Hi earth fam, lets talk about plant based living, where to get our iron, essential minerals and omegas from?
Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t have to mean sacrificing nutrition or taste. On the contrary, by turning towards Mother Nature’s bounty of fruits, plants, seeds, and nuts, we can enjoy a delicious cornucopia that’s both beneficial to our health and the environment.
Dive in as we explore a world full of natural powerhouses brimming with iron, essential minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and the life-enriching gift of nutrition.
Delight in the Secret Iron Reserves
Eating a diet rich in plant-based iron sources is a delicious adventure, taking you on a journey of hearty lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and tofu. Dig into a warm, earthy dish of tempeh, or a bowl of quinoa or brown rice, loaded with this essential mineral.
And Don’t miss out on the iron-rich nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin, hemp, chia seeds, cashews, and almonds, which can be the perfect crunchy addition to any meal or snack.
Doing a Fruitful Dance with Iron
Not to be outdone by plants, fruits also serve as noble carriers of iron. Enjoy a sweet, tangy chew with dried apricots, prunes, or raisins. Indulge in handfuls of mulberries or fresh, juicy berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, or lip-smacking raspberries. Don’t forget the burst of iron in a ripe pomegranate or a refreshing slice of watermelon.
Minerals: The Unsung Heroes
Minerals, often overlooked in many diets, are vital to our lives. Vegan-friendly foods like leafy greens (think kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, and swiss chard), broccoli, almonds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and beans (like white beans, chickpeas, lentils) offer a range of minerals including calcium, potassium and magnesium, all crucial to our well-being.
The Omega-3 Vanguard
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health and thankfully, there are several fantastic plant-based sources. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts, bursting with these healthy fats, are just waiting to be incorporated into your meals. Canola oil and natto, a fermented soybean dish from Japan, also offer these fatty acids. Alternatively, a vegan omega-3 supplement like algal oil can be an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough.
The Flip-side: A Note on Oxalates
However, before you leap into this plant-based feast, it’s wise to be aware of oxalates — naturally occurring compounds in certain foods that can accumulate in the body and crystallize, potentially causing health issues, like kidney stones. Spinach, rhubarb, beet greens, and Swiss chard are high in oxalates, and it’s best not to consume these raw in large quantities. Cooking helps to reduce oxalate levels, making these foods safer to consume.
Harnessing the power of a plant-based diet means becoming aware not only of the abundant nutrients available in plants and fruits but also of the precautions to take to optimize our health. With balanced choices and informed eating, adopting a vegan or plant-based diet can be an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding journey towards sustainable living and true wellness.