13 Essential Foods For Any Healthy Refrigerator AKA Your Healthy Shopping List

Healthy grocery shopping made easy. This list will remove any confusion you have about shopping for a healthy diet.

4 min read
Hindi Female

Looking for an easy recipe for good health and long life? It can’t get any simpler than this – just stock your fridge right!

To make sure your table brims over with delicious foods that taste good and are super healthy for you too, make sure you stock these 15 musts in your fridge.


Always have a nice cold pitcher of water handy. It’ll make sure you stay hydrated. It's easy to get dehydrated, especially if you’re physically active.

Run low on water and you’ll feel tired and run down long before you’re thirsty.

Indeed, never depend on feeling thirsty to know you need water – just keep drinking at regular intervals.

Drink at least 8 glasses a day; if you’re exercising in hot weather, even more. You can sweat as much as one and a half litres in an hour of intense exercise.



Skim or low-fat milk should always be within reach. It’s a great source of calcium and when added to cereal, makes for a quick and healthy breakfast.

Note: Lactose intolerant? Not to worry. There are plenty of other great calcium sources, including:

  • Calcium-fortified orange juice

  • Dried figs

  • Leafy greens

Green vegetables

Get a load of these. Add a couple of servings of cabbage, broccoli or spinach to your daily menu and you’ll go a long way toward lowering your risk for many forms of cancer, crunch for crunch. Cruciferous vegetables (including cauliflower) are laden with cancer-fighting substances and antioxidants.

Orange veggies

Orange and yellow vegetables are powerhouses of beta-carotene, tomatoes abound in lycopene (an important antioxidant) and carrots are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin A (they also taste great in soups and stews, as well as raw). These are richest in disease-fighting nutrients.

Assorted fruits
An almost zero-preparation snack when guests stop by! Popular favourites are grapes, papaya, apples, bananas and oranges. Choose any seasonal fruit you like – all fruits have something or the other going for them.

There are many choices out there. A fresh, pure, unsweetened type, however, is usually the healthiest. Best to opt for freshly squeezed juice though.


Necessary ingredients for many baked goods, a protein-packed breakfast item or a gourmet dinner treat in the form of an omelette or rice-based stir-fry, eggs are versatile and perfectly healthy if you don’t have a cholesterol problem.

Scramble, bake, poach, hard or soft boil them all on their own, or add some of the other stuff found in your fridge to cook them in a myriad other forms (crepes, egg rolls, French toast…).

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, iron and phosphorus (good for teeth and bones).

Perfect for making fruit smoothies, layering with fresh fruit and granola, or just spooning up as a snack – it’s one of the healthiest quick-meal options around. Stock up on plain or flavoured varieties – but stick to unsweetened.

Fresh lemons
Umpteen uses again: Perk up a glass of iced water with a fresh slice or use lemon juice as a low-fat salad dressing. As for nutrient value, they contain vitamin C, iron and protein.

Low-fat cheese
If you have low-fat cheese in the fridge and whole-wheat pasta (or bread) in the cupboard, you will always have the makings of a healthy meal in a jiffy.


Fresh ginger
Store unwrapped in the fridge. Perfect for marinades and spicing up last minute stir-fries.

Fresh garlic

This larder superstar has been shown to combat potential cancer-causing chemicals and slow the development of cancerous cells.

Fresh herbs
A little sprig of leaves can add plenty of flavour to a meal without racking up calories. A simple lentil (masoor dal) soup simmered with seasonings of tejpatta (bay leaf), finely chopped sage and marjoram is not just low in fat but brimming with rich flavour and health.

Spice up grilled chicken with fresh tarragon or rosemary – and you won’t even miss the heavy sauces. The best news of course is that most herbs and spices are super healthy.

Tip: To keep fresh herbs fresh longer, keep them in a cup of water, like cut flowers. Or for longer periods, freeze them in your ice tray with water – just add a cube when cooking soups or curries, and still looks fresh and pretty.


Cold cuts

Okay, they may not necessarily be the healthiest foods out there, but you may enjoy a homemade ham or turkey sandwich every now and then. Definitely a better bet than takeaways or order-in junk. And we all do get these urges from time to time, so it’s best to be prepared.

Salad dressing
This list already includes ingredients for several salads, so now you need something to spice them up. Make your own at home and if buying bottled, check labels for quantity of fat per serving, and go for low-calorie, low-fat ones.

(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Dont Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Healthy Foods   Kavita Devgan 

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