Living philosophically entails being mindful. This applies very well to watching what you eat as well. Here are some essential and tasty ingredients you should always keep on hand.
Celery: Eaten raw (especially with a little peanut butter!) celery is a tasty snack but can also be used in dishes where you sauté onions and garlic such as a gumbo, many soups, and meatloaf. Celery many help lower cholesterol and combat some forms of cancer.
Cinnamon: Most people think of cinnamon as a candy flavor or something to add in some baking but not much else. In fact, it can be used in many dishes as an interesting and subtle flavor. It is very common in Indian cooking. Like turmeric, it can aid in digestion and also helps stabilize blood sugar making it helpful for those with diabetes.
Garlic: Not only does it taste good in so many dishes it also has been shown to lower cholesterol, control blood pressure, and combat some kinds of cancer.
Oats: Much has been made of oats and their ability to lower cholesterol. But they can also help combat cancer, help with diabetes, and reduce the risk of stroke. For those reasons (and their yummy flavor) they should be a staple in the pantry.
Okra: Taken alone some people find okra to be too slimy to enjoy. But, added to a gumbo or other vegetable soups and stews they add a rich (and surprisingly slime free!) flavor. In addition to this they help control blood pressure, strengthen your bones, and ease arthritis
Olive Oil: For most cooking and sautéing (especially of your onions, garlic, and celery!) olive oil is a good healthy oil to use and adds flavor as well. And olive oil has many good health benefits including helping with arthritis, combating cancer, and battling diabetes.
Onions: During the Civil War Grant always made sure to have onions for the men in his armies. It’s another versatile item in any kitchen and can be used on many soups, stews, and dishes. Cooked or raw onions are a tasty addition to your diet. In addition to being tasty onions also can reduce the risk of heart attacks, lower cholesterol, and help stop strokes.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes, either by themselves or in a dish, either cooked or raw add flavor and health to your diet. Among their many benefits include lowering cholesterol, combating cancer, protecting the prostate, and supporting your immune system.
Turmeric: Mostly known as an Indian spice in curries, turmeric can add an earthy flavor to most any soup or stew. Try adding it to your chili for an interesting and subtle new flavor. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent and also aids in digestion.