Your body naturally replenishes itself, cell by cell, so that you are always generating new fluids and tissues. This means you have daily opportunities to provide excellent building materials for your body; and the best materials are whole foods! Good food will support or even improve your health. It helps if you select a great variety of food and also that it is grown organically or locally and is eaten in the season in which it ripens. Keep these four key ideas in mind when you shop for your food; they are the ‘cornerstones’ of a great vegan diet. You can build your own nutrient-rich foundation to optimal health using these key ideas.
- Variety in your diet is like an insurance policy for health care.
- The greater the variety of plant-based foods you select, the greater your chances of acquiring all the nutrients you need to stay well.
- Variety helps to stimulate interest in your food and even gets your digestive juices flowing!
- Use The Twelve Vegan Food Groups chart to help you select for maximum variety.
- Eat from as many of these groups as you can on a daily basis.
- Try to eat something from each of the groups on a weekly basis.
- ‘Little and often’ is a good rule to follow.
- Whole foods are largely unprocessed, so they retain more of their goodness.
- They have fewer, if any, added ingredients or unnatural chemicals.
- Their original, pure nutrients are easy for your body to absorb.
- Often, whole foods are less expensive to buy and many of them keep for longer, too.
- They usually come with less packaging, which is hassle-free and kind to the environment.
- Whole foods are rich in substances called phytochemicals that improve the effectiveness of individual nutrients and can help to reduce the risk for several types of chronic disease.
- Whole foods are tasty, colourful and with more texture!
- Locally grown foods are usually very fresh when they arrive in your kitchen.
- They do not require much, if any, packaging, which saves the need for recycling.
- They spend little time in transit, which keeps the price down and freshness up!
- They need little, if any, time in storage – saving energy and reducing cost.
- They supply more nutrients because fewer are lost over time and distance.
- They are much less costly – both to your wallet and to the environment.
- Buying local is good for your community: you get to know the growers who live near you!
- Buying local helps you keep in touch with the seasons and the environment in your area.
- Seasonal produce is food that is harvested when it is ripe – and not before!
- When you ‘eat seasonal,’ your diet changes with the seasons to naturally increase variety.
- Fresh seasonal produce is easy to find in its whole form, too.
- Local growers specialize in seasonal foods – they live nearby, and in the same season!
- Seasonal food usually costs less than imported or out-of-season food.
- There is always plenty; enjoy it fresh and have as much as you like.
- Seasonal, locally grown food is a good match for you: it gives you the nutrients you need, in the quantity you need, at exactly the right time of year for you to benefit most.
THE CONTENTED VEGAN is a complete guide to the emerging vegan lifestyle. Based on two decades experience of raising a vegan family.
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