The health benefits of a vegan diet are linked to the fact that plant-based foods tend to be rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting antioxidants, but they don’t have the cholesterol, saturated fats, and toxins that can be found in animal flesh. Vegans can reduce their risk of many health problems that plague meat-eaters, including heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Some foods deserve special recognition for their health-promoting properties—and we’ve listed 10 of the best here.
1. A+ for Avocados
Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which are important for keeping your skin and hair looking healthy and can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Avocados are also high in potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, and folate.
2. Orange Wonders
And we’re not just talking about oranges. Other orange-colored vegetables and fruits—namely carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos, and certain melons—are all high in beta carotene, which is vital to maintaining good vision and healthy skin.
3. Nutty for Walnuts
Walnuts are high in protein, iron, and zinc, plus they can provide the omega-3 fatty acids that you need without all the toxins that can be found in fish flesh.
4. It’s Easy Being Green
Dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and bok choi have plenty of highly absorbable calcium. Plus, these greens are high in potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium, which are also good for bone health.
5. Beans, Beans, and More Beans!
A hearty staple for health-conscious diners, beans are packed with protein and are good sources of iron and zinc.
6. Have High Cholesterol? Whip Up Some Oatmeal!
Consuming oatmeal regularly can lower your cholesterol by up to 20 percent! It’s also a good source of healthy protein and is high in other important nutrients.
7. Lentils Galore
Lentils pack a major nutritional punch. They are loaded with protein and fiber as well as folate, magnesium, and some B vitamins, all of which may help fight heart disease. A study of 16,000 middle-aged men found that those who consumed a lot of legumes were 82 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease!
8. Super Soy
Researchers have linked the consumption of soy products (such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame) to many health benefits, including improvements in heart health and a reduced risk of developing cancer. And soy is packed with healthy plant protein.
9. You Say ‘Tomato’
Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which a number of studies have linked to a reduction in prostate cancer. Tomatoes also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
Berries contain potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, folate, provitamin A, and vitamin K, and they are also high in cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Posted by Ashley Fruno