Lets all settle into our classroom seats everyone. Yes even you, mom and dad. It is time for a little Nutrition 101. I’m sure we can all remember taking a nutrition class back in school or even picking up a book or scanning a website on our own to brush up on our nutrition info. Anyone looking to improve their health will want to figure out what all that healthy food does inside our bodies. So there is always time for a little refresher course in nutrition. And even better, being able to quickly try a plant-based recipe that is rich in the nutrient you are most interested in.
Proper nutrition is essential for staying energized, happy, strong and even beautiful! Your hair, skin, heart, digestive system, blood cells, bones and joints (and more!) ask for key nutrients to keep them healthy. Feed your body what it craves. These delicious vegan recipe ideas will help!
Vitamin A-rich Carrot Slaw 1 of 9
Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyesight. It is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that damage cells and also helps your brain, nerves, teeth and bones. Vitamin A is an anti-aging nutrient and can help keep you beautiful and healthy from the inside out. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, cantaloupe, apricots, mango, peas and romaine lettuce.
Make detox carrot slaw
Potassium-rich Coconut Water Frosty 2 of 9
Potassium is an important electrolyte, which works with sodium to aid in fluid balance. Potassium is also important to your heart and blood vessels. It helps nerves and muscles communicate, and a diet rich in potassium can help offset the sodium we all seem to get plenty of in our diets. Good plant sources of potassium include coconut water, leafy greens, bananas, citrus fruits, melons and many other fruits, like grapes and berries.
Make a coconut water frosty
Vitamin D-rich Mushroom Burger 3 of 9
Vitamin D is obtained through foods we eat as well as exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin essential for healthy bones and teeth since it aides in the absorption of calcium. Good plant-based food sources of vitamin D include mushrooms as well as fortified foods like vitamin-D fortified soy milk.
Make a sunny mushroom burger or bites
Calcium-rich Lemon Tahini Pepper Broccoli 4 of 9
Calcium is needed for strong bones, teeth, muscles, nerves and overall building strength. If calcium is low your body will take what it needs from your bones, which can result in weak, brittle bones. Sources of calcium include broccoli, kale, almonds, dried beans and fortified foods, like fortified soy milk and soy yogurts.
Make lemon pepper tahini broccoli
Vitamin C-rich OJ Frosty 5 of 9
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that is easily lost by the body and so must be replenished often. It protects your body against free radicals. It is also important in wound healing and maintaining healthy skin and connective tissue since it helps in the creation of collagen. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus, kiwis, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, most leafy greens, cantaloupe, papaya and pineapple.
Make an orange juice frosty
Vitamin B-rich Oat Cereal with Soymilk 6 of 9
The B vitamins are essential for production of energy. And things like stress, alcohol and smoking can easily deplete you of B vitamins. B vitamins help keep your body's nerve and blood cells healthy. B12 can be a tricky nutrient for vegans and vegetarians since it is mostly found naturally in animal products. However, most non-dairy milks are fortified with B12, and taking a multivitamin can help as well. B vitamins can be generally found in leafy green vegetables, beans, peas and many fortified grains, plant milks and cereals.
Make chia oatmeal with B-vitamin fortified soy milk
Vitamin E-rich Almond Shake 7 of 9
Vitamin E is a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant needed for healthy heart and blood. Vitamin E is only stored for a short period of time in the body so it needs to be replaced often. Vitamin E helps fight free radicals, boost our immune system and obtain energy from the food we eat. Good plant-based sources of vitamin E include avocado, nuts like almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, seeds like sunflower seeds and leafy green vegetables like spinach. You can also find it in fortified grains and cereals as well as vegetable oils like sun flower, safflower and corn oil.
Make an almond shake
Vitamin K-rich Brussel Sprout Pizza 8 of 9
Vitamin K is known as the healthy blood-clotting vitamin. It also helps maintain healthy bones and kidney tissue. Good sources include green vegetables like kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsley, spinach and green lettuce.
Get the Brussel sprout pizza recipe at Healthy. Happy. Life.
Iron-rich Bean and Rice Burrito 9 of 9
Iron is an important mineral — especially for women who lose some of it each month during their reproductive years. Iron is needed to keep red blood cells and muscles healthy. It also helps bring oxygen into your tissues. You should always consult your physician about your iron needs because everyone absorbs and stores iron differently. Both too little and too much iron in the body can cause a problem. Always check with your doctor about any supplements you may be taking that include iron. Natural plant-based sources of iron include legumes like soybeans, kidney beans and peas, whole grains, vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale, nuts like almonds and Brazil nuts.
Make bean rice burritos
Disclaimer: As always, consult with your physician about your personal dietary needs and nutrition intake.
Resources: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ and http://www.nutrition.gov/
Read more from Kathy on her blog, Healthy. Happy. Life!
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