It is no secret that a healthy diet is the key to physical and mental health.
While doctors turn to medication to treat disease, they rarely prescribe a healthy diet.
What is a healthy diet that can prevent disease and restore our body from stress and inflammation? Science says that today there is nothing more healthy for our body than a whole-foods plant-based diet.
Here is the simple outline of what this magic food diet consists of:
A whole-food plant-based diet is centered around whole, unrefined plants. The main ingredients are fruits, vegetables, roots, whole grains, and legumes.
This diet excludes or minimizes all kinds of animal products such as chicken, cow, pork or fish. It also excludes dairy products such as cheese, milk, dairy yogurts. Whole eggs or powdered eggs, that can be the ingredients in many processed foods, are also excluded from this diet. And all forms of processed and highly refined foods that contain bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil are minimized as well.
For some people it might seem like a drastic change to their diet, while for others it is less of a stress. No matter where you stand with your eating habits today, you can start by introducing new, whole and healthy ingredients to your diet.
Try to focus on what kind of healthy foods you can bring to your diet versus what to exclude from the diet. This way it seems to be more fun and not that strict and depriving.
Here is a short list of whole foods that are great sources of nutrition and vitamins.
Think how you can eat more of those non-expensive and nutritionally rich foods.
It might seem strange that those green crunchy leaves are the best source of calcium, but they are. Kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cabbage, and broccoli are nutritional powerhouses that are your body best friends.
Perhaps you can use some extra greens in your kitchen, and add them in more dishes, like smoothies for breakfast, in a soup for lunch, and as a side for dinner.
According to a study published in Mediators of Inflammation, mushrooms have shown to be the remedy for many things including allergies and autoimmune diseases.
While some just do not like mushrooms because of how they look, perhaps it is worth giving them another try, as this magic plant is so full of nutrition.
With a little bit of creativity one can think of many tasty ways to introduce mushrooms to the diet. There have never been so many commercially available mushrooms as there are today. By pairing mushrooms with spices it is easy to get flavorful dishes ready in under 25 minutes of cooking. Learn more about mushrooms and the ways to cook them with Katie Simmons who is a plant based chef. And she has plenty of great ideas how to create dishes with mushrooms.
Very few people will think about increasing the amount of onions they eat. But surprisingly this flavorful veggie is packed with beneficial effects thanks to quercetin that it contains. Quercetin is a flavonoid that provides health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain, protect against cardiovascular diseases and boost the immune system.
Many kinds of onions have different tastes, some are better for salads and salsas, others are great for oven baking. Buy an extra bag of onions next time you are in the shop and get to experiment with them in your kitchen.
All members of the squash family are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients. The squash family includes pumpkins, zucchinis/courgettes, cocozzelles, acorn squashes. And yes, it is actually a colorful fruit family that is more commonly known as vegetables.
They contain all your body needs for omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of antioxidants, including zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene.
Let’s take a closer look at a zucchini: It has zero fat and is high in fiber. It is packed with vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C and K, riboflavin and minerals. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
It is really easy to add zucchinis into any meal like soups, tofu scrambles, steam or stir fries. Thanks to its mild taste you can season it with any kind of spices – try kumin for a more oriental taste, or mix some herbs for a taste of Provence cuisine.
Turnips and Rutabaga
Turnips are most likely the root vegetables that you have no idea how to cook. But those root vegetable with a creamy white color and a purple top, are easier to handle than you think. It is a cruciferous vegetable that was once very popular food in the European diet since prehistoric times. We usually think of Turnip roots as potatoes and beets, but they are actually a cousin of broccoli, brussels sprouts, arugula, and kale. These root vegetables are packed with positive ingredients, including an array of antioxidants, such as glucosinolates and carotenoids.
Choose smaller turnips for eating it raw and bigger ones for cooking. You can also use the greens for cooking or in a salad. Bigger turnips can be treated like a potato in your kitchen, boil or bake it, season with herbs and spices.
They also offer vitamin C, manganese, potassium, vitamin B-6, folate, and copper.
Rutabaga is a superfood with all the properties that your body will thank you for. Rutabaga is a cross between wild cabbage and turnips and it is full with vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, potassium, calcium, proteins, iron and zinc. This root is a must in your daily diet.
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