Vegan Food Staples
Written by Leigh-Chantelle
Created Tuesday, 01 June 2010
To ensure that you get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need, ensure that you eat a well-balanced, varied, low-fat, plant-based diet that includes these staples:
Fruit & Vegetables are a great source of fibre, essential vitamins and minerals and critical to promoting good health. Make sure you eat all the colours of the rainbow to ensure variety and the wide range of nutrients necessary for your body including folate, potassium, Vitamins A & C. Dark green leafy vegetables are a great concentrated source of nutrition and contain many of our essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C, E, K, folate, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Generally the darker the leaves the more nutrient dense. Examples include bok choy, chicory, dandelion greens, kale, spinach etc.
Whole grains are a great source of fibre and protein. Unlike refined and white products, whole grains have all their nutrients still intact. Whole grains are a low-glycaemic index (GI) food, which means that they are metabolised slower and don’t cause extreme changes in blood sugar levels. This limits the highs and lows that contribute to snacking and sugar cravings. All grains should be rinsed before cooking and if possible soaked overnight to encourage ease of digestion. Examples of whole grains include: brown rice, wild rice, polenta, oats, quinoa, barley, rye, millet and more. Most grains should be cooked with the ratio of 1 cup of the grain to 2 cups of water.
Legumes & Pulses are high in fibre, carbohydrates, protein, and are a great addition to any diet. You can cook large batches of your favourite legumes and pulses and freeze them to use for cooking later on.
Nuts & Seeds are a quick and easy great source of protein, vitamins and nutrients. Different types include macadamia nuts, cashews, walnuts, linseeds, sesame seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), Brazil nuts, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, flax seeds, pistachos, sunflower seeds and more. Keep in mind that some people are allergic to nuts and if you are overweight or watching your weight it’s best not to eat nuts daily.
information © Leigh-Chantelle & Viva la Vegan!
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