9 Key Pantry Staples If You Are Following a Plant-Based Diet
If you are following a plant-based style of eating the choices for you in the supermarket have exploded! It is a common mistake to make, thinking all plant-based foods are healthy. To get you started on the right track here are key staples to fill your pantry:
Chia seeds pack a nutrition punch and are full of health benefits. This includes fiber to support healthy gut function. Fiber also promotes heart health and by keeping you feeling fuller for longer it also helps you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Chia seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Omega-3 fat is an essential fat which promotes healthy brain function and heart health. Also, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.
Corn Thins slices
Carbohydrates are not the enemy and if you select a whole grain containing product like Corn Thins slices you are giving your body with many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This includes iron and zinc for optimal immune system functioning. Also, antioxidants like sulfur compounds and phytic acid. Also, selenium which supports the health of your thyroid and magnesium which is required for energy production and plays a role in over 300 different enzymes in your body.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Did you know that extra virgin olive oil has 36 different antioxidants!? Antioxidants help to protect your cells from free radical damage. In excess free radicals can cause damage and disease to the cells of your body. Extra virgin olive oil is also a heart healthy monounsaturated fat. When saturated fat is replaced with monounsaturated fat it can reduce both your 'bad' LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.
Chickpeas are packed with protein and give you around 12g of protein per cup. On top of this chickpeas are a good source of fiber which support the health of your gut and feed the good bacteria in your gut. When your gut microbe is healthy and fed with the food which promote healthier strains of microbes this helps to keep your body healthy too.
A classic breakfast choice and rich in a soluble fiber type called beta-glucan. This helps to drag out the cholesterol from your body, preventing it from being reabsorbed and overall helps to reduce your total cholesterol. Oats are also a good source of B vitamins which are needed to create energy from the food you eat. 1 cup of cooked oats has around 6g of protein.
Another great legume to add to the list. Red kidney beans are a good source of protein as well as non-haem iron. Iron is needed to transport oxygen around your body and also plays an important role in keeping your immune system working at its best.
Calcium set tofu is both a great source of protein and calcium. Calcium is needed to keep your teeth and bones strong and ensures normal muscle contractions. 100g of tofu is a serve of dairy alternative and 170g is a serve of lean meat alternative.
A vegetable which is a good source of both carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. 1 cup of cooked yellow split peas has around 16g of protein and 41g of carbohydrates.
Nuts are a fantastic source of carbohydrate, healthy fats and protein as well as fiber. 30g of unsated nuts a day can be a great habit to start to benefit the health of your heart as well as to promote a healthy weight. Each nut has its own health benefits e.g. almonds are higher in calcium while walnuts are a great source of plant-based omega-3 fat. Therefore, a variety in your diet is the key to optimal health over a single nut variety.
Take home message: Following a plant-based diet can benefit the health of your body as well as the planet. Try these 9 pantry staples to get you started in the right direction when following a plant-based diet.