Superfoods. That’s the buzzword doing the rounds. Isn’t it? Right from eating them raw to making exotic smoothies, superfoods are here to stay. Superfoods are considered to be exceptionally nutritious foods that are loaded with health benefits and they would have less or no side-effects unless you are allergic to the foods.
My first brush with veganism was a few years ago when during one of my travels a client frowned upon the hardly any vegan options available at the restaurant we were eating our meal. A completely new term to me, I did google about it when I got back to the hotel. And what I discovered was that there was a list of vegan superfoods you must eat.
I often wondered with the restricted choices of food, did they get the required amount of proteins they needed to stay healthy. Vegans are those who do not consume dairy, eggs or any other products that are of animal origin. Of course, meat is a strict no-no too. Veganism started in 1944 and the sole objective to ensure there was no exploitation of animals. Vegans believe that animals have a right to be free from human use – whether used for food, clothing, experiments or entertainment.
So if they left out a major chunk of food that was primarily responsible for giving us the required proteins, minerals and the necessary vitamins, what would vegans eat? The good news is that there is a list of superfoods that vegans can eat. Here is a list of 10 superfoods that vegans must try.
10 vegan superfoods you must eat now
Quinoa (pronounced as Keen-Wah), belongs to the amaranth family and is a rich source of protein, iron, calcium and fiber. Plus it is gluten-free! Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, quinoa ensures that you have a healthy heart. You can make a complete meal with it or just add it to your salads to make your food more nutritious.
Flaxseeds are powerhouses of antioxidants and are incredibly nutritious. Yet another ingredient packed with omega-3 fatty acids, this ensures a healthy heart. Flaxseeds are anti-inflammatory and are good for the cardiovascular as well as the digestive system. Powder flaxseeds and sprinkle over a smoothie or mix it with your oats, cereals and salads for a power packed meal. Powdered flaxseeds can be mixed with water to create ‘flax egg,’ that can be used in cooking and baking.
If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade or just add a dash of it to your meals to make it rich in Vitamin C. Nutritionists believe that Vitamin C helps our bodies to absorb iron efficiently. Looking for a simple salad dressing? Add the juice of lemon to finely minced garlic. Add some olive oil, salt, pepper and some chilli flakes to make a nutritious lemon vinaigrette.
Goji berries is available in the dry form and it is rich in Vitamin A and is a powerhouse of antioxidants. Nutritionists say that goji berries actually have more Vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots, and is packed with more iron than leafy spinach. If you had the option of Vitamin C, beta carotene and iron in just one food, wouldn’t that be just fabulous?
Yes, chocolate is good for you, but I am not referring to the store bought chocolates. Dark chocolates are rich in anti-oxidants and there is a wide variety of vegan chocolates out there that taste just as yummy! Opt for chocolates with non-alkalized cocoa that polyphenols and flavonols. These anti-oxidants ensure a healthy heart.
Cacao is the fruit and bean from which chocolate is made. It has its origins in South America. It is bitter in taste and is rich in magnesium, dietary fibre, iron and antioxidants. Cacao powder is an excellent option for baking vegan recipes.
Nuts and dry fruits
Most of us have grown up eating almonds soaked in water the first thing in the morning. Dry fruits are an integral part of an Indian kitchen. Walnuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, melon seeds, the list is exhaustive. Nuts and dry fruits are rich in protein, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium and Vitamins. One of the most versatile foods, these can be eaten as is or can be a part of recipes. Almond milk is one of the best substitutes for milk in vegan food.
Oh wait, there are more! If you are looking at more vegan superfoods you must eat, the head over to read more on Fit.TheQuint. With so many choices, it isn’t very hard to switch to being a vegan. And armed with these superfoods, you can be sure that you are making the right food choices!