What is the deal with Superfoods? It’s a buzzword that everyone uses, and it seems like there are new foods constantly being added to the list. There are many amazing foods that are high in nutritional value, so “Superfoods” aren’t a requirement if you’re eating a balanced diet. This is the beauty of plant-based eating. You’re immersed in a culinary world filled with so many healthy, delicious and beautiful foods, you can’t avoid Superfoods. But when it comes to these wonders, what are the top 5 superfoods for vegans? We give you our picks!
These are the foods that we try to eat every day to get the most from our meals. Our golden rule is to always eat a minimum of 3 colours of vegetables at every meal. This helps to ensure we’re getting the nutrients our bodies need. Please remember that we’re not doctors or nutritionists, rather two Plant-Based friends who have a passion for healthy living. These are the superfoods that work for us, but we recommend speaking to a certified Health Care Professional before making any dramatic dietary changes.
With so many varieties and so much flavour, berries are such a versatile fruit and one that we eat every single day! Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries each equally as delicious as the next. We love fresh berries and eat them when we can, but unfortunately here in Canada we only get a few months where the supply is plentiful. Second best are frozen berries and these are always available and so easy to work with. We love to throw them in our smoothies, oatmeal, and baking them into our Berry Cobbler. Sometimes, we even just thaw them and drizzle chocolate on top. Berries are like vegan candy!
Why all the rage over berries aside from their delicious taste and versatility? Well, they’re extremely high in antioxidants which are very important as they protect your body’s cells from damage. As we age cell damage happens naturally from both internal and external factors which can lead to serious illness and diseases. Any food that boosts your body’s ability to protect its cells is pretty darn important in our opinion. If that isn’t enough, berries are also great for your nervous system and improving brain health!
Dark Leafy Greens
We never thought the day would come where we said we LOVE dark leafy greens! We remember not that long ago when you couldn’t pay us enough to eat kale or spinach and would pick them out of any dish. As you begin to eat more vegan and live a lifestyle focused around healthy eating and healthy living you’ll notice your taste pallet begins to change. Not only do we eat dark leafy greens, we actually crave dark leafy greens! We’ve become more attuned with our bodies and what nutrients they desire, but we’ll save this topic for a later post.
Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Arugula, Rapini, Dandelion Greens… the list goes on! Dark leafy greens are extremely nutrient dense and super low in calories. You can bulk up any meal by packing it full of greens. These foods are a great source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, potassium, calcium, antioxidants and even iron! Dark Leafy Greens can help with digestion, regulating bowel movements, muscle function, cognitive function, regulating cholesterol and metabolizing fat and protein. Who knew one small group of foods could do so much?
There are so many ways to eat Dark Leafy Greens. Spinach is an easy one to start using as its flavour is mild and easy to conceal as your taste pallet adjusts to the new flavours. Slowly you can start adding more until you crave your greens like us. Use frozen greens to add to your smoothies, soups or chilli. Use chopped fresh greens to add to your salad, stir-frys, tofu scrambles, pizza or really anything!
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts & Seeds are such a staple item in our pantries. In fact, we’re munching on some as we write this post. Nuts and seeds are so versatile (like all of the foods we’re listing here) and can be added to just about anything. Sweet, savoury, you’re covered no matter what. The best way to learn to cook with nuts is to get in the kitchen and start experimenting. One tip we learned is to always try and eat toasted or roasted nuts as raw nuts can aggravate your stomach and disrupt your digestion. If you frequently buy raw nuts you can quickly toast them or roast them yourself and you’re good to go.
From nut butters, to trail mixes, granola, cashew cheese, salad toppers, pasta, dessert crusts and so much more nuts and seeds are so easy to incorporate into any meal. Be mindful of the amount of nuts and seeds you consume as they are very calorie and fat heavy, so you don’t need a lot to do the trick. Packed with tons of nutrition and great for regulating blood sugar and keeping you full, you can’t go wrong eating these guys.
Nuts & Seeds are also a great source of plant-based protein, high in antioxidants, fibre, Omega 3, Magnesium and Vitamin E. They’re great at regulating cholesterol, balancing blood sugar and maintaining healthy blood pressure. These superfoods are also great for bone and joint health! Get out there and start experimenting with the many varieties of nuts and seeds out there!
We won’t spend too much time on mushrooms because we wrote a whole post about it, but we just had to include them in the list. High in Vitamin D, Iron and Calcium these delicious fungi deserve a round of applause. Mushrooms are an amazing immunity booster and should be consumed by the barrel load in cold and flu season! If you haven’t already done so go check out our 5 Health Benefits of Mushrooms Post and read all about them.
We really really like Mushrooms – even Sigourney has joined the dark side. She still won’t join Brigette in a Portobello Mushroom burger but loves to incorporate them whenever she can. Pan fry them in herbs with a little bit of olive oil or water and add them to salads or sandwiches, Throw them into stir-frys, tofu scramble, add them to kabobs on the BBQ, put them in soups or stuff them and serve them as appetizers. Mushrooms give off a lot of juice and flavour while cooking, so they are perfect addition anytime you’re caramelizing onions and garlic!
There is something about Quinoa that takes people a little bit of time to warm up to. It could be the texture, or the nutty flavour it carries, but generally people come around and learn to love this Superfood. Quinoa comes in a number of variations and colours and each is as delicious as the next. When buying Quinoa, like any other grain pay attention to the cooking instructions as it can vary from one type to the next.
We’re kind of cheating here by including Quinoa as its own category because even though it’s used like a grain, it’s actually a seed. Quinoa has been considered a Superfood from the beginning of time, but only recently started to grow traction in the culinary space. It’s a great alternative to rice, bulgar or pasta and is great for those who are gluten free.
Why else do we love quinoa? It’s high in Protein, Fiber, Magnesium, Folate, Iron and so much more. As such this Superfood helps with cell growth and function, transporting oxygen in your red blood cells, aiding in both physical and cognitive development along with supporting healthy digestion.
Use Quinoa as a bse for your stir-frys, toast it and sprinkle it as a crunchy topping, add it to your granola or try our Chickpea and Quinoa Salad. Once you get cooking with Quinoa we think you’ll really like it – plus there is no arguing this seed is a Superfood!
So there you have it! Hopefully this list of Our Top 5 Favourite Superfoods inspires you to head to your kitchen and start cooking with some new foods. Cooking is all about flavour and all of these foods are so versatile and can be flavoured in many different ways. The key to eating healthy is eating a wide variety of Plant Based foods at every meal to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs and deserves. Don’t be afraid to try new foods and step outside of your comfort zone! Our site is filled with tons of different recipes as is the internet and we encourage you to get creative! You may love some recipes you make with these foods and hate others, and that’s OK. You won’t know until you try and with so much out there you’re bound to find a way to incorporate these Superfoods into your daily routine.