There are many things we think of when we talk about being healthy, but we want to focus on the kitchen this time. For a healthier life, a healthy kitchen is a must. If you are actively conscious of your health, you might want to see how these five changes you can make in your kitchen can improve your wellbeing.
Adding healthy foods to your kitchen may be the first and most important change you make. Add herbs like cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin seeds to your spice rack as they are known to be beneficial to your overall health. Whenever you cook, try including these in your dishes. Replace your conventional table salt with unrefined sea salt. The unique flavors in sea salt can help you get the flavor you’re looking for while using less.
Consider replacing artificial sugar substitutes with natural sweeteners like Agave or Stevia. You can cook with coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Almond milk is a great alternative to processed cow’s milk and you can even use almond butter instead of margarine or standard butter. Consider replacing your black tea with a more nourishing green tea and if you can’t give up your more coffee, choose organic.
Cooking will be much easier if you have adequate storage in the kitchen itself, but if you don’t have space, keep the essentials here and create additional storage close by. Take time regularly to ensure your cabinets are clean and safe. Every so often, give them a good “spring cleaning”. Check your metal knives and utensils to ensure they do not have any rust on them. Make sure your storage containers are airtight and moisture-free. Organize and rearrange your storage so you know where everything is. Remember the FIFO rule, first in, first out.
We all like a clean home, but maybe the kitchen is the most important room to keep clean. A clean kitchen ensures you and family are not exposed to nasty critters like E-Coli or salmonella. Consider switching out your plastic, open top trash can with a stainless steel one that has a lid and wash and disinfect it weekly. If you use a sponge, after every use rinse it in a bleach-water solution to kill any potentially harmful organisms. Wipe down doorknobs, handles, light switches, etc. with an antibacterial wipe to kill off those pesky cold and flu viruses.
Make sure you keep your refrigerator at the optimum temperature of 40 degrees or less and the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees and -18 in Celsius respectfully.) Sanitize cutting boards after each use to avoid cross-contamination.
Among the thousands of available cooking utensils, choose ones that are safe and healthy over those that are fancy or just look cool. You may need to change and replace a lot but it’s worth it in the long run. Stop using traditional baking dishes like non-stick or aluminum which can leach toxins that disrupt your hormones. Instead, try using ceramic, glass, bamboo, or stainless steel. Replace plastic or metal lids with cork stoppers. You really only need a few good knives in your kitchen, just make sure to keep them sharpened. Accidents are more likely to happen while using a dull knife that slips than a sharp one. If you can no longer sharpen your knife, it’s probably time to replace it.
Your kitchen should be safe and friendly for people of all ages, particularly children. Make sure you keep dangerous items like knives, gas lighters, chemicals, etc. out of reach of little hands. Add latches to cabinets to keep children and pets out. Keep healthy snacks available, and reachable, either in an unlatched lower cabinet or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so your child can get to them easily.
The importance of a healthy kitchen is far-reaching and multi-faceted. Health isn’t just cleanliness or safety and we must consider all aspects of health for a thriving life!