Want to know the vegan essentials you should have in your kitchen to better your health, slim down and boost your energy? Veganism is more than just eating plant foods and avoiding meat; it is about eating natural whole foods and avoiding anything processed. And since vegans are not eating animal proteins and dairy, they need to make sure they are getting certain nutrients in other ways so they are not deficient in vital vitamins and minerals. There are plenty of vegans that eat processed foods but to become a healthy vegan, you should be eating whole food that betters your health. And to know where you should begin, check out this list of vegan essentials you should have in your kitchen!
1. Nutritional Yeast
Why in the world do vegans need nutritional yeast? Well it contains 18 amino acids, making it a complete protein and it is enriched with Vitamin B12 (a vitamin essential for energy, which vegans can be deficient in). Nutritional yeast also aids digestion, improves liver health and promotes skin cell rejuvenation. So add nutritional yeast to your sauce for a cheesy flavor or it can be added to any entrée by simply sprinkling over it! And for these reasons this is one of the vegan essentials that every vegan should have!
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are found in most vegans' pantries and for good reason; this seed packs plenty of nutrition. This seed contains fiber, minerals, omega 3 and antioxidants. Chia seeds can be added to your salads, oats and shakes. I like to add chia seeds to lemon water. When you stir the mixture, the seeds become gelatinous and it is said the gel absorbs toxins from body. When going through the digestive tract, chia seeds can also help detoxify your body! Make sure you have chia seeds in your pantry!
3. Lentils and Beans
Both lentils and beans are great sources of plant protein to help your cells replenish themselves and fuel your body. These nutritional powerhouses are complex carbohydrates which are great because they keep you feel long without spiking your blood sugar level. Lentils and beans also promote digestive health and help feed the good bacteria in your body that wards off sickness. You can add beans to nearly any dish, create 6 bean soup or you can even create amazing bean chili! Enjoy while you better your health!
Brown rice, kamut, barley and oats are just a few of the vegan essentials that can help you to fuel your body the healthy way with plenty of fiber and a range of vitamins! If you consume whole or minimally processed grains you will have more health benefits since there are more nutrients available this way. A diet with whole grains and minimally processed foods has been enjoyed in Asia for centuries which would explain the region's almost invisible rate of diabetes and obesity. Try these grains to see and feel the difference!
5. Whole Grain Pasta
Whole grain pasta is a great way to fuel your body especially when you choose minimally processed versions with quinoa and amaranth listed as ingredients. Or better yet, skip the guess work in what you are eating and make your own pasta! If this is too much work in your super busy life, store bought will do. Feel free to experiment with different sauces and enjoy the different tastes!
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are great because they contain plenty of mono and polyunsaturated fats that are essential for proper functioning of your body. Did you know raw pumpkin seeds are also high in iron? Just do not be tricked by the flavored and extra salted versions of nuts and seeds. And never eat more than a handful a day because nuts are high in calories and fat. Even though it is good fat, it is still fat. Enjoy the countless types of nuts to better your health and feel amazing!
If you are a vegan, you should definitely be eating tofu to give your body the essential protein and iron that it needs. Tofu also contains zinc, calcium and cholesterol lowering omega 3. Since tofu takes on the taste of whatever you cook it in, you can create your sauce and make a delicious entrée to enjoy!
If you are a vegan, do you have any additional vegan essentials that are not on this list? Please share, I would love to hear your tips! And I hope you enjoyed these tips too!