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Are you part of the 1 million Americans who enjoy a vegan lifestyle? Whether you just started this journey or you’ve been animal-free for several years, the importance of adequate nutrition cannot be understated!
Fortunately, it isn’t hard to make sure you’re following a well-rounded diet. In fact, the more you learn about what you can (and should) eat, your cooking and dining experience becomes limitless. Let’s get into the top vegan superfoods you need to know!
Do you have this pet peeve? You know, the one where your relative with great intentions continues to ask you if you’re getting enough protein?
As it turns out, it’s a valid concern. When you swear off animal-based foods, hitting your daily protein intake may require some more creativity.
However, legumes pack in tremendous protein, fiber, and lots of other excellent nutrients like:
Popular legumes include beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. Incorporate these superfoods into your meals for more energy and better nutrition.
2. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast derives from a deactivated strain of yeast. Although it looks like your everyday spice, it’s a great option if you’re lagging in vitamin B12. Moreover, nutritional yeast has a whopping 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
There are many great ways to incorporate nutritional yeast into your diet including:
- stirring it into your favorite pasta dish
- creating an alternative cheese sauce
- sprinkling it onto popcorn or salads for a cheesy-like topping
- mixing it into soups, dips, and favorite casseroles
What’s better than biting into a delicious, sweet apple? Does anything better encapsulate the start of summer than a slice of juicy watermelon?
There’s no doubt that fruit is tasty. As it turns out, it’s also full of nutrients! And while some fruits may have more fiber or less sugar than others, all types of fruit reap amazing health benefits.
Luckily, it’s easy to integrate fruit into your diet. From smoothies to salads to eating it raw, this is your permission to truly indulge in nature’s candy.
Hemp is a fantastic source of plant-based protein that’s full of omega-3 fatty acids. To translate, that means it’s great for decreasing inflammation and boosting heart and brain health.
Consider adding a bag of shelled hemp seeds into your grocery cart the next time you’re out shopping. In its shelled form, you can stir into everything from coffee to smoothies to cereal. Hemp hearts, on the other hand, taste like seeds, and they do well in meals like salads or oatmeal.
5. Green Tea
It doesn’t just taste good on a cold, winter day. Research continues to prove the numerous benefits green tea has to offer.
These benefits include:
- improving brain function
- promoting fat burning and energy expenditure
- lowering risks of cardiovascular disease
- improving physical performance
- lowering risks of some types of cancer
- warding off against Type 2 Diabetes
- promoting overall longevity
For best results, aim to drink 3-5 cups of green tea daily.
In recent years, quinoa has reshaped how we eat lunch and dinner. Quinoa’s popularity isn’t just a trending health fad. It’s a vegan superfood that’s a complete source of protein. In other words, it contains all the amino acids required for your basic nutritional needs.
Vegans often struggle to consume complete proteins. After all, plant-based complete proteins are relatively rare!
Best of all? Quinoa is an incredibly versatile food. You can use it in lieu of rice in a majority of dishes. You can also use it as an added topping in meals like salads and soups.
7. Chia Seeds
Like quinoa, chia seeds have also risen in popularity in recent years, and for a good reason. Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are essential for promoting overall health.
Moreover, chia seeds are also full of protein, biotin, calcium, fiber, and potassium. They taste great in dishes like oatmeal, puddings, and smoothies. You can even throw them into your water bottle for a filling, hydrating snack.
Quick question: how often do you think about your gut? Chances are, you don’t. Unfortunately, this can be a detrimental mistake for your health!
Your gut can make or break your energy levels and overall health. While all nuts have nutritional benefits, walnuts offer extra support for the health-focused vegan. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, and they also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Finally, they help support weight control and weight loss efforts. Although they are calorie-dense, they are full of protein and fiber- both of which help curb appetite.
Not a huge nut fun? Make sure you’re still taking care of that gut! Consider adding supplements to your diet. Reputable sources like Genuine Health make it easy to add in your daily probiotic requirements.
9. Dark, Leafy Greens
If your mother made you eat spinach growing up, she was onto something. They may not be particularly glamorous, but dark, leafy greens may just be the ultimate superfood powerhouse.
The healthiest leafy green vegetables boost an assortment of vitamins and minerals- while also being low in calories. Some of the best vegetables to add to your diet include:
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Swiss chard
- Romaine lettuce
- Bok choy
Vegetables don’t just need to be enjoyed in a salad. Consider adding them into your favorite sandwiches, pasta, soups, and breakfast smoothies.
Final Thoughts On The Best Vegan Superfoods
Going vegan may be one of the best decisions you make for your emotional and physical health. Moreover, it supports the environment and reduces animal mistreatment.
That said, pay attention to what you put into your body! It’s essential to make sure you’re integrating the very best vegan superfoods into your diet. The healthier you eat, the better you’ll feel!
Are you interested in learning more about promoting your well-being? Check out the health and fitness category on our site today!