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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Guest Post - 5 Great Vegan Superfoods to Eat In Moderation

Superfood,avocado,olive oil,quinoa,flax seed,almond

The buzzword “superfood” often pops up in diet language to denote a food that is purported to have an amazing effect on human health. Though the term is largely used as a marketing tool, it’s hard to ignore the great health benefits of certain foods, especially plant-based vegan foods.

Quinoa

Those who have eaten meat all their lives may find it strange to consider the idea of protein-rich plant foods, but there are many to be found. One of the most amazing plant protein sources is quinoa. This little grain dates back to Incan times and is a “complete protein”, meaning it contains all seven essential amino acids that the human body is unable to produce on its own. Due to the harmful health effects of protein overdose, any high-protein food should be consumed in moderation.

Almonds

Compared to other nuts, almonds are the most nutrient-dense. They contain many essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and calcium, as well as iron, zinc, and potassium. Almonds are also a source of certain phytochemicals thought to aid in lowering cholesterol. Like other nuts, almonds are high in calories, but only a small serving is needed to benefit from their nutrients.

Flax Seeds

Fish is often touted as a source of omega 3 fatty acids, but for vegans flax is king. In addition, flax seed is high in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and can help lower cholesterol. Adding such a high-fiber food to the diet should be done slowly, as a fiber overload can cause digestive problems rather than being of help.

Avocado

Though they are packed with vitamins and minerals, avocados have gotten a bad rap for being fattening. However, the fats present in avocados differ from the fats in animal-based foods in that they are largely unsaturated. Unsaturated fats do not contribute to heart disease the way saturated fats do, and help keep essential parts of the body, such as the skin, looking and feeling healthy. As with all high-fat foods, though, avocado intake should be limited to reasonable amounts.

Olive oil

Like avocados, olive oil is high in monounsaturated, or “good”, fats. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is now being recognized as one of the healthiest choices for cooking. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed type and contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which are thought to aid in the prevention of cancer. However, olive oil is calorie-dense and should be used moderately.Incorporating these superfoods into the diet is an easy, delicious way to eat healthier and begin to combat the common health problems that people face today.


Louise Baker writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. She has recently also wrote about the best schools online.

8 comments:

  1. I noticed the word, moderation.

    Hmm, I love avocado but when I compare how much of it I eat to what I used to eat ... it is in moderation.

    Have never tasted nor know much about quinoa - would've never known if you hadn't shared.

    Thanks!

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  2. Hi Kissie, thanks for your comment but really the credit should go to Louise Baker who offered to write this article for my blog. I'm glad you find this useful. :)

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  3. When I first became a vegan I was introduced to quinoa...and I loved avocados anyway...I mix the two up together and add some sea salt...yum!! Even my kids will eat that :)

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  4. Olive oil is highly processed goop. It isn't a real food. It's just pure fat with realatively no nutritional value.

    That it's healthy is a myth. Olive oil fuels the development of plaque which causes 90% of our heart attacks/strokes.

    You don't need it.

    Here are some other (and documented) reasons to avoid added fats:
    http://soulveggie.blogs.com/my_weblog/2009/01/15-reasons-to-avoid-vegetable-oils.html

    Note the interview where Dr. Esselstyn (one of the only two men to REVERSE heart disease, and by using a no-added fat vegan diet) explodes the Med diet myth.

    FYI, Mark

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  5. Im glad you added "in moderation" because I will eat guacamole all day long.

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  6. Gauri Radha गौरी राधा20 November 2010 00:12

    I like everything on this list (and probably have way too much of it all!)

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  7. Researches everyday show more and more that protein is good for you, and should take up to 30% of you dairy intake. That's the biggest mistake vegans make, forgetting to eat protein. I've been a vegan for 10 years and have always seen people that eat their way through starches and forget that nutrition is too important. Please, let's research!!!!

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