5 Best Plant-Based Foods to Eat for Best Health & Weight
It seems like everywhere we turn we are hearing about plant-based diets. They are growing in popularity. And this means LOTS of new plant-based foods on the market - plant-based meats, plant-based cheese, plant-based chicken nuggets, and more.
But are those plant-based faux meat foods really going to give us our best health and weight?
Many of the new plant-based foods on the market are highly processed, filled with oil, salt, and sugar, with very little nutritional value. Yes, they may be better for the environment and not have any cholesterol, but is this what we should be eating every day to help us prevent & reverse chronic disease?
There are 5 food groups that have been shown over and over again to be the pillars of health. And in fact, these 5 food groups are consistently the center of centinarian’s diets of the famed “Blue Zones”.
These 5 food groups really DO prevent & in many cases reverse our lifestyle-related chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
What are these 5 best plant-based foods to eat every day?
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains are minimally processed and contain all the fiber & nutrients. Some whole grains include rolled or steel cut oats, whole wheat pasta, corn, farro, barley, brown rice, wild rice, and more. We also call Quinoa a whole grain, but it’s technically a seed.
All “Blue Zones”, areas with the most concentration per capita of centenarians, ate different whole grains local to their area every day.
Too many people are told to avoid fruit because it contains sugar. Well, unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. Fruit also contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that make them health-promoting. Eating an apple is not the same as eating sugar and is not processed in your body the same way. So eat up!
This category is kind of like duh, I know! But, the numbers show us that we aren’t eating enough vegetables every day.
We need to eat the rainbow - green, red, orange, yellow, purple, and even white. All the different colors of vegetables (and fruits) ARE the antioxidants that they contain!
Legumes is the category name for beans, lentils, peas, and soy. This was another food that ALL the “Blue Zones” were eating.
Legumes are high in fiber, high in protein, and lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to boost your immune system, lower your cholesterol, and decrease your risk of cancer.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts & seeds are a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids for our brain & heart. In the Adventist Health Study-2, those who ate 5 servings of nuts a week compared to those who ate very little nuts & seeds, lived 2-3 years longer and had HALF the risk of heart disease.