The Finest Chefs

Essential Healthy Ingredients – Uses and Benefits


No matter what recipes you love cooking for you and your family, it is very important to have certain ingredients around the house, as these can easily be incorporated in any recipe, tasty and great for your health.

The characteristics of all these ingredients are that they contain little fat, they have almost no salt or sugar, and they do not contain preservatives.

When putting together your grocery list, always add the following ingredients.

Canola oil

This type of oil has no content of saturated fat, and it is known for being the healthiest of all oils. According to the American Heart Association, canola oil is the most recommended for people with heart conditions. It can be used for frying, baking, and for salads.

Non fat yogurt

If you like your sauces and dips to be thick and tasty, but still healthy, Greek or any kind of non fat yogurt is the best choice, and it can successfully replace mayonnaise and sour cream. Yogurt can also be consumed as it is, and it makes for a great breakfast option.

Garlic and onions

Onions make for a great addition in any salad, but they can also be added to soups and stir fry recipes.

It must be mentioned that the consumption of onions is much recommended for those with diabetes, or who have problems regulating sugar levels in their blood.

Including onions regularly with meals helps reducing inflammations and allergies.

Also, if you are an avid onion eater, your body becomes richer in agents for fighting bacteria and diseases caused by them.

Garlic is similar to onion, but it has a higher content of selenium. It is recommended for preventing heart conditions, and it works wonders on cholesterol levels. Here is a quick tip for cooking garlic. After you chop it, let it rest a little, as this helps retaining its most nutrients. Another advantage of garlic is that it helps the absorption of iron in the body and red blood cell production.

Obese people are recommended to consume garlic often, as it is believed to help preventing weight gain and even stimulate weight loss.


Tomatoes have a great taste, and they can be mixed with almost any type of meal. They are great with pasta, as a side dish and in salads.

Tomatoes are rich in a substance called lycopene, essential in the production of collagen. Collagen is the building block of human skin, and responsible for maintaining your skin young and elastic. Lycopene is also helpful for correcting sleeping patterns, and it can also help you develop less sun burns when you go to the beach.

  • It is advisable to eat tomatoes to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
  • Because they are rich in antioxidants, they are also considered a great ally in cancer prevention.
  • To enhance their nutritional advantages, combine them with a bit of olive oil.
  • If you are looking for tomato varieties low in calories, choose cherry and grape tomatoes.


Healthy meals must also be tasty, and a simple way to obtain this is by mixing some herbs in the mix. Aromatic spices can be grown in pots, indoors, so you can always have them at hand.

Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs used for cooking. It can be used for soups, chicken recipes and even tea. It is also helpful for older people who suffer from memory loss.

Parsley is another herb you can use, because it has a high content of minerals and many vitamins.

Ginger can be added for additional taste, but it is also very helpful for making your digestion easier. Dried ginger is used to make tea for cold. When you have a running nose, it helps opening the sinuses. You can also chew ginger to relieve tooth pain.


Spices are great ingredients to have around, because they add taste to any meal, but without adding calories or fat. It must be mentioned that spices are also great for your health.

Chili peppers are rich in anti-oxidants and they help you beat the cold. They are promoters of weight loss, and they keep your heart healthy. Chili peppers are also rich in substances that regulate digestion, cholesterol levels and triglycerides.

Turmeric is a spice rich in protein and fiber, as well as many vitamins and minerals. Consuming turmeric brings an important intake of vitamin C, E and K. Among the minerals found in turmeric, calcium, copper, magnesium, iron and zinc must be mentioned.

Consumption of turmeric helps fighting cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, among many health conditions. It also helps improve digestion, it contributes to weight loss, it regulates cholesterol levels, and it is a natural detoxifier for your liver. It is also known as a great immune system booster.

Garlic is used for cooking, but it is also effective in reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is also known for its qualities in alleviating the symptoms of atherosclerosis and heart conditions.

Oregano is a rich source of antioxidants, and it also has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It fights inflammation in the body, and it helps preventing cancer and respiratory infections.

Basil is traditionally called St. Joseph’s Wort. It has a high content of antioxidants, as well as vitamins – A, K, C – and minerals – iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Among its most important benefits, it must be mentioned that it fights aging, swelling and inflammations.

Thyme is used for cooking, but it also has medicinal properties. Because of its aspect, it is used as ornamentation. Adding thyme to your recipes helps you reduce blood pressure, prevent bacteria from developing and it stuns yeast growth. This spice is also known for preventing and lowering the risk of colon and breast cancer.

Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and it also fights inflammation effectively. A good aid to digestion, it is known for helping people suffering from memory loss, and it helps you maintain for brain younger for a long time. It is a great ally in fighting cancer.

Parsley is rich in anti-oxidants, folate, iron, fiber and vitamins A, C and K. It protects the body against rheumatoid arthritis and it is of great help in fighting heart conditions.

Ginger is often found in medication for digestive problems. It is of great help in reducing pain caused by menstruation, migraines, and intensive exercising. It regulates blood pressure and it helps preventing ovarian cancer. Ginger is used to alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy, and for treating asthma.

Clove is mostly beneficial for people with digestive problems, like diarrhea, gas, vomiting and symptoms of an upset stomach. It is also helpful in alleviating pain, such as tooth ache, and it is used for its expectorant properties in treating colds.

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Andrea Skye

Andrea Skye

Brought up in the seaside town of Brighton, I was an avid reader living in a house that was always full of books, fine food and dining. I became a travel writer researching and writing content on health, diet and lifestyle.

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