These ingredients are what I mostly use when cooking, creating or snacking. There are so many more powerful plant based ingredients out there for you to experiment with and please let me know what delicious and nutritious foods you are eating. I’ve shared some of their health benefits too but have by no means included them all – there’s far too many!
- Apple – regulates blood sugar, high in antioxidants which help to repair and renew damage to cells, decreases cholesterol, good source of vitamin c, source of fibre aiding digestion and bowel health.
- Banana – high in potassium which helps maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure, anti-acids alkalise the stomach to help prevent ulcers and acid reflux, high in fibre.
- Blueberries – high in antioxidants which help to prevent damage to cells which could in turn lead to disease and cancer. Also anti-inflammatory, high in vitamin C and supports the nervous system.
- Lemon – high in vitamin C which will help to boost your immune system, highly detoxifying flushing out toxins from the body and helping to combat damage caused by the sun and pollution (reducing wrinkles and improving overall skin texture).
- Lime – high in calcium and folate which is especially great for women. Like lemons, limes are high in vitamin C and also help lower cholesterol.
- Medjool Dates – high in fibre which is great for keeping a healthy digestive system. They are a source of iron and also contain pottassium. Being so sweet they are the perfect alternative to using refined sugar, blended in a smoothie you would never know you were getting such a health kick.
- Pear – high in fibre aiding a healthy digestive system. High in flavanoids which helps to decrease type 2 diabetes.
- Raspberries – help to regulate blood sugar levels, high in vitamin C, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help to prevent disease. Bursting with fibre and has also been found to speed up metabolism.
- Strawberries – regulates blood sugar, high in antioxidants which help to repair and renew damage to cells, decreases cholesterol, good source of vitamin c, source of fibre aiding digestion and bowel health.
- Avocado – contains vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium – wow! They have a rich supply of a type of fat called oleic acid, also found in olives and olive oil, which helps the digestive tract’s ability to absorb nutrients, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Beetroot – a dark red vegetable contains potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid. Beetroot also contain carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre. That’s a whole lot of goodness in one vegetable!
- Broccoli – contains huge amounts of immune boosting vitamin C with just one cup giving you 100% of your required daily dose. Great source of potassium, which is essential for maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure, as well as a strong nervous system. Also contains vitamin K, which is important for healthy blood and bones.
- Carrots – source of vitamin A, which is really important for immune and eye health, as well as helping build clear beautiful skin. High in fibre too!
- Courgette (Zucchini) – high in immune boosting vitamin C, high in fibre aiding a healthy digestive system and also a great source of antioxidants .
- Cucumber – high in magnesium, potassium and silicon, which is fantastic for healthy skin, hair and nails. High in vitamins A, B and C, helping to boost your energy and increase immunity. Cucumber contains a cholesterol-reducing compound and lowers the levels of uric acid in your body, making them really kind to your kidneys.
- Kale – one of my favourites! Kale contains more iron than beef. Iron enables the oxygen to be carried to cells, this gives your body all its energy. It also has more calcium then milk (per calorie). Calcium helps to maintain bone strength and a healthy metabolism.
- Peas – good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation throughout the body. Peas are a great source of fibre and protein helping you maintain a healthy digestive system.
- Peppers – huge amounts of vitamin C and A – strengthening your body’s immunity to help fight infection.
- Rocket – powerful antioxidant, with lots bacteria fighting properties. A great source of folates, great for expectant mother. High in vitamin A, rich in B-complex vitamins, and vitamin K.
- Spinach – highly rich in vitamins and minerals – spinach is amazing! Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and enabling healthy blood sugar regulation, while vitamin A is essential for strengthening your body’s immunity against infection, as well as helping it to build and maintain clean, healthy skin. Have I mentioned spinach also contains – manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin C & E, calcium, potassium, B vitamins, fibre and protein! All of which help to build a strong, healthy, disease free body. Spinach also contains antioxidants that have been proved to function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. This is why I eat so much of it!
- Sweet Potatoes – lots of vitamin A, essential for strengthening your body’s immunity against infection, as well as helping your body to build and maintain clean, glowing skin. The antioxidant beta-carotene can be found, providing anti-inflammatory properties as antioxidants help your body to prevent and repair cell damage, preventing diseases. Sweet potatoes are packed with fibre, helping digestion but also helping you stay full for longer.
- Tomatoes – well known for their high antioxidant content, which studies showing that their particular antioxidants have an especially great effect on bone, liver, kidney and blood health. These antioxidants have also been shown to provide huge anti-cancer benefits.
- Watercress – research has identified more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals contained in this one herb – more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and more vitamin C than oranges. Add a little watercress to your salads or your soups!
Grains and Legumes
- Brown Rice – this is how white rice would look before going through process and polishing. Process and polishing removes vital goodness needed for optimal health. Brown rice lowers cholesterol, helps to maintain a normal body weight, and reduces risk of heart disease. It is high in fibre, manganese and selenium, vital for digestive, thyroid and metabolic function.
- Chickpeas – huge fibre content, which is great for your digestive system and irradicating anything nasty. As fibre is slow releasing it will keep you full for longer.The soluble fibre in chickpeas helps to increase blood fat regulation and lower cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.Chickpeas are a great source of plant protein, a valuable support for your blood sugar regulation.They’re an amazing source of manganese and also iron, which is essential for bone health, optimal thyroid function and nerve health. As well as boosting energy and transporting oxygen to vital body cells. Great for vegetarians and menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding women!
- Lentils – a rich source of iron, fibre, protein, and manganese. Lentils will help keep you feeling full for longer as well as regulating your blood sugar and lowering cholesterol. Will promote optimum bone, nerve and thyroid health.
- Oats – lots of fibre, helping to keep you fuller for longer, avoiding blood sugar spikes and crashes, helping your digestive system to work more efficiently. They’re also a rich source of selenium, which is vital for DNA repair, as well as being associated with a reduced risk of cancer, especially colon cancer. As well as being a great source of magnesium, which is essential for enabling over three hundred different enzyme functions around the body, including the secretion of insulin and glucose.
- Quinoa – an amazing addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet as it is the only grain that contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also contains almost twice as much fibre as most other grains, which aids effective digestion, while helping to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol. Quinoa is a great source of iron, enabling the blood to carry oxygen around the body.
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds – source of protein, filled with the heart-healthy fats, which can lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease. They’re a great source of antioxidants, iron, magnesium and manganese, great for treating anemia, stabilising blood sugar and increasing bone density. High in vitamin E, great for glowing skin and hair. Has been known to reduce dark circles around the eyes as it helps to increase blood flow and combat fatigue.
- Brazil Nuts – Brazil nuts are full of monounsaturated heart-healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular and heart disease.They also contain lots of health enhancing antioxidants thanks to their vitamin E content. A great source of selenium which is needed for a healthy thyroid and immune system.
- Pecans – contains monounsaturated fats helping to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease as well as reducing blood pressure. A great source of vitamin E, which is a very powerful antioxidant that prevents the cell damage that leads to chronic diseases. If you want shiny hair and clean glowing skin, eat lots of pecans!
- Pistachios –
- Poppy seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds – high in zinc, magnesium and plant protein. Will strengthen immune system, provide energy, improve bladder function, as well as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Sunflower Seeds –
- Walnuts – amazing source of omega 3, vitamin E, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and folic acid all of which aid efficient digestion and metabolism, support proper brain function and help to regulate your mood keeping you happy and healthy.
- Cacao – raw cacao is a great chocolate alternative in your baking. It is one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants and contains the most concentrated source of magnesium, which protect your cells from damage and promote a healthy heart as well as maintaining energy levels. Cacao raises your levels of serotonin, which acts as a mood-booster and natural anti-depressant! Raw cacao is also a great source of manganese, which promotes bone, nerve and thyroid health. This list of benefits goes on…
- Chia Seeds – high in omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy. Also high in protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc, all of which are essential to keeping your body in peak condition as they regulate blood oxygenation, metabolism, skin and bone health as well as keeping your skin clear and glowing. They also keep you full for longer!
- Spirulina – contains lots of easily digested protein and vitamins. Helps maintain a healthy heart and supports the immune and nervous system.
- Maca – great for maintaining stamina and endurance as it naturally boosts your energy levels. Great for athletes or people that lead very busy lives.
- Chlorella – a micro-algae which contains more chlorophyhll than any other plant on the earth. Contains iron, maganese and B6 and B12 helping to detox and support liver, kidney and gallbladder function. It works by transporting nasty toxins (like alcohol) out of the body. A healthy inside makes for a healthy outside so be sure to notice radiant skin and hair!