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:
Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, dips like bean dip or hummus, tofu and tempeh.
Legumes are one of the healthiest foods!
- 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
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.
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.
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
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.