Tag Archives: #healthy foods

18 incredible plant based super foods that are packed with more punch than animal protein!!

Good plant based foods are out there that could feed your muscles with more proteins than you would have thought!

You wouldn’t have dreamed of turning from villain to warrior in one bound? Or have you thought of turning yourself into a protein powerhouse?  Sounds more like a feat hard to come by for many of us who are riveted more to mindful eating and intensely deliberate over food choices. We regularly search for nutritional benefits in food we eat and look around for ingredients that are impressive with macronutrients.

Clearly buzz of years means differently to different people. A vegetarian diet can be nutritionally superior to any other way of eating,” says Tallmadge. It can be one of the healthiest ways to eat, because we know plant foods are loaded with nutrients to protect our health.”

So does ditching meat automatically mean equal or better source of nutrition? Will it help us to  live longer and be healthier overall?

Let’s find out.

Proteins go to polls!

Proteins, like fats and carbohydrates are the most enviable energy source and are found in every cell. When viewed as a ‘nutrient of interest,’ protein wrests with other macronutrients for first place in vitality.

Human body is known to require 20 different amino acids and our body synthesizes only 11 of them (usually non essential ones). So, we must get remaining 9 essential amino acids from other sources. Traditionally animal proteins like meat, eggs and milk are considered complete proteins, meaning they provide all of the essential amino acids our body needs.

But there are plenty of plant based proteins sources out there as well. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, leafy greens such as broccoli and kale and whole grains are excellent sources of protein. Some of them like Quinoa contain all the 9 essential amino acids that we need. Besides plant proteins run lower risk of causing carcinoma and type 2 diabetes.

As winter drags on and social distancing remain an unavoidable annoyance everywhere, we all look around for that little dose of happiness. While reaching out for a pint of ice cream or grabbing that extra slice of red meat might make you feel good in the short run, the rush you get from these caloric choices could leave you at the disappointing end of rush and nothing to show for it.

However, there are plant based foods that could make you feel happier, typically by lifting your mood or help in staving off depression or anxiety without having a negative impact on your waistline or health.  For those among us who wish to avoid animal-related food product and look for more health-conscious options, vegetarian substitutes are a great way to make the real cut.

Besides, it is also an easy way to save the animals and the cruelty that goes with it. Vegan, vegetarian, or a meat eater; if you look around for healthy super food options, these protein surrogates are a great way to swap meat without settling for less.

Black Beans

Image source: ‘Comforting Black Beans’ by Lola Milne in splendidtable.org

Packed with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin- B6 and phytonutrients, black beans are a good source of anti oxidants and work hard on anti inflammatory properties. You could replace shredded beef or chicken as the main ingredient or use these beans as a base for veg burger Pattie. Each one cup serve carries 15 grams of protein which is equivalent to 50 gram of pork loin or 80 gram of chicken drumsticks.

Butter beans

Image source:’ Southern Style Butter Beans – Baby Lima Beans’ in ddepsouthdish.com on Jul.26,2016

Delicate in texture and starchy yet buttery in consistency, these beans are one serious ingredient for  great many recipes. Excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium, each one cup (128 grams) serve measures equivalent to ½ cup (64 grams) of scrambled eggs. One of the favorite substitutes for meats in homemade veg burgers, this bean is also the vegan option for soups that share meat in their recipes.

Soybean

Image source: ‘8 reasons why you should add soya to your daily diet’ by Mohsina Dodhiya in totallyveganbuzz.com on May 28, 2020

Soybean sources nearly as many essential amino acids as animal proteins. Fresh version is available as edamame while yellow ones are the mature beans. A good source of protein –one cup serve is equivalent to 75 gram portion of salmon or 180 grams of cottage cheese- soybeans also lay out a happy dose of B-vitamins. Considered as a main stream meat substitute, it’s a good aromatic swap for chicken and to a variety of dishes, from Asian stir fries to BBQ and even as a vegan substitute for scrambled eggs.

Replacing animal protein with soy protein is a smashing way to reduce body weight, manage blood sugar and get rid of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. One serving a day (one cup soymilk, ½ cup tofu or soybeans) is also effective for cancer prevention. The phytochemicals in soy prevent tumors from creating blood vessels and thus impede tumor growth.

Buckwheat

Image source: ‘How to Cook Buckwheat: Learn About the Versatile Grain’ in masterclass.com on Nov. 8, 2020.

This is a gluten free energizing and nutritious alternative to carbs like white rice. One cup serve of this super food has 6 grams of protein which is equivalent to one large egg. Buckwheat granola or pancakes could be a breakfast favorite if you pair them with coconut milk. Great to taste when added to raw deserts, cereals and home-made muesli bars, buckwheat is an incredibly healthy and nutritious food. You can also toss them through soups, salads and well practically any dish you like, as the taste is mild and slightly nutty.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘Is Quinoa Good for You? Everything You Need to Know About the Superfood’ by Katie Robinson in everydayhealth.com on Jul. 8, 2019

One among the few plants that could provide you with all the 9 essential amino acids, one cup serving of this gluten free, high protein food has ‘more bounce for an ounce’ value and measures up to one slice of non-fat mozzarella cheese. High on fiber, quinoa is good on manganese, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin-E and whole lot of anti oxidants. Quinoa tastes heavenly in soups and stews. Since it has low glycemic value, you could swap it for ground beef in burger or BBQ sandwich. Try a vegan quinoa scramble for breakfast and you would be bowled over by its flavorsome tang.

Tempeh

Image source: ‘How to make tempeh with white beans from scratch’ in maricelsvegancrush.com on Sep. 18, 2018.

Tempeh, a rich source of complete protein, is a traditional Indonesian fermented food. It is made by cooking soybeans and fermenting them with a starter culture or mold called rhizopus oryzae for at least 2 days. Fermentation over, the soybeans get stuck together into a dense cake by a white mold. It then becomes sliceable and could be pan fried like tofu. Fermented and easy to digest, tempeh is an excellent meat substitute and looks and tastes incredible. Sweet & sour chicken, BBQ sandwich or chicken nuggets; you could replicate all with vegan and vegan friendly tempeh. Each 100 gram of this wonder food contains 20 gram of protein and is equivalent to 30 gram protein in 100 grams of chicken breast.

Hummus

Image source: ‘Hummus With Tahini’ by Anita Schecter in thespruceeats.com on Ap.7, 2019.

Surprisingly one of the easiest dishes, you can make this high fiber, low glycemic super dip all by yourself by blending chickpeas, a garlic clove, extra virgin oil, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds, olive or vegetable oil and salt), lemon juice and salt. This amazingly tasty dip is an ideal vegan swap for traditional meat pate’. It also pairs well with sandwich as delectable spread and could replace meat, cheese and other calorie packed spreads and dressings. Each 100 gram serve has 8 grams of protein and is equivalent to one cup of skimmed milk or three spoonful of minced beef.

Ezekiel bread

Image source: ‘Why Ezekiel Bread is the Healthy Bread Everyone is Obsessed With’ by Lindsay D. Mattison in tasteofhome.com on May 30, 2020.

Ezekiel bread is a delicious, flourless loaf made from sprouted whole grains and legumes including millet, barley, spelt, wheat, soybeans and lentils. It’s named after the Old Testament verse Ezekiel 4:9, which reads: “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” Rich in flavor and dense in texture, one slice of this bread contains 4 grams of protein. A complete source of all essential amino acids it goes easy on the gut since sprouting process breaks down starches and releases enzymes that rejig carbohydrates. Sprouting also unlocks vitamins and minerals that turn them savory too.

Lentils

Image source: ‘Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes’ by Ellie Krieger in foodnetwork.com

Typically legumes, lentils are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese, and various other nutrients. These are among the best sources of plant-based protein and an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans.  Each serve of one cup (200 grams) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams of protein. Other high protein legumes that serve equally well include soybeans, kidney beans and chickpeas.

Brussel sprouts

Image source: ‘Roasted Brussels Sprouts’ by Jaqatac in .allrecipes.com

Bursting with vitamin-C and cancer-fighting glucosinolates, Brussels sprouts are one of the most potent cold-weather super foods. Mere half cup (78 grams) of this high protein veggie could provide you 2 grams of protein.  “No! You wouldn’t gag over the offensive smell of cruciferous veggies cooking or mushy middles”. Simply season the sprouts with salt, pepper and olive oil or you could add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and slow roast at 425 degrees for fifteen minutes until darkest brown. You could even splash a bit of balsamic vinegar on top to make it more exciting. You will love them!!  Even picky eaters won’t say no to this amazing cook.

Jackfruit

Image source: ‘What is jackfruit and how do I use it?’ in wtop.com on Nov. 7, 2019.

This could turn out to be your vegan favorite. Jackfruit might be huge in places like Philippines, India, and Indonesia. A single fruit can weigh up to 100 lbs.  Resembling meat in texture( flesh is all fibrous) with somewhat similar looks, it has mild flavors and is easy to spice and cook. It is all rage for vegan tacos, nachos, pork sandwiches, curry and a number of Asian recipes. Do try it as it’s a unique experience and packs nearly 3 grams of protein per cup. It’s also up there in vitamin-C and fiber and rivals bananas for potassium.

Guava

Image source: ‘Pexel free media library in wordpress.com.

With 4.2 grams of protein per cup, guava definitely tops the list of high protein fruits. If that’s not enough, guava serves 4 times your daily vitamin-C needs in a single serving!! Eat all by itself, add it to sweeten a smoothie, pair it with Greek yogurt or simply mix with fruit salads for a perky and protein-rich new taste. Packed with antioxidants this fruit is an excellent source of fiber.

Avocado

Image source: ‘The avocado craze’ by Dr. Phil Maffetone in philmaffetone.com on JUl. 9, 2019.

A close second to guava in the protein stakes with an impressive 4 grams per cup, avocado is a perfect breakfast that is genuinely delicious and could turn a simple toast into a healthy flavorsome meal. A show stopper in salads, avocado is also one versatile food that pairs well with your nutrition requirements.

Dried Apricot

Image source:’ 15 Health Benefits of Dried Apricots (and Nutrition Facts)’ by Martha Piccolo in dryingallfoods.com

Dried?” This could put you off, but surprisingly  this one is  far more loaded with protein than a ripe wet one with 2.2 grams per one cup serve.  You could munch them down straight from the pack or mix them into your breakfast cereal.

Almonds

Image source:’ Almonds Aren’t Nuts, They’re Fruit‘ by Holly Van Hare in thedailymeal.com on Oct. 16, 2017.

Each ¼ cup serving of this wonder nut contains 12 grams of protein or equivalent to one cup of full fat milk if you choose one tbsp of almond butter. Energy rich almonds also contain nutrients, minerals and antioxidants and source protein, calcium, magnesium and iron too. Since the almond butter pairs well with fruits like apple, pears or banana, you could stir a spoonful in your smoothie, spread on toast or lick straight out of jar.

Kiwi fruit

Image source: ‘8 facts about Kiwi Fruit’ in fruitrunner.co.uk on Jun. 21, 2017

Savor a Kiwifruit if you haven’t done so far and experience a magical sensory explosion of flavor that would leave you searching for more.  It contains a fairly respectable 2.1 grams of protein per cup, not to mention nearly twice your daily requirement of vitamin-C.  Simply cut one in half and dig in. You won’t regret it!

Blackberries

Image source:’ Blackberry Plant Profile’ by Jamie McIntosh in thespruce.com on Sep. 25, 2020.

With 2 grams of protein per cup serving, we could be staring at the bottom of the protein vat, but blackberries still have more to offer which is enough to make to our favorite’s list. They pack in plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals for a good healthy snack.

Pumpkin seeds

Image source:’ What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? ‘in medicalnewstoday.com.
Image source:’ What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? ‘in medicalnewstoday.com.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, can be tucked away with or without shells. Once scooped out of the pumpkin and freed of flesh, this super food turns into a delightful snack when light spices are added and then roasted for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Whole roasted pumpkin seeds in their shells contain about 5.2 grams of fiber per serving, while shelled one contain just 1.8 grams.

Rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds pack nearly 42 percent of a person’s recommended daily intake of magnesium and 9 grams of protein.

That’s not meat protein yet is dependable and so easy to cook!!

For someone who doesn’t eat meat, it’s exciting to try Beyond Meat Burger and to see if it really lives up to its name. The plant-based burger looks, cooks and makes the grade like beef. Carrying all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, this super food comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal. If it does fit in to your choice, the elegant burger that looks and tastes like meat will actually have 20 grams of delicious fatty plant-based protein that could leave you wondering if it’s made out of plants!

To every meat lover who asks you where you get your protein from – the answers could be confusing and may sound a bit thick. For meat lovers anything vegetarian or vegan has little nutritional value, is ridiculously bland and not a perfect meal for those who are always on the go.

Vegetarians  on the other hand associate their foods to a lower risk of heart disease and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which could help in managing blood pressure, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. These are the people who buck the trend to have lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic diseases.

Whatever…Good taste or easy protein, there is certainly no call for veg vs non-veg. What matters most is, how you choose between sustainable foods that are flush with proteins especially when there is no one protein like “one size fits all”.

So, choose smart, make peace with your plate and eat healthy!! 

Foods that count best on nutrition and won’t leave you size zero either!!

Everybody loves Sunday meal. But prep for the week ahead …making faces already!! Sometimes planning out meals each week can get a little monotonous and boring. But for those who rush out of home for a 8-10 hr job each day, meal prep for week ahead is how it begins on Sundays. It probably is the best suited way to keep track of your eats. It also sets of your week ahead with a healthy fresh mind set. Planning out your meals and stocking your refrigerator likewise could free you enough to look forward to your workouts for that week.

If you “fail to plan, plan to fail is imminent”!

When you plan your meals for the week ahead, not only you learn to resize the portion but also plan to fuel yourself with wholesome nutrition; foods that make you want to work that much more! To me it always rings sweet…’abs are made in kitchen’. You just need not tease your brain to know when your body looks for healthy food for endurance, strength and even weight loss .  

What foods to eat for an upright body

Plants do not eat. They make their own food under the sun. But animals and we humans are different. We all need to eat to live and grow. We have so many choices to make about what we eat. Some of these choices are healthier than others. Plant or animals, it’s the food that gives body the much required energy and what we decide to eat coincides with our stress levels.

Consider your food like invisible bits of energy that need to be consumed in right proportion. If you eat too much, extra calories turn into fat, if you eat too little it won’t be long when you become a bag of skin and bones.

Each one of us needs a different number of calories. It depends on how active you are. It depends on what size you are. And above all it depends on what you eat.

Nutrients are invisible but vital for your life 

You can’t see nutrients everybody talks so much about, but you cannot live without them either! What you eat provides you the nutrients and helps the body do its job. Each nutrient works differently. Protein makes your body grow and heal itself when you get hurt. Eating meat or fish could do the trick or you could get them from plants like bean and nuts.

Most of the energy that you get from food comes from carbohydrates. Starches like rice, wheat are good source of carbs. And so are the sugars found in fruits, milk honey etc.

These are natural sugars, a wee bit different from the refined sugar and are found in soft drinks and flavored fruit juices. Bad choice indeed.

Minerals have their hands full

Minerals or salts have too many jobs to take care of. Calcium for instance found in dairy products and greens builds up your frame and teeth. Salts like iron, sodium and zinc carry out vital body functions. Then body needs vitamins too. These work as catalyst to various physiological functions and are on high priority. Vitamin C for one keeps your gums healthy and is found in citrus fruits. Vitamin D works with minerals and helps you work out strong bones and teeth.

And then there is the resolute one; the water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. In fact every cell in our body is surrounded by water. It helps body to get rid of waste and stay at safe temperature.

Trust me, it is important to eat and more important to eat well. To eat healthy you need to follow a few simple rules. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Eat smaller amount of grains and dairy and proteins. Eat even smaller amounts of fat. Sweets and snacks are high on calorie, fare poor on nutrients and are your worst enemy. Take a strong vow and drop them from your list of regular eats.

Jump start your day with quality eats

Begin your day with a hearty breakfast that will fuel your energy levels. But,  no high fat or high calorie foods! You could settle for protein and fresh fruit to begin your day. If you get a large breakfast to your fill, mid morning snack turns optional. You may not get the hunger pangs till lunchtime.  Still if the belly protests, a bite or two of light snack won’t hurt.

Lunch is a great time to savor a pack of sandwich or leftovers that you can heat and eat. If you choose for a quick grab, buy a healthy clear soup or fresh veggie salad. A mid afternoon snack is elective. Just eat enough to tide you over till dinner time, a couple of hours away.

‘Any time’ Foods are chartbuster on nutrition counts

We love a good cheat every once in a while, but we are more comfortable indulging if we know that we’ve gotten our fill of essential vitamins and nutrients. To make sure that you’re getting enough of the good stuff, include these nine foods in your daily menu, and you may agree after a while that these simple and healthy foods work for real in a convincing way.

Eggs

One of the best sources of proteins, eggs raise your metabolism fast enough to let you feel energized. However, if your cholesterol level is high, then ­consume only egg whites and not the yolk. Egg whites are a pure source of protein, and ideal if you want to lose weight.

Oatmeal

Ever wondered why you crave most in the morning for sugary products like doughnuts? It is because this early morning snack attack is caused by dip in sugar levels. It’s almost 10 hrs since you ate last. Go for plain oatmeal. It gives you that healthy feeling of fullness and stays in your stomach for hours. It is an excellent choice if you want to curb and reduce belly fat.

High-Fiber Cereal

For maintaining a healthy body especially if you look forward to a flat tummy and push weight loss, cereal is your best option. It contains enough fiber to fill you up and keep your digestive system happy.

Legumes

Like lentils, chickpea and beans too contain a sizeable amount of zinc. 100 gms of cooked lentils contain 12 per cent of the daily recommended value of zinc. Legumes on the other hand are rich in fiber and protein and also have phytates which inhibit absorption of zinc and other minerals. Moreover, include green beans in your salad and soups as well. The fiber of green beans helps manage blood sugar levels and you could ward off those afternoon sugar cravings.

Lean protein

Lean proteins help in speeding up the metabolism while encouraging body to burn more fat. Turkey, chicken breast, pork, and beef (with fat trimmed off, like ground roast, ground, sirloin, tenderloin, etc.) deliver muscle building protein sans much of saturated fat. This is where you can indulge and slake  your inner carnivore.

Cruciferous Veggies  

Veggies top the chart when it comes to stoking your daily calorie firepit. Low in calories, high in fiber and essential nutrients cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, all work as anti-carcinogen by reducing oxidative stress and stimulating enzymes in the body that fights the toxins.

Bananas

Banana is one of the easiest foods to indulge in as your daily diet because it is such a versatile food. Whip up a smoothie or throw one in your office bag for an on-the-go snack. High in potassium, the fruit helps in reducing the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. One medium size banana loads in more than 400mg of this micronutrient.

Nuts

Whenever you get that crazy little pang of hunger in the middle of your work, go for nuts rather than gorge on junk food like chips and pizzas. Nuts like almonds, cashew and ­pistachios are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and have a low ­calorie count. Skip ­the salted ones though for too much of sodium could raise your blood pressure. Of course they’re full of heart-healthy goodness but their only downfall is high calorie counts. So just pick a small size serving and get the most of bang for your calorie buck.

Berries

The antioxidants in berries  (like strawberries and blueberries) block the enzyme responsible for ­breaking starch into simple sugar. This means fewer ­simple sugars are released into the blood stream, lowering the blood sugar and the ­corresponding insulin response. The key to your weight loss lies here!…. for insulin shuttles excess sugar into fat cells.

Perfect” one-size-fits all prep isn’t there

Whether you aim to raise your energy, lose weight, or to simply learn to eat a little better, you would do well to get organized in the kitchen and strike rich with your meal  prep. Simply create a meal plan and choose healthy flavorful eats that works best for you. After all living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult.  You should be in sync with it and have fun together!  Just step outside your comfort zone and try new healthy, nutritious eats without bothering about your waistline.

You will be amazed how small things make a world of difference!!