The Beauty Chef’s Ultimate Pantry Essentials

By Courtenay Turner

What we eat can have a medicinal effect on our health. Food not only fuels our bodies, but also feeds our cells and influences our microbiome – the ecosystem of microorganisms that populate the gut. Unsurprisingly, consuming a diet high in processed foods, as opposed to a diet rich in wholefoods, can negatively influence the number and species of microbes in the gut.

In order to cultivate a healthy microbiome and experience all of the associated benefits – glowing skin, increased energy and improved wellbeing – we therefore need to nourish our bodies with pure, unadulterated wholefoods.

Read on to discover how to stock your pantry with The Beauty Chef’s favourite, beauty-boosting foods and eat your way to radiant, glowing skin...


Gone are the days of demonising full-fat products – fat is back and it deserves a spot in your pantry! Healthy fats (like those listed below) are essential for glowing skin, hair and nails as well as numerous other functions in the body. Your brain, for example, is about 60 percent fat and requires a lovely dose of omega-3 fatty acids, namely DHA, to function at its best.

The Beauty Chef loves...

  • Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil is predominantly made up of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which is said to reduce inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil is best drizzled on salads and soups and is also delicious when used for frying or baking at moderate temperatures. Be sure to choose an extra virgin variety that hasn’t been blended with other refined oils.
  • Extra virgin coconut oil: Containing lauric acid and caprylic acid, the same fatty acids found in breast milk, coconut oil may be effective against harmful pathogens – great news for those suffering from yeast infections and similar gut-related issues.
  • Grass-fed, organic butter or ghee: Both are rich in vitamin K2, one of the most powerful vitamins when it comes to preventing premature ageing. K2 helps to inhibit the calcification of the skin’s elastin, keeping the skin plump and springy. Cultured butter is also a delicious addition to your pantry and will nourish the gut with its probiotic power.


Quality nuts and seeds are a wonderful source of healthy fats and protein. Many also contain vitamin E, a powerful anti-inflammatory that fights free radical damage. A diet rich in vitamin E promotes healthy, glowing skin. We recommend soaking and activating your nuts to make them easier to digest.

The Beauty Chef loves...

Brazil nuts, macadamias, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, coconut, chia seeds and flaxseeds. Nut meals (like almond meal) are also a great substitute for grain-based flours when used in baking recipes.  


Eating foods that are high in protein gives the body the amino acids it needs to make keratin, which is crucial for the health of your hair and nails, as well as the outer layer of your skin. Protein-rich meals also help to keep you feeling satisfied, which benefits both your appetite and your metabolism.

The Beauty Chef loves...

  • Organic, free-range eggs: Eat the whole egg (not just the whites!) and you’ll get a beautiful dose of vitamin A which is vital for healthy skin and skin texture. Eggs are also a great source of vitamin D, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and antioxidants like lutein – all of which help to boost skin health. Studies show that lutein (found in egg yolk) can even improve skin hydration.
  • Bone broth: Bone broth is rich in amino acids like glycine, which helps to encourage the cells in the gut wall to regenerate. Another amino acid, proline also supports collagen production – which is essential for both skin and gut health. Bone broth is an affordable and gut-nourishing addition to your diet – especially if you make it yourself.
  • Sustainably-sourced seafood: Oily, deep-sea fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for skin healing. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease inflammation and can improve skin texture and quality. While fish is an incredibly healthy addition to your diet, many types (especially the larger varieties) contain high levels of mercury. Stick to around two servings a week of smaller fish (like sardines) as they’re generally lower in mercury. Stuck for ideas? Check out The Beauty Chef Cookbook which is full nourishing meal ideas.
  • Tempeh: Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is a great source of vegetarian protein. It’s also a good source of non-dairy calcium and is fermented with gut-loving probiotics.


Fruit is not only nature’s candy, but it also boasts a whole heap of skin-loving antioxidants, fibre and prebiotics that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Many fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is vital for the formation and synthesis of collagen. Choose organic or spray-free where possible and wash conventionally-grown fruits in water and apple cider vinegar to remove pesticides.  

The Beauty Chef loves...

Kiwifruit, papaya, berries, banana, citrus fruits, pear, figs, mango, tomato and avocado.


Nutrient-rich, non-starchy vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet and occupy at least half of your plate. Where possible, choose organic produce – conventional veggies are grown in mineral-depleted soils as well as gut-compromising pesticides and herbicides. Starchy vegetables, such as sweet potato, are also a wholesome source of carbohydrates when you’re feeling particularly hungry.

The Beauty Chef loves...

  • Non-starchy vegetables: Dark leafy greens eggplant, cauliflower, capsicum/peppers, garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, asparagus.
  • Starchy vegetables: Pumpkin/winter squash, sweet potato, and low GI versions of white potatoes like the Nicola potato.


The modern western diet heavily favours grains like wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye and barley. However, they’re rarely prepared correctly (soaked or fermented) and many of us are unable to digest them properly. Many grains also contain “anti-nutrients” like phytic acid, which bind to essential minerals and proteins, such as zinc and calcium, preventing their absorption. Rest assured however, this doesn’t mean we should all be grain-free, simply that we are more mindful when it comes to consuming grains. Gluten-free “pseudo-grains” can be a wonderful source of prebiotic fibre, when prepared properly.

The Beauty Chef loves...

Buckwheatquinoa, millet, teff.


Herbs and spices not only add flavour to your cooking, but they also fire up digestion, support the immune system and are high in skin-protective antioxidants. Cardamom and black pepper boost natural killer cell activity, while turmeric and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatories.

The Beauty Chef loves…
Cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, turmeric, cloves, cayenne pepper, basil, rosemary and thyme.


Fermented wholefoods form the cornerstone of The Beauty Chef philosophy and formulas. Aside from their nutritional properties, fermented foods also play a key role in balancing our immune systems. They contain live probiotics – as well as the cell walls of the probiotics that have died during the fermentation process (known as postbiotics) – which interact with our immune systems in a way that promotes healthy immune function. This is particularly important when our immune systems attack our healthy cells, leading to inflammation of the gut and skin. Our Founder & Director, Carla, attributes her glow to the power of fermented foods!

The Beauty Chef loves…
The Beauty Chef’s Inner Beauty range, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso and fermented dairy.


While all wholefoods are “super” in one way or another, there are certain foods and ingredients that work to amplify your health even further. They don’t fall into the “everyday” category and certainly aren’t pantry essentials, but nonetheless, including them in your diet can benefit your gut, skin and overall wellbeing.

The Beauty Chef loves...

Raw cacao powder (which acts as a prebiotic in the digestive tract), matcha green tea, maca powder, slippery elm and bee pollen.


What’s an absolute essential in your pantry? We’d love to know!

Join our Inner Beauty Family & Receive 10% Off your First Order

Yes, I would like to receive wellness inspiration and updates from The Beauty Chef. I have read and agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy and understand I can update my preferences at any time.