Your Kitchen; Your Pharmacy

Mar 20, 2024


"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."   


Hippocrates was a pretty smart guy, so in honor of his brilliant understanding of the functionality of the human body, let's look at items to stock in your pantry that will, indeed, let your food be your medicine. 

While not an all-inclusive list of "must have" fridge and panty staples, this list provides 20 items never to be without. These foods, when stocked 24/7 will help ensure that you are able to create, at the spur of the moment, deeply nourishing, gut-supportive meals that taste amazing and support your wellness goals.


And the Top 20 items are….


Seed sprouts: these are germinated seeds that have started to grow, but have yet become mature plants. Examples are alfalfa, clover, broccoli, and radish. Sprouts actually contain more nutrients & antioxidants than the full grown plant and are easier to digest, which enhances nutrient absorption. You can purchase these at the grocery store, or buy seeds and a sprouting tray and DIY!!

Fresh and dried herbs and spices: these are another example of massive power stored in a small package. Herbs are life. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties support every cell, organ, and tissue in the body. If you're not already, start using herbs when cooking….and toss fresh ones on your salads, sandwiches, and atop any dish to increase nutrient density. 

Fermented foods: these are foods that feed the microbes in your gut. **There is a difference between ferments and probiotics…they are not the same, but fermented foods offer high levels of nutrients that are more easily absorbed by the body due to the fermentation process. Basically, they give you a lot of "bang for your buck" and can also act as a digestive aid when eaten with other foods. Because fermented foods feed your gut bugs, you reap all the benefits of a robust and diverse microbiome when you consistently add ferments to your diet. 

Beans and lentils: packed with protein and gut-supportive fiber, beans are a quick, easy, and cheap way to support your body. They are extremely mineral rich, supportive of bone health, and can aid in blood sugar and weight management! Amazing! You can buy dried beans that you soak and sprout yourself (see my FREE guide: Balance Your Biome" to learn how to do this), or you can purchase organic canned beans and just rinse them before use. 

Seeds and nuts: again, small package/huge benefits here. Seeds and nuts provide antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and protein. They support digestion, brain health, bone health, cardiovascular health, and metabolic health. You can soak and sprout these as well to enhance nutrient absorption. Examples are: chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, & sesame seeds; almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and pistachios. 

Teas: the antioxidants and bioactive compounds like flavonoids and polyphenols make teas anti-inflammatory & anti-cancer miracle workers. Drink freshly cut and sifted teas for best results (Frontier Brand), and sip several times a day….green, black, and herbal varieties. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: what CAN'T apple cider vinegar do? It can't do your taxes, but that's about it. ACV can aid in weight loss, blood sugar regulation, digestion, skin and hair health, can cure a cold, soothe a sore throat, lower blood pressure, act as a deodorant, a cleaning agent, and is packed with antioxidants that support and protect your entire body. Keep it in your fridge!

Olive and avocado oils: these are examples of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocado oil can be heated to higher temps, so it's better to cook/bake with, and olive oil is so massively anti-inflammatory that taking a teaspoon a day is considered better than any prescription medicine by many wellness practitioners. Choose high quality, organic oils housed in dark glass bottles, and keep in a cool, dark place. Use olive oil as a topper or dressing, but do not cook with it. 

A crisper with a rainbow of veggies: we all know this….but somehow we forget about those gems laying in wait, and often have to toss them when they start to wilt and turn brown. So, increase the diversity of veggies you keep on hand so that you increase the diversity of microbes in your gut! Eating a diverse diet of plants is one way to maintain a healthy microbiome…which is the foundation of health for your whole bod. 

Fiber-rich, gut-supportive root veggies: create a "root cellar" in your pantry loaded with ginger, garlic, onions, potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, beets, and more! These fibers are what really send your gut microbes into a fabulous feeding frenzy. Root veggies can be added to any dish to increase flavor, nutrient density, fiber, and bulk. 

Quinoa: this seed is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and is a complete source of protein. Quinoa is gluten-free, is high in antioxidants, and supports gut health, blood sugar regulation, and digestion. It's cheap and easy to use on salads, in "bowls," and as a superior substitute for rice, barley, or pasta. 

Bone broth: of course, you can make a soup or stew on the fly with these, but bone broth works wonders. Bone broth is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and gelatin. It contains collagen that supports joints, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. It can help repair the lining of the digestive tract, reduce inflammation, and support the growth of beneficial bacteria. As part of an anti-aging regime, bone broth can reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and can elasticity and smoother skin. Sip bone broth on the daily!

Frozen greens and berries: these are freezer staples because they are key ingredients in smoothies….and can be added to a stir fry, casserole, soup or any dish in a pinch when fresh veggies are not around. Organic frozen veggies are picked and packed at the height of freshness, so they are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants. 

Protein powder: no brainer here….but when you start to run low, restock! You can enjoy protein powder in smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, baked goods, and….my fave: stirred into some peanut butter for an afternoon snack! The ultimate grab-and-go….high quality protein powders are essential to your kitchen pharmacy.

Boxed nut milk: I keep several on hand so that I'm never without….use it in smoothies, baked goods, organic cereals for the kids….nut milks are lactose free, plant based, and nutrient rich. Make sure yours does not contain carrageenan and choose organic, low sugar varieties. 

Canned salmon and sardines: wild-caught, of course! This is a great way to ensure your weekly servings of Omega 3-rich fish. Packed with protein and anti-oxidants, wild canned salmon/sardines are cheap and packed with health benefits….keep this in stock!

Hot sauce: adds flavor AND increases metabolism because it contains capsaicin—so it's a weight management condiment! Woo-hoo! Whether using a hot sauce or powder, bring on some heat and reap the benefits!

Coconut aminos: a great alternative to soy sauce, coconut aminos provide that "unami" flavor to any dish that rounds out and satisfies. It's gluten-free, and rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Some research even suggests it acts as a gut-supportive prebiotic. Use in stir-fries, marinades, dressings, and sauces. 

Honey: the best sweetener, in my book! Full of flavonoids and anti-oxidants, honey contains vitamins, minerals, supports gut health, and boost energy. It can soothe sore throats and assist in wound healing, so this sticky little gem is a must for the kitchen pharmacy!


Whew! What a list! Again, not all-inclusive, but 20 superstar staples to keep you & yours healthy and well. 


In Good Health,