Time to Read: 6 minutes
You’ve finally decided to go vegan, whether it be for animals, the environment, or your health.
Maybe you’ve tried before and struggled, but are giving it another shot. Or maybe you are already a vegan and are just looking for some tips on your diet.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that your vegan diet plan includes some delicious superfoods that not only taste great, but bring you the necessary nutrients to stay healthy.
Let’s take a look at some superfoods who can become a necessary supply of beneficial nourishment, and hopefully some new favorites.
Five Serious Superfoods for Your Vegan Diet Plan
There are lots of superfoods and ingredients you can implement into your vegan diet. Most fruits and vegetables have great nutritional value, along with seeds and beans.
But what foods put the super in superfoods, and give you the most nutritional bang for your buck?
Omega-3 fatty acids do wonders for your health. They lower your triglyceride level (high levels lead to heart disease), help with stiffness and joint pain, alleviate depression, and some research even suggests the fatty acids can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Omega 3’s also limit the growth of cancer cells in breast and cervical cancer and are essential to a baby’s brain development for expecting mothers.
People usually find their omega-3 intake in fish, unfortunately. But chia seeds are an omega-3 powerhouse in any vegan diet plan (and the single richest source for plant-based fatty acids).
Chia seeds can be eaten raw and are virtually tasteless, which makes them easy to implement into many recipes (popular in vegan puddings and oatmeal dishes), be tossed into a salad, or added to dishes as a garnish.
Add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds to water or juice and allow them to soak for at least fifteen minutes before drinking. Or add some chia seeds to a smoothie.
If you want to grind the chia seeds, you can add the powder to recipes for breads or pastas.
Chia seeds are also rich in calcium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, lignans, antioxidants, vitamin B, and protein. They also boost your energy and metabolism, as if the chia seeds don’t already do enough.
You might have heard that avocados have a high fat content. That may be true, except it’s the kind of fat that is good for you. So that’s a good high volume count (for good cholesterol).
Avocados are actually a berry. If you have never tried one before, they have a great, creamy taste.
What does this superfood bring to the table in your vegan diet plan? How about a large supply of oleic acid (which helps prevent breast cancer), lutein, folate, glutathione, beta-sitosterol, vitamin E, niacin, monounsaturated fats, glutathione, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber?
Avocados also have double the potassium of a banana, and also help prevent heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye disease, and degenerative brain disease.
Avocados are dense with folate, which is a must for pregnant women, as it essential for the development of a baby’s brain and nervous system.
Eat an avocado raw. Make a spread for a sandwich, dice one into a salad, mash it into a dip, or blend it into your smoothie or soup. You can add an avocado to practically any meal.
What has more iron than spinach, more beta carotene (a source for vitamin A) than carrots, and more vitamin C than oranges per ounce? The goji berry.
Also known as wolfberries, goji berries are usually sold in dried form and have a slightly tangy, but sweet taste.
Other benefits include a large amount of zinc, fiber, iron, phosphorus, vitamin E, riboflavin (B2), antioxidants, 18 amino acids (including the essential 8), and another superfood to help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Goji berries are also known to have anti-aging properties. Your body decreases its production of human growth hormones as you get older. But certain oils found in the berries can increase the production of this hormone, a feat no other plant has been able to duplicate.
Goji berries, like the chia seeds, can be soaked in water (recommended for at least 30 minutes), which can triple them in size, before being eaten. You can also drink the water as well, which will have absorbed some of the nutrients.
Add them to a salad, a homemade trail mix, or a smoothie. They essentially can be baked, cooked, steamed, or processed in any way you see fit.
Blueberries are another one of the most nutrient-dense berries. They are very sweet with a little bit of a tart taste.
Despite being made up of 85% water, blueberries have tons of antioxidants, disease-fighting phytochemicals, flavonoids, soluble fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
Blueberries prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. They also help with inflammation, reduce cholesterol, speed up metabolism, enhance memory, alleviate depression, and new research even suggests they may prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
They do have a high sugar content (but are low in calories), so just stick to the daily recommended serving size. And remember, the darker the berries, the more antioxidants they have.
Eat them raw. They make a great dessert when frozen. You can also add to them to a breakfast, smoothie, or into baked goods.
Leafy Greens (All of ‘Em)
There’s no point in picking just one, there are just too many superfoods that come in the form of leafy greens. Most of them deliver more nutrients than any other food.
Just to name a few, leafy greens would include kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, parsley, and spinach.
These superfoods in your vegan diet plan come packed with fiber, phytochemicals, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, calcium, iron, protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, practically everything the previously four listed superfoods included.
Leafy greens also prevent cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s as well (a trend in these superfoods). Cancer and heart disease are the top two causes of death, which is why this benefit is so important and makes this superfood (and the other superfoods that do the same) truly super.
They can be added to practically anything, raw or cooked. So let your imagination run wild, and add some leafy greens to any meal that may be slightly lacking in the nutrients department.
A vegan diet takes work and effort, not only in showing self-control and rejecting the consumption of animals and animal byproducts but also in ensuring you get the proper nutrition to stay healthy.
Use these five superfoods as dependable sources of nutrition, and you will stay healthy why you explore other great foods to implement into your vegan diet plan.