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Published on April 01, 2018

Power Up with Plants!

Healthiest Best

From childhood, we’re told to “eat our veggies.” There’s a lot of wisdom to that statement -- plant foods are loaded with health benefits including vitamins, minerals, immune-boosting compounds, fiber, and antioxidants. Research continues emerging on plant-based diets for cancer fighting and prevention of chronic disease, as well as compoundsthat can affect how our bodies deal with stress and seasonal changes!

Immune-Boosting Properties

Vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices - packed with the vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed for our bodies to function well, they are also full of other health-promoting bioactive compounds (phytochemicals, antioxidants).

  • Cruciferous veggies research shows glucosinolates and other phytochemicals in this family of veggies can boost your immunity, are anti-inflammatory, support eyesight, and may prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease and stomach ulcers!
  • Flavanols found in some of our favorite plant foods like cacao, tea, watermelon, berries and tomatoes have been shown to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Adaptogenic plants have been found to normalize chronically elevated cortisol and corticosterone (stress hormones). An ancient stress-relieving practice in Chinese Medicine and Ayuverdic Medicine, preliminary research shows promise for these plants to support reducing anxiety, blood sugar control and decrease symptoms of stress. About 70 herbals plants are found in literature with adaptogenic properties but scientific evidence is currently limited and more studies are needed.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Databaselists holy basil (“Tulsi”) as “possibly safe when used orally, short term, and some evidence states it can be used safely for up to six weeks as a supplement. Macaroot has been used for centuries in Peru as part of their regular diet and research shows it has antioxidant actions, estrogenic activity, may have cytoprotective effects and adaptogenic action with a nutrition profile similar to wheat.

Sweet Potato Stuffers

Try slicing sweet potatoes and baking them to use in place of toast, or roast them whole and stuff! See the other side of this handout for some stuffing/topping ideas:

  • Grains (quinoa, brown rice, barley, millet...)
  • Beans/pulses (hummus, whole beans, lentils)
  • Chopped veggies and herbs
  • Seeds (hemp, sunflower, chia...)
  • Plain yogurt or quark
  • Slaws, Sauerkraut
  • Dressings/dips/sauces, Salsa

Plant-based Protein

Keep in mind -- many plant based sources of protein also come with the additional benefits of fiber, micronutrients, and phytochemicals as opposed to their animal-based counterparts.

Beans/Legumes - 1 cup, cooked

  • Lentils18 grams
  • Edamame18 grams
  • Adzuki Beans 17 grams
  • Split Peas 16 grams
  • Black Beans 15 grams
  • Chickpeas 15 grams
  • Kidney Beans 15 grams
  • Navy Beans 15 grams
  • Pinto Beans 15 grams
  • Black-Eyed Peas 13 grams
  • Fava Beans 13 grams
  • Lima Beans 12 grams

Grains and Starches –1 cup, cooked

  • Amaranth 10 grams
  • Teff 10 grams
  • Tortilla, whole wheat 10 grams
  • Kamut 10 grams
  • Quinoa 8 grams
  • Pasta 7 grams
  • Wild Rice 7 grams
  • Barley 7 grams
  • Millet 6 grams
  • Farro 6 grams
  • Buckwheat 6 grams
  • Brown Rice 5 grams
  • Oatmeal 5 grams
  • Sweet potato, cooked 4 grams
  • Potato,cooked 3 grams
  • Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice 3 grams

Nuts & Seeds, Raw

  • Hemp seeds, 3 Tbsp. 9 grams
  • Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup 9 grams
  • Peanuts, ¼ cup 9 grams
  • Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup 9 grams
  • Peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. 8 grams
  • Almonds, ¼ cup 6 grams
  • Pistachios, ¼ cup 6 grams
  • Walnuts, ¼ cup 5 grams
  • Almond Butter, 2 Tbsp. 5 grams
  • Hazelnuts, ¼ cup 5 grams
  • Cashews,1/4 cup 5 grams
  • Chia Seeds, 2 Tbsp. 3 grams
  • Flaxseeds, 2 Tbsp. 2 grams

Recipes

Immunity Boosting Bevvie

Twice Baked Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

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Grocery List

Organize your list by category to help save time and stay on track at the market. Purchasing ingredients like nuts and spices from bulk food bins allows you to experiment with new foods and is also a big cost saver!

Produce

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 3 Carrots
  • 6 Green Onions
  • 3 Limes
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 4 cups Arugula or Spinach
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1” Turmeric
  • 2” Ginger

Bulk Foods Bins

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 cup Green Lentils

Bulk Spices

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cacao
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Dairy Aisle

  • 2/3 Parmesan Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup Nut Milk

Miscellaneous

  • 14 oz can of Black Beans
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Raw Honey
  • Maca