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The 5 Superfoods in the Vegan Diet Starter Pack

Contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet doesn’t mean having limited food choices. This is one of the healthiest diets and you could reap so many health benefits when done properly. In recent times, it’s a struggle to find food that is both healthy and tasty, without compromising on the daily required calories to support our different lifestyles. Most people get the bulk of their calorie intake from meat. Because a vegan diet does not include meat, it is therefore key to replace these calorie needs with food that is rich in healthy fats and protein. With that said, here are the five superfoods you need to include in your vegan diet starter pack to get it right from the get go. 

Pumpkin Seeds 

Also known as pepita, a Mexican Spanish term, pumpkin seeds are jam packed with valuable nutrients. They are small but eating only a small amount provides a healthy amount of magnesium, zinc, iron and healthy fats. They are the most underrated and underutilized food source for anyone looking to grow stronger. They are high in fiber and loaded with amino acids, making them a superfood. They are a great post-workout meal to replace the protein consumed during the workout. You can snack on them raw or you can roast them for added flavor. Just toss them on a cookie sheet and place them on the top rack of the oven for about 17 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees and you are good to go! You can easily incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet without altering the taste much. They are easily sourced as you can carve them right out of the pumpkin. These are a better option than the ones bought from the supermarket as they don’t come with shells. You never have to throw away these seeds when using pumpkin in your dishes. 

Oatmeal

All hail, the king of breakfasts! Oatmeal is a flour that is made of oats that are either ground, steel cut or rolled. The differences in these oats has to do with how and how much they have been processed. All types, however, come from the same whole cereal and are loaded with a spectrum of amino acids, fiber and provide a complex source of carbohydrates. Because of the density in nutrients, oatmeal will help you feel satiated all day long and keep off the munchies. This plays a big role in weight loss. Another benefit of eating oatmeal is reduced blood sugar levels and lower risks of heart disease, good news all the way, right? Oatmeal can be used as a porridge and can also be incorporated into snacks like granola bars, cookies and biscuits. Other nutrients found in oatmeal are copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and Vitamins B1 and B5. Next time you reach out for the nutritious bowl of oatmeal, remember your body is doing a happy dance from all the goodness getting in. 

High Glucose Fruit

Mangoes, apples, grapes, cherries, pears, watermelon, figs and bananas are among the fruits with the highest sugar. The benefit of including these foods in your diet is that they are high in glucose and go a long way in replenishing muscle glycogen levels. They are a favorite for people who workout as a go-to post-workout snack. They can be easily combined with protein to get more minerals out of the meal.

Soy

Soy is exalted by some people and shunned by others in almost equal measure. While the jury may still be out on that one, it is clear that the soy bean has been used for years as a good source of protein, being low in fat and carbohydrates. The bean can be processed into a powder, soy protein or soymilk, a beverage. The bean can also be roasted or boiled for consumption. Soy has been known to be a source of amino acids and is considered a complete protein. It also contains a good supply of omega fatty acids, making it a great substitute for fish and other omega-rich meats. Soy can be found in supermarkets, health markets and Asian food stores. Soy can be incorporated into diets as soymilk, tofu, soy protein bars, soy yogurt and in veggie burgers. Find out which way you like it best and go with that.

Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains are simply whole-grain seeds that are just beginning to sprout. Whole grain seeds are soaked and nurtured in controlled environments in order to catch them at that stage. You can achieve this at home on a small-scale basis by using a vented jar. It is advised that you don’t eat them raw but rather mash into a paste and use in baked goods. The raw sprouts should be well cooked before they are added to a meal in order to kill any bacteria. Be sure to refrigerate cooked sprouts. Sprouted grains are unique in the sense that they undergo very little processing and are very dense in calories. Sprouted grains are created by germinating the plant and consuming it very early on. This leads to a very dense and nutritious punch that also contains a very low glycemic index and better bioavailability. Remember to include sprouted grains in your grocery list if you are a fan of whole-grain bread and nutritious foods.

Thriving on a Vegan Diet

If you are actively seeking variability in your food choices, you will notice that there is still a huge array of foods you can eat for optimal performance, health, and longevity. Plant based diets are highly beneficial and have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. In order to thrive on a vegan diet, eat these five foods and continue to actively seek other nutrient-rich sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

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