Spinach is one of the best plant-based sources of iron, making it excellent for restoring energy levels, improving quality of the blood and anemia treatment. Spinach is rich in folate, extremely high in vitamin K and has good amounts of calcium, helping maintain good bone health. High vitamin A and carotenoid content makes it great for eye health and preventing cataracts and macular. Compounds in spinach like antioxidant kaempferol and chlorophyll may help slow down tumor growth and have anti-cancer effects. Spinach is rich in nitrates which, together with potassium, lower blood pressure and protect heart health. Antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, found in spinach, can help treat diabetes and lower glucose levels.
Lentils are one of the oldest foods, widely consumed in Middle East and Egypt. They are packed with protein and fiber, as well as antioxidants, especially polyphenols. These have mainly anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Eating lentils protects heart from disease, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. They are rich in vitamin B and folate, good for proper development during pregnancy, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Thanks to a combination of fiber, carbohydrates and iron, they are great for steady increase of energy levels.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, folate and fiber. They are rich in chlorophyll, stopping some carcinogenic effects and slowing down growth of cancer tumors. Thanks to folate and iron content, it is good to eat them during pregnancy to ensure healthy prenatal development, as well as for energy boost. Green beans are beneficial for bone and heart health and good for lowering cholesterol. Another compound they are rich in is silicon, supporting skin and nail growth. Due to high carotenoid content, they keep eye health in check and prevent macular degeneration. As a downside, raw green beans contain protein lectin, which might cause digestive issues.
Beet is a rich source of nitrates and pigments, giving it unique advantages among plant based foods. Thanks to this, it is great for heart health and lowering blood pressure. Another benefit of nitrates is possible boosting of physical performance in athletes, due to the fact it is linked to energy production in cells. Nitrates and pigments from beets are also considered to support brain health and cognitive performance. Beet is rich in folates and iron, making it good for anemia treatment and overall blood cleaning and circulation. It also contains antioxidant betain that helps detoxify liver and keep it in good health.
Chickpea has high fiber and protein content that makes it excellent meat replacement. It is considered that the protein of chickpea is of higher quality than in other legumes, containing almost all essential amino acids. It promotes fullness and aids weight management and is high in vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus and iron. Chickpea reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels and protects heart. It is also one of the best sources of folate. Consuming chickpea promotes production of butyrate, decreasing the risk of colon cancer and other nutrients in chickpea also help reduce cancer risk, such as saponins. Presence of choline improves brain and nervous system function. Chickpea is good for people with diabetes and has low glycemic index as well as decent amounts of magnesium and zinc, that can lower the risk of this health issue.
Cashew is native to Brazil and filled with antioxidants. It is a good choice for weight loss, especially when eaten raw, since not all fat from is absorbed when consumed in this form. Rich in protein and fiber like other nuts, it is good for heart health and lowering cholesterol. Cashew is loaded with copper, good for formation of red blood cells and anemia prevention. It also contains lots of magnesium, zinc and iron. Cashew also promotes eye health and due to high levels of selenium and copper, cashew oil is great for skin and hair.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants and are the highest source of selenium of all vegetables and fruits. They are rich in fiber, especially beta glucan that lowers cholesterol and protects heart, high in water content, low in calories and fat free. When compared to other vegetables, they have relatively high amounts of protein which makes them very suitable for plant-based diet. They are rich in vitamin B (folate) and minerals, especially copper, as well as phosphorus, iron and potassium. Mushrooms are good for red blood cells production and bone health and for treating anemia. They are one of the richest sources of ergothioneine or ERGO, an antioxidant amino acid.
This legume is high in starch and fiber and especially rich in protein. Peas contain antioxidants polyphenols and have low glycemic index, helping stabilize blood sugar levels and are diabetes friendly food. They are great for digestion due to high content of insoluble fiber, protect heart from heart disease and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Rich in saponins, they have anti-cancer properties. The most present minerals in peas are manganese, phosphorus and iron. Another powerful substance in peas is lutein, good for eye health. On the other side, peas contain antinutrients common for legumes, that are making the mineral absorption and peas digestion more complicated. This might cause bloating and discomfort during consumption.