Eating plant-based foods is important for your health and will allow you to look and feel your absolute best – I promise! As you walk through the grocery store, how in the world are you going to determine what food you should get? Bananas? Carrots? Apples? Collard Greens? Although these are all great foods, there are some other options that provide your body with the most vitamins and minerals. This list is meant to help you determine what foods you should try incorporating into your daily food intake. It’s quite the variety and they’re all delicious and nutritious!
Oatmeal is a whole grain that is usually eaten for breakfast. Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps in lowering blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, and allowing you to feel fuller, longer. If you think oatmeal is “boring,” try adding it to smoothies, make cookies, or even pancakes/waffles!
I mentioned flaxseed in my Heart-Healthy Vegan Walnut Cookies blog and expressed my love for it in baking! What’s better than it being a great egg replacement is that it contains omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your heart healthy. Flaxseed is high in fiber and research has shown that “it may reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.” Flaxseed can be used in smoothies, cookies, muffins, pancakes, or you can add it to your oatmeal. Please keep in mind that flaxseed can be purchased whole or ground. If you purchase whole, make sure to grind it in a food processor or blender to get the most out of the nutrients.
I LOVE BEANS. Being Hispanic, it’s very hard not to love them! Like oatmeal, beans contain soluble fiber and help in lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, and are overall great for your heart. They are also rich in iron, folate, copper, manganese, potassium, and zinc. Beans are considered a leader in plant-proteins, as half a cup contains approximately 7 grams of protein. All beans are great to eat – black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney – whatever your heart desires! What’s even better is that beans are easy on your wallet!
Nuts are considered healthy fats and “help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and supports brain function” and are also heart-healthy. Walnuts, especially, help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, stroke, heart attack, and help decrease total and “bad” cholesterol. Nuts can be used in oatmeal, cookies, smoothies, yogurt, or by themselves!
In comparison to all other fruits, blueberries have an incredible amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants help your immune system and “protect against age-related health risks” such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. This powerful fruit can be tossed into smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, or enjoy them by themselves.
I’m sure you were waiting for a vegetable to appear on the list! This nutrient-dense vegetable contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and the list goes on. It “is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.” Spinach is best in salads, smoothies, soup, and cookies! (I’m not kidding about the cookies – here is a recipe!)
Everyday, you should aim to incorporate fruits, vegetables, grains, and healthy fats into your diet. This list simply narrows it down to specific foods because they have some of the best health benefits. What are YOUR go-to foods to eat on a daily basis? Leave a comment below!
Main Photo: Yes Health