It’s true that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can get to be very time, money, and energy-consuming. However, being healthy doesn’t have to include the extra stuff like gym classes and special nutrition shakes and pills. If you take the extra stuff away, the base of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be as simple as feeding your body real, whole food. Eating a variety of plant-based foods is a great way to improve health. There are many benefits to living a vegan lifestyle or drastically reducing animal product consumption. For example, maintaining a nutritious, plant-based diet can lower your fat and cholesterol levels, among tons of other perks like better skin and increased energy.

Here are five plant-based foods you should eat everyday to get a variety of key vitamins and nutrients. All five can be prepared and cooked into countless recipes, from quick and easy snacks to elaborate meals.


  1. Nuts

    Health freaks love nuts because they’re easy to carry and eat. Plus, the fiber and protein content of nuts will help to keep you full, making them an excellent snack to hold you over before dinnertime. Also, the healthy fat in almonds will help trim your waistline when eaten in moderation. Try making some Vegan Almond Halwa.

  2. Leafy Greens

    Did you know that one cup of chopped kale contains 206 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, 134 percent of vitamin C, and 684 percent of vitamin K? It also has the minerals copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium. Kale is a powerhouse green, but any variety will give you vitamins A, C, and K. Think collard greens, chard, arugula, and spinach. Try eating spinach on a Raw Vegan Pizza with Spinach, Pesto, and Marinated Vegetable.

  3. Whole Fruit

    The best way to get the vitamins from fruit is to eat it whole. Load up on fresh fruit from the supermarket. Another great option is to buy frozen fruit that you can easily thaw or use in smoothies. Frozen fruit is amazing because the nutrients are locked in when the fruit is picked and then frozen. That so-called fresh produce may have been carted around a few places before it got to you, loosing nutrients with each day after it’s picked.

  4. Orange Vegetables

    Eating any type of vegetables is a healthy choice to put you on the right track toward a long, healthy future. But in particular, remember to eat orange vegetables every day for a high source of vitamin A. Choose pumpkin, carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes for vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision and a strong immune system. To ease your snack attack with carrots, try these Raw Vegan Carrot and Flax Crackers or try cooking a creamy Butternut Squash Risotto, made with cashew cheese.

  5. Legumes

    According to the American Dietetic Association, most active adults only need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. Legumes are excellent sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians. One cup of cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein, while one cup of cooked black beans provide 15 grams. Try Lentil ‘Meat” Balls.