic and non-gmo pantry staples and personal care products is from Thrive Market. Thrive Market is a wonderful online shop that has 2500 foods and products for both personal care, your home and your pets. All of the products they carry are 25-50% cheaper than you will pay at most grocery chain stores or health food stores. Thrive Market carries a great selection of organic, non-gmo foods and plenty of options for people who follow a paleo, vegan, omnivore, or vegetarian diet. Thrive Market offers a membership model like Costco and the yearly membership cost is $59.95 which you pay for after you get a free 30 day trial membership first.  Thrive Market gives back by donating a free membership to a family in need and also teachers with each paid membership. I adore supporting businesses that have a mission to help others lead a better life! Thrive Market also has a fantastic blog, videos and other resources to help you.

So now that you have some of my best tips for shopping for healing foods here’s my list of the 10 Must Have Healing Foods Kitchen Staples You Need For Eating Healthy.

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Leafy Green Vegetables

Arugula, bok choy, butter lettuce, cabbage, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive lettuce, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, green and red oak leaf lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and watercress are excellent leafy greens to eat on a daily basis to fight inflammation and protect your body from premature aging. These leafy greens are packed with water, amino acids, phytochemicals, enzymes, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and fiber which nourishes the entire body. Leafy greens contain high levels of chlorophyll which helps builds blood and increases the levels of oxygen in the body. A well nourished body=a strong body.



Acai berries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, camu camu berries, cranberries, goji berries, golden berries, mulberries, raspberries and strawberries help cleanse the body of toxins and fights chronic inflammation which will help support a healthy immune system.  Berries protect against the oxidative stress which causes aging due to the high levels of vitamin C, minerals, antioxidants, and the phytochemicals that they contain. Berries are great to eat fresh or you can freeze or dehydrate them for longer storage.


Allium Vegetables

Onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots are all members of the allium family. These wonderful vegetables contain high amounts of sulfur an important mineral that helps rebuild keratin and collagen, along with helping the liver purify. Onions are also rich in quercetin an antioxidant that fights free radical damage. I keep fresh garlic, garlic powder, fermented black garlic, green onions aka scallions, white onions, red onions, shallots and leeks in my pantry at all times.


Fermented Foods

Before pasteurization, refrigeration, and freezing, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and drinks were preserved for long storage through the use of culturing or lacto-fermentation. Fermenting or culturing foods is an ancient skill that has been used in a wide variety of different countries for years. Lacto-fermentation causes the lactic acid-producing bacteria or lactobacilli to convert the sugar and starches in fruits and vegetables into lactic acid. This lactic acid bacteria also acts as a natural food preservative that prevents bad bacteria from growing and causing food to spoil. Lacto-fermentation or culturing of foods and beverages creates probiotics or friendly bacteria in our digestive tract. These probiotics produce beneficial microflora which colonize in our intestines and assist in keeping our digestive and immune system healthy and strong. My favorite fermented foods to keep in my pantry include sauerkraut, kimchi, black garlic, coconut vinegar, raw apple cider vinegar, coconut water kefir, and kombucha tea.  If you want to make your own sauerkraut and coconut water kefir here’s some of my recipes to help you get started:

Fermented purple cabbage and apple sauerkraut,Fermented lemon kale and savoy cabbageCinnamon coconut water kefir and vanilla coconut water kefir.

Healthy Fats and Oils

Healthy fats and oils keep you satisfied, provide naturally occurring vitamins, essential fatty acids, support healthy hormones and your brain, help keep your immune system strong, fight inflammation and help you burn fat. I like using avocados, avocado oil, pastured butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut milk, cocoa butter, duck fat, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, ghee, macadamia nut oil, MCT oil, sesame seed oil, tallow, and walnut oil. My most used healthy fats and oil are pastured butter and coconut.

Coconut meat, virgin raw coconut oil, and the coconut milk from the coconut are all fantastic healing foods to support a healthy metabolism and immune system. Coconut oil and the meat of coconuts contain medium-and short-chain fatty acids that the body immediately uses for energy production. Coconuts contain the fatty acids lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. This unique composition makes coconut anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut meat, coconut milk, and its oil will increase your metabolic rate and prevent coconut from being stored as fat when you eat it.


Raw Nuts and Seeds

The best nuts and seeds include: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts. All of these nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, protein, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help neutralize free radicals; fight inflammation; and repair cellular damage. Nuts and seeds contain fatty acids like GLA that are potent anti-inflammatory fats and also important for keeping your skin moisturized. I like to store fresh raw nuts and seeds for longer storage in the refrigerator or freezer.


Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are an excellent addition to any healing foods pantry. They offer powerful health benefits and add flavor to all of your recipes. I like to use a combination of fresh and dried herbs and spices along with essential oils from these plants to really make my recipes shine! My favorites include anise, basil, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, cilantro, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mint, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, peppermint, rosemary, sage, stevia, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, and vanilla.

Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan pink salt is an ancient crystal salt that contains 84 key trace minerals. Use this salt as a replacement for white refined table salt in your recipes. Himalayan pink salt has a clean flavor and beautiful pink color. It imparts amazing taste to any foods you add it to and is my first choice for seasoning my recipes with salt. I use the fine grain variety and also the coarse grain  depending on the recipe.


Teas and Herbal Coffee

Teas and herbal coffee are excellent beverages to drink instead of sugary sodas, energy drinks, and processed fruit juices. I like to keep a mix of green teas, black teas, white teas, kombucha tea, and herbal coffee in my pantry at al

l times. Teas, herbal coffee and kombucha tea all have a lot of important nutrients for keeping you healthy including probiotics, antioxidants and polyphenols. I drink these beverages as is or add them into other recipes like my tea roasted butternut squash soup or my post exercise recovery strawberry avocado chia smoothie.


Natural Sweeteners

Choosing to use natural sweeteners is a much debated topic in the holistic community. Some feel you should not use any natural sweeteners except from low-sugar fruits like lemons or wild berries and others believe its fine to use healthy natural sweeteners in moderation. I do recommend replacing white cane sugar and other artificial sweeteners with organic coconut sugar, raw honey(try this one), organic stevia (try this one), erythritol (try this one), lucuma, monkfruit (try this one), organic maple syrup-grade B and yacon for much healthier options. If you’re dealing with major health issues, want to lose weight, or follow a ketogenic diet, you should avoid all sweeteners except stevia, erythritol, and monkfruit

Bonus Kitchen Staple


Bone Broth

Bone broth is a extremely nutrient-dense food made from slowly simmering bones from animals like chicken and beef along with purified water, herbs, spices, apple cider vinegar or wine for up to 48 hours to extract valuable nutrients from the bones. You can also make bone broth from fish bones. Bone broth is rich in amino acids, bioavailable collagen aka gelatin, vitamins and minerals. Bone broth is wonderful sipping as is or a fantastic addition to many other recipes like sauces, soups and stews. I like to drink 1 or 2 cups a day of bone broth for helping support my digestive health, fight inflammation and promote overall wellness.

A quick note from our founder-

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The 5 Most Dangerous Lies You’ve Been Told About Bread


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Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.

Rick D.


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Shelley Alexander is a holistic chef; certified healing foods specialist; food writer; recipe developer; and owner of the holistic health company, A Harmony Healing, in Los Angeles, California. Shelley has always had a great love for eating delicious, locally grown, seasonal foods, and she grew up in Ohio eating ripe, juicy, vegetables and fruits fresh from her grandparents’ extensive garden and the local farmers’ markets. A Harmony Healing provides Alcat Testing, Cooking Classes, Health Consultations, Workshops, Radiance Wellness Parties, and Company Health Seminars. To find out more about Shelley and her company’s services, follow her holistic blog at Shelley’s healing foods cookbook Deliciously Holistic will be available for purchase on April 30, 2013. This beautiful cookbook demonstrates with 154 mouth-watering recipes that good nutrition never has to be at the sacrifice of great taste!