"Healthy diets can prevent, successfully treat, and in many cases, even reverse many of the chronic diseases that are killing people today."--Dr. Michael Greger. What he means by a "healthy diet" is as close to a vegan diet as is possible for you and yours. The closer to 100%, the better.
There are so many amazing nutritional facts about plant foods that I don't even know where to start, so, I'll just start with my personal favorites. I hand picked these from Dr. Michael Greger's wonderful site, nutritionfacts.org. You can play around on that site all day, look up any food that interests you and watch the videos, or just go to the home page for all the most recent videos (he updates daily or very nearly daily with the most cutting edge nutrition research available).
In no particular order, here are five of my faves:
1. You know how regular, ol' white mushrooms have kinda a bad rap? Well, they are really good for you and cheap, too! They have the second highest antioxidants when compared with fancier mushrooms, YES.
2. Eat more spinach, it's #1 against brain tumors! Eat more beets! And, there is little anti-cancer, antioxidant effect from the veggies many Americans choose most of the time: tomatoes (raw), cucumbers, carrots and lettuce (iceberg, I guess). And, EAT MORE GARLIC. :-)
3. Kale. I LOVE KALE (organic, of course). If you are afraid of it or how to cook it, never fear. You can COOK THE SH** OUT OF IT and it will NOT diminish it's nutritional properties. It's better for you cooked than raw, actually. Now, that's awesome.
4. Get some ground flax into your body. It's amazing--the richest source of lignans in the known food world. You can mix it into jelly or peanut butter, add it to your morning shake (I hate the word "smoothie," **shudder**), use a flax "egg" whenever you need an egg in baking (1 T ground flax, 2-3 T of water or plant milk, whisk well, and let sit 5 min or so), put it in soups, bake it into pancakes or waffles, whatever. JUST DO IT. And you DON'T have to grind it yourself! It retains its nutrition whether pre-ground, not kept refrigerated (though I don't recommend that, it will get rancid and taste not so good), or cooked (yes!).
5. And, most importantly, if we do not promote cancer (through our dietary choices) we may be able to slow it down or even reverse it's growth. Cancerous tumors develop slowly throughout our lives, starting in childhood. Keep eating badly, keep promoting that cancer growth until it is detectable and needs treatment. Many of us (probably most of us) have cancerous cells growing inside of us right now. JUST TWO WEEKS ON A PLANT-BASED DIET SHRANK CANCEROUS CELL GROWTH!!! Start tonight. Don’t wait!!!
If you are a fan of Harvard: Results of two of Harvards’ longest longitudinal studies recommend a plant-based diet.
Oh, and drink tea, the only plant in the world with L-Theanine in it!!
And, lastly, if you can't do any of that, at least eat three leaves of spinach a day :-)
Avoid: eggs, milk and dairy, meat, that's right--meat!, food dyes, soda, and, movie theater popcorn (!)
Also, check out the blogs of my two favorite vegan nutritionists, Ginny Messina, RD and Jack Norris, RD. Or, better yet, pick up a copy of their comprehensive book on vegan nutrition, Vegan for Life. It's great!
If you are a movie, person, check out Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Food, Inc (this is the one that got me started a few years ago), Super Size Me, etc.
And, another really fun place to look up the nutrition profile of foods:
See the small search box on the top right? Put something in there, and you'll get a wonderful, full nutrition profile. I love it! Here is the nutrition profile of beet greens. Eat your beet greens (they taste like Swiss Chard!).
What's your favorite plant nutrition fact?