5.7
May 14, 2012

Eight Healthiest Vegan Foods. ~ Anastasia Halldin

Eight Healthiest Vegan Foods.

There are many healthy foods on Earth, but the following foods are the highest in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Including these foods on your daily menu can improve your health and prolong your life. Which foods would be on your list?

Kale

Kale is a green leafy vegetable, rich in iron, calcium, chlorofyl, vitamin C and multiple other nutrients. It is also very low in calories. Kale works in salads and vegetable dishes. It can also be added to smoothies.

Beets

Beets are a rich source of folate and natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters. Beets are rich in natural sugar, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, copper, vitamin B1, B2, C and bioflavonoids. Beets contain a lot of fiber and are excellent for eliminating constipation. Beets work in salads, smoothies and soups. Beetroot is an excellent toxin-free food coloring.

Garlic

Garlic is a powerful disease fighter and immune-system-supporter that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E. coli. Allicin (an active compound found in garlic) works as a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help lower cholesterol and normalize blood-pressure levels. Garlic can be added to a multitude of dishes.

Almonds

Almonds are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, fiber and other nutrients. It is better to pre-soak your almonds for about 7-12 hours (overnight) in order to neutralize the phytic acid in them, which prevents proper enzyme breakdown and mineral absorption. Almonds contain mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

For the last four years, almost all almonds have to be pasteurized before sale. According to the Almond Board of California (ABC), no heating is used during the pasteurization process, but rather a process referred to by the FDA as “terminal gas sterilization” using propylene oxide (a highly toxic flammable chemical), before it became prohibited for safety reasons. It’s an epoxide, which is not GRAS (generally recognized as safe for human ingestion). There are still exemptions for small sellers and it is possible to find truly raw unpasteurized almonds. Almonds can be eaten as snack, used for homemade almond milk, sprinkled on salads or baked into muffins and cookies.

Avocado

Rich in healthy fats, avocado was proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent. Avocado provides close to 20 essential healthy nutrients, like potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana), vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. Avocado enables your body to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, in other foods eaten together. One avocado provides more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Avocado makes excellent non-dairy creamy desserts.

Blueberries

Packed with unique antioxidants, blueberries neutralize free radical damage to the tissues, preventing degenerative disorders. The pigment found in blueberries improve the integrity of support structures in the skin, joints, and vascular system. Blueberries been shown to enhance the effects of vitamin C, improve capillary integrity and stabilize the collagen matrix. These pigments work mostly by preventing free radical and inflammatory damage. Blueberries have also been shown to improve memory in animal studies. Blueberries work in desserts, smoothies, baked goods and salads.

Broccoli

Photo: whologwhy

One medium stalk of this vegetable contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C which are two essential nutrients to build strong bones and keep cancers away. Unfortunately, this vegetable absorbs chemicals from the soil exceptionally well, so try to eat only organic broccoli. Broccoli can work in soups, salads, casseroles and more.

Dark Chocolate

Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, which are antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, increase “good” HDL levels and also to normalize blood pressure in healthy individuals. There is a catch, opt for dairy-free chocolate, as some nutrients in milk prevent the absorption of these helpful flavonoids. Sprinkling some raw unsweetened cocoa powder can even improve the taste of your favorite dessert. Blending cocoa powder with a frozen banana and some non-dairy milk creates a very delicious milkshake.

 

Anastasia Halldin is a stay at home mom of an active toddler and baby-twins. She has a Ph. D. in holistic nutrition, is a yoga teacher and a former model. She speaks 4 languages and makes yummy healthy meals for the whole family in twenty minutes. More of her delicious recipes can be found on http://www.healthymamainfo.com.

 

~

Editor: Mel Squarey / Brianna Bemel

Read 6 Comments and Reply
X

Read 6 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

elephant journal  |  Contribution: 277,936