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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

10 Ways To Consume Less Sugar

Everyone loves the taste of something sweet, which in most cases is caused by added sugar.

First of all, let’s answer the question: What is sugar?

Sugar is a carbohydrate. Glucose is the most common carbohydrate and the most important and quickest source of energy.

Refined sugar in processed foods is the bad one as it has no vital substances or fiber. It has literally no use for the functions of our body. Overconsumption of sugar can be linked to several diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

I personally try to limit my consumption of sugar as much as I can, but I do like to indulge in sweets once in a while.

A few other things that have helped me reduce my sugar consumption are:

  1. Substitute sugar with dried fruit like dates, dried figs and raisins
  2. Spice things up with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  3. Substitute overripe bananas (e.g. add to oatmeal or as sweetener in many recipes)
  4. Try to not consume anything sweet for 2 weeks, your taste buds will adapt very quickly and you will crave it less
  5. Use dark chocolate or cocoa powder
  6. Drink herbal teas with a lot of flavour (especially fruit)
  7. Make healthy vegan desserts out of raw ingredients
  8. Try to eat more nuts (fat content can reduce sugar craving)
  9. Try to eat more fruit and don’t be scared of the sugar in it (check blogpost)
  10. Swap out the soda for flavoured water (cold water with orange, lemon, cucumber, strawberry slices)

Lastly, I would say that you should always make sure to check food labels, as there is sugar in almost anything! Check out this blogpost for the different names sugar can have.

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Vegan Nutrition

SUPERFOODS – Top 6 foods you should be eating every day!

Superfoods, a term that most of us are hearing a lot lately.

But what is a superfood?

A superfood is actually a marketing term. It is used to describe a food, which is considered to have special benefits for the health and well-being.

Once in a while it seems like the market has discovered a new superfood, which everyone hypes about and everyone wants to buy and consume. Most of the time these products are much more expensive, than conventional products.

If it is the açaí berry or maca powder, many of the normal foods we can find in our supermarket have the same or even better nutritional value. 

These are my personal 6 “superfoods” I eat (almost) every single day:

 

1) Sweet Potato

If you are scared of potatoes (how so many people are), you shouldn’t be!

Why I love sweet potatoes so much is that they are so versatile, are super tasteful naturally (no extra spices are needed) and they only have 87 calories per 100g.

Also, sweet potatoes are high in dietary fiber, which can help for weight loss.

 

2) Blueberries (vs. Açaí berries)

According to Dr. Michael Greger: “one cup of blueberries a day can improve cognition among older adults,[…].And the same thing with kids after just a single meal of blueberries.”

Blueberries are super rich in in vitamins, soluble fiber and phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals have an antioxidant effect. Antioxidants are chemical compounds produced by plants, which help protect our cells from free radicals. And as a result this may help prevent the development of certain types of cancer.

 

3) Kale

+other dark leafy greens such as swiss chard, collards, spinach and cabbages.

These foods are full of vitamin A, C and K, as well as fiber, calcium, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium.

Vitamins A and K (as well as D and E) are fat-soluble vitamins, which means they are better absorbed when a fat source, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, or oils are added to the meal.

 

4) Beans

Beans are the best source for low-fat protein. Legumes and beans are literally one of the healthiest food groups out there and we unfortunately don’t eat enough of it.

They are also loaded with fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients and they are also packed with iron and zinc, which are minerals you’d expect to be in meat. But beans are so much better for you, as they are naturally low in saturated fat, sodium and they have no cholesterol.

Dr.Michael Greger suggest eating beans and legumes 2-3 times a day.

 

5) Quinoa

Especially, if you are active, quinoa should be a staple in your diet. I always have this grain at home, as it is high in fiber and it is also considered to be a high quality protein (contains more protein than any other grain).

It is also perfect for those of you who can not eat gluten, as this super-grain is gluten-free.

I like to have a combo of both, the white and the red quinoa at home.

 

6) Hemp Seeds

Why I love hemp seeds is not only because of the seed being a high protein source, but it is also a great source of Omega 3. It is essential for us. Especially vegans might not consume a sufficient amount of it while at the same over-consuming on Omega 6 (these fats are available more often in food than Omega 3).

It is important to eat at a ratio of 5:1, 5 being Omega 6 and 1 being Omega 3. The smaller the ratio the better.

 

What is your favourite?

 

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Vegan Nutrition

Vegan Grocery Shopping List – 10 Foods a Healthy Vegan Should Have at Home

I know that transitioning into a vegan diet is not easy. Even as a vegan it can get confusing on what to eat or what foods to buy. It took me a long time to figure it out myself. Since I started studying vegan nutrition, things got a little clearer and I couldn’t be happier to share my knowledge with you. My goal is to help every single one of you live a healthier and happier life.

The first step is to make sure that you have the right foods at home.

This grocery shopping list, which contains 10 food groups, will hopefully be of big help when doing your next vegan food shopping:

 

1)LEGUMES

Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, dips like bean dip or hummus, tofu and tempeh.  

Legumes are one of the healthiest foods!

Why?

It is:

  • loaded with fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • packed with protein, iron, zinc, folate, potassium
  • naturally low in saturated fat and sodium
  • has no cholesterol
  • has the lowest glycemic index food out there

 

2) UNPROCESSED WHOLE GRAINS

Amaranth, barley, corn, spelt, wild rice, brown rice, oats, quinoa, wild rice, buckwheat, rye, bulgur, couscous, whole wheat pasta

What are the benefits?

  • high in fiber
  • high in vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants and phytochemicals
  • good source of vitamin E and B vitamins
  • good source of complex carbohydrates and protein

 

3)DARK LEAFY GREENS & CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

Kale, mustard greens, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, romaine lettuce, etc.

You should consume these foods daily, as they are:

  • a good source of lutein and A,C and K vitamins
  • a good source of calcium
  • high in fiber
  • a good source of folate and minerals

 

5)OTHER VEGETABLES

Sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, artichokes, aubergine, asparagus, celery, fennel, mushrooms, peppers, beetroot, radish, squash, etc.

The list could go on and on. You will get the most health benefits by mixing it up and getting in as many different vegetables as possible into your diet.

 

6)BERRIES

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, açaí berries, cranberries, grapes, etc.

Berries can be considered a real superfood, as they are low in calories, high in anti-cancer and cardiovascular protective phytonutrients/antioxidants. Especially the blueberry is high in vitamin C and E, iron, manganese, copper and beta-carotine. 

 

7) OTHER FRUITS

Apples, bananas, mangos, kiwis, oranges, papayas, apricots, figs, pomelo, pineapple, pomegranate, peach, passionfruit, nectarine, watermelon, etc. 

I suggest buying seasonal fruit, as it is fresher, it tastes better and it is better for the environment and the economy.

 

8)OMEGA 3 SEEDS

hemp seeds, flax seeds and/or chia seeds

Only 2 types of fats are essential in our diet, which are Omega 3 and Omega 6

We do not have to worry much about Omega 6, because we naturally consume it in our daily diet. Actually most of us consume a high amount of these healthy fats.

A whole food plant based diet can help make sure to have a healthy balance between Omega 6 and Omega 3. The best ratio would be 5:1 (Omega 6: Omega 3), the lower the better.

 

9)NUTS

Walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, macadamia, cashew nuts, pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc.

There is no reason to be scared of the healthy fats in nuts, as they come with a lot of health benefits, such as:

  • high in protein and fiber, which will help you feel satisfied and fuller for longer
  • contain nutrients such as vitamin E, potassium and magnesium

Nuts easily absorb pesticides. That’s why you should make sure to always buy organic.

Recommendation: a handful of nuts a day

 

10)SPICES

Turmeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, curry powder, etc.

Good spices do the trick and make a meal super delicious. That’s why you should always have some basics (the ones mentioned above) available in your kitchen.