Which Foods to Eat for Maximum Plant Based Nutrition

I don’t know about you, but as a vegan I often get asked if my diet can be complete without animal produce. How do I get enough protein for example, or where do I get calcium or iron from? So I thought I’d pull together a quick, though not definitive, list of plant based foods that pack a nutritious punch.

Essential for all living beings, Calcium is a main material in our bones and teeth. Find it in:

  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach

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An Iron deficiency can cause anemia, a decreased number of red blood cells, and leave you feeling weak, tired and irritable. Avoid these symptoms by consuming these foods:

  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Curly kale
  • Dried fruits (apricots)
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

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Beta-carotene is found in colourful fruits and vegetables. Although it is not actually an essential nutrient, our bodies convert it in to Vitamin A, which gives us healthy skin and immune systems, along with good eye health and vision. Find it in:

  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Red bell pepper
  • Spinach

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Vitamin D helps to regulate calcium and phosphate in our bodies. A lack of Vitamin D can lead to bone deformities lick rickets in children, and bone pain called osteomalacia in adults. Keep yourself topped up with these foods:

  • Mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight
  • Sunshine

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Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can prevent free-radicals forming in our tissue. Find it in:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach
  • Wheatgerm

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Vitamin K helps our blood to clot and form scabs on wounds in order for them to heal.

  • Broccoli
  • Cereals
  • Spinach

Vitamin C protects our cells and keeps them healthy, which in turn helps with healing. In extreme cases, a lack of Vitamin C can cause scurvy. Up your intake by munching on these foods:

  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Potatoes
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Strawberries

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Folate and Folic Acid are water-soluble forms of Vitamin B. Folate is the natural form, whilst folic acid is the synthetic form that is added to foods like cereals, flour, breads, pastas, cookies, crackers etc, becuase it is great at treating low levels of folate in our blood, which can cause conditions such as anemia.

  • Avocado
  • Brown rice
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Peas
  • Spinach

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A Complete Protein contains all the essential amino acids that cannot be synthesised by our bodies, but are crucial to help our muscles repair themselves. All you athletes and yogi out there, make sure you eat plenty of these foods:

  • Buckwheat
  • Chia
  • Hempseed
  • Quinoa
  • Soybeans

 

And also a combination of these Incompete Proteins:

  • Beans
  • Cereal
  • Chickpeas
  • Nut and seeds

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Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of fuel, used easily for energy and needed for our central nervous systems, kidneys, brain and muscles (including our heart) to function properly. Found in these different forms:

  • Fiber from the fleshy part of fruits, oats, dries beans, peas and vegetables with their skins on
  • Starch from bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
  • Sugars from fruits

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Fiber can prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and even some cancers, as well as improving our digestive health. Fiber is only found in foods that come from plants. Non-vegan foods such as meat, fish and dairy do not contain any fiber at all! There are 2 types of diaetary fiber – soluble or insoluble – and our bodies deal with them differently. Our bodies digest soluble fiber, whilst insoluble fiber passed through us undigested, helping to move other foods through our digestive systems.

  • Soluble:
  • Fruite, such as bananas and apples
  • Golden linseeds
  • Oats, barley and rye
  • Root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes

 

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  • Insoluble:
  • Bran
  • Cereals
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wholemeal bread

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Fat Soluble Vitamins vs. Water Soluble Vitamins:

  • Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are found in fatty and oily foods. These vitamins are crucial for optimum health
  • Water soluble vitamins (C, B and B9) cannot be stored in the body, so they need regular replenishment. Many dieticians recommend steaming or grilling these foods, rather than boiling, as these vitamin types can easily be lost through heat or air exposure

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

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Categories Diets, VeganTags , , , , ,

5 thoughts on “Which Foods to Eat for Maximum Plant Based Nutrition

    1. Thanks for the re-blog Cupcakes3418!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for posting. Your blog is awesome! 😄😃

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Good one. Thanks.

    Like

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