Ketchup, soy sauce, yogurt, bread, wine—all items you would find in the average American woman's fridge (it's not just ours, right?). Yes, berries and greens make plenty of guest appearances, but if you're committed to clean eating, you're always stocked and ready with nutritionist-approved items—all the staples for snacking and quick meal prep. These are 10 things every clean eater has the fridge.
The detoxifying powers of ACV are not to be overlooked. “This supertonic balances healthy bacteria in the gut, promoting better digestion, balancing PH levels in the body, and killing any viruses and unwanted bacteria,” women’s health specialist Nicole Granato says. Add one teaspoon to a small glass of water, and drink it before each meal to increase stomach acid (which means better digestion) and your body’s absorption of the nutrients from your food. You can also use it in salad dressings and sauces.
Lemons are another beneficial digestive aid. “Rich in vitamin C, this citrus fruit will help your body purge excess water weight and balance the sodium and potassium levels in your cells,” nutritionist Kelly LeVeque says. Start each day with a warm glass of water with lemon to cleanse your liver and kidneys, alkalize your body, fire up your metabolism, and boost your immune system. A squeeze of lemon makes a perfect addition to salads, chicken dishes, and fish, too.
Going dairy-free is a great choice for your skin and your body. Nut milks like almond and cashew milk provide all the nutrients you want from milk, including calcium and vitamins A, E, and D—and they’re low-calorie and saturated fat–free. Use these nut milks anywhere you would use dairy milk.
Another nut-based staple you'll find in every clean eater's fridge? Protein- and healthy fat–packed nut butters. Choose all-natural versions to avoid preservatives, extra sugars, and oils (better yet, make your own). Try snacking on apples with almond butter and chia seeds to boost your energy during the midday slump.
When healthy eaters need an easy snack at a moment’s notice, they open their fridge and grab a hard-boiled egg. They’re a nutritional powerhouse—a combination of protein (complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, to be exact), and healthy fats. Just make sure you’re buying the right kind of eggs: “Free-range organic eggs are superior in terms of their nutritional content,” certified holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman says. “Conventionally raised hens are fed genetically modified corn feed, which accumulates pesticides. There’s also three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and two times more omega-3 fatty acids in free-range eggs.”
No refrigerator is fully stocked without a good source of lean protein. Choose organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free, skinless chicken or turkey breasts, grill them, and keep them in your fridge so you can grab them any time you’re in a rush. Wrap a chicken breast in lettuce, add some lemon and herbs (or even just a squirt of dijon mustard), and you’ve got a healthy lunch in under a minute.
Leafy greens are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. “Kale is anti-inflammatory, chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, fiber, and calcium,” LeVeque says. And don’t forget folate, omega-3s, and antioxidants, like flavonoids and carotenoids. Toss a handful in your morning smoothie, or use it in your lunchtime salad.
Equally important in the leafy-green category? Spinach. It provides your body with iron (more than a six-ounce patty of beef) and magnesium. And like kale, it's a top source of omega-3s, potassium, calcium, and vitamins B, C, and E.
Berries, blueberries, and raspberries are some of lowest-sugar fruits you can choose. Plus, the antioxidants and high levels of vitamin A don’t hurt either. “Throw some blueberries in your chia seed pudding for a protein-packed breakfast, or add them to a spinach salad for lunch,” LeVeque says.
Finally, when clean eaters need a refreshing way to rehydrate, they choose aloe juice. It balances an acidic system, regulates glucose levels, and has fewer calories than the other wellness waters out there. “Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera has soothing and healing effects on the skin and gut,” international nutrition and wellness expert Jessica Sepel says. “It also stimulates the growth of new cells, helping skin to heal quickly.”
What’s in your fridge?