As someone who partakes within the vegan plant based diet; these dry whole foods are staples for me. I thought I would do a blog post all about my cupboard staples for anyone who is concerned about protein, iron, or getting enough calories as a vegan.
A lot of people wonder what I eat besides fruit and vegetables, and I think a huge concern for some is what can be the filling alternative for meat within a meal. Turns out, many people don’t actually know about different types of beans, grains, or legumes.
Another cause for concern is cost. Fresh fruit can be expensive in supermarkets and we’d have to eat a whole lot to feel satiated on just fruits and vegetables. But these dry whole food staples within this post are extremely cost effective, and I buy them mostly organic, and also very filling, nutrient dense, and easy to cook. I buy all my beans dry as it is cheaper, easy to buy them organic, and produce less waste.
So what’s in my cupboard?
I live off beans, and I’m not talking about baked beans. I’m talking about fibre and iron rich whole food beans in their whole form. I switch up which beans I buy because health food stores offer a huge selection, but I have to say chick peas are my favourite. I use beans to make chilli with and I also throw them into salads for protein and iron.
Dry Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas): High in fibre so great for digestion. Contain iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphate, and vitamin K which contribute to building and maintaining bone strength. Potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 helps with heart health. The selenium plays a role in liver enzyme function: found out more here.
Dry Kidney Beans: High fibre contents helps to lower cholesterol and prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly. Kidney beans contain the nutrients molybdenum, folate, fibre, copper, manganese, phosphate, protein, vitamin B-1, potassium, magnesium, and are a great source of iron: find out more here.
Dry Black Beans: Whfoods.org tells readers that recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health, and particularly our colon. Black beans are a contender in having a high quantity of phyto-nutrients that our bodies need. Some nutrients include: molybdenum, folate, fibre, copper, manganese, vitamin B-1, phosphorous, magnesium, protein, and iron: find out more here.
Dry Cannellini Beans: These beans are also high in fibre which is beneficial for the colon and overall digestion. They also lead the pack of low glycemic beans. The high molybdenum content stimulates the action of detoxifying enzymes having a detoxifying effect on the body. The bean is very high in antioxidants, protein, and iron: find out more here.
Rice is also a staple in my cupboard because I like to have it alongside my chilli or thrown into salads. It’s easy to cook and also quite filling; along with having a huge host of health benefits.
Brown Rice: One of the most beneficial parts of brown rice is the outer hull layer. This is what gets removed when turning brown rice into white rice. According to Whfoods, this process destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Nutrients within brown rice include: manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and vitamin B-3: find out more here.
Black Rice: This rice is said to have more health benefits that brown rice. It is higher in antioxidants, dietary fibre, and anti-inflammatory properties. This rice is also high in protein, iron, is not refined, and is gluten free: find out more here.
Oats: Dry oats contains nutrients manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, biotin, vitamin B-1, magnesium, fibre, chromium, zinc and protein. Oats can help lower cholesterol, reduce risk of cardio-vascular disease, prevent heart failure, enhance immune response to infection, and stabilise blood sugar levels: find out more here.
Quinoa: Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains. It contains carbohydrates, protein, and fibre; along with vitamins and minerals including: manganese, phosphorous, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc: find out more here.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds offer a massive amount of nutrients and are also a healthy source of unsaturated fat. Nutrients include: fibre, protein, fat (5 of which are omega 3s), calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus; as well as zinc, vitamin B-3, potassium, vitamin B-1, and vitamin B2: find out more here.
Lentils are legumes along with other types of beans and come in a variety of types and colours including red, green, and black.
Red Lentils: Nutrients within lentils include: molybdenum, folate, fibre, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, protein, vitamin B-1, panthothetic acid, zinc, vitamin B-6, and potassium. They are very high in fibre and help stabilise blood sugar, and have iron for added energy: find out more here.
Green Lentils: Nutrients within lentils include: molybdenum, folate, fibre, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, protein, vitamin B-1, panthothetic acid, zinc, vitamin B-6, and potassium. They are very high in fibre and help stabilise blood sugar, and have iron for added energy: find out more here.
A whole foods plant based diet is one of the healthiest ways of eating that there is. It has also made me feel the best I every have and is gluten free without bread or pasta which I try and avoid. Other staples that I keep in my cupboard include raisins, potatoes, and sweetcorn. As well as a mix of fruits and vegetables.