It’s day five of our ‘Month of Plant-Based Eating’ program! Earth Balance® and Made Just Right® have partnered with over 25 plant-based diet experts to share tips for leaning into a plant-based diet.
For today’s tip, we’ve got a double whammy of nutritional info for you! We’re featuring two prominent plant-based dietitians, Jack Norris R.D. and Virginia Messina R.D. Both are invaluable to the vegetarian and vegan communities for their generous sharing of important health info.
Here are their tips:
From Jack Norris R.D:
When transitioning to a vegan diet, make sure you include some high-protein foods, and even some fat, in each of your meals. Legume products are the best way to include protein. Legumes include peanut butter, beans (refried, chili, hummus), soy foods (tofu, tempeh, soy meats), split and green peas, and lentils. Nuts, avocados, and olive oil are good ways to add some fat. Making sure you have a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in your diet should greatly improve the satisfaction you will feel from your meals.
From Virginia Messina:
Vitamin C is the Key to Healthy Iron Status for Vegans. Opt for vitamin C-rich foods at all your meals to maintain healthy iron levels. Plant foods are packed with iron – and vegans often consume more of this mineral than people who eat meat. But in grains and beans, iron is attached to compounds called phytates. These compounds are good for you since phytates are antioxidants. But by binding iron, they reduce its absorption. Vitamin C breaks the bond between iron and phytate, though, and its effects are dramatic. Just one serving of a vitamin C-rich food can increase iron absorption fourfold.
The iron and vitamin C have to be present in the intestines at the same time, so it’s important to include a good source of vitamin C at as many of your meals as possible. Best sources are citrus fruits, strawberries, green leafy veggies, bell peppers, and cauliflower.
For more of Virginia’s nutritional insights, visit her at:
Jack and Virginia are also the co-authors of the book, Vegan For Life, and indispensable reference guide for anyone on or considering a plant-based diet. For more information about their book, visit:
What are some of your favorite foods high in vitamin C? Let us know in the comments below for a chance to win FREE Earth Balance® in today’s Everyday Giveaway!