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5 Ways to improve your vegan diet

March is National Nutrition Month and though the vegan diet is typically healthier than the average American's saturated fat, sugar-laden, empty calorie intake, there is always room for improvement. Here are five ways to improve your vegan diet.

March is National Nutrition Month and though the vegan diet is typically healthier than the average American's saturated fat, sugar-laden, empty calorie intake, there is always room for improvement. Here are five ways to improve your vegan diet.
March is National Nutrition Month and though the vegan diet is typically healthier than the average American's saturated fat, sugar-laden, empty calorie intake, there is always room for improvement. Here are five ways to improve your vegan diet.

5 Ways to improve your vegan diet

1. Limit your processed food intake

Fake meats and other processed vegan foods may fill a "meat" void in the vegan diet, but they are nonetheless processed and often loaded with sodium or other less-than-healthy ingredients. Just as experts recommend meat eaters to make meat an accent to a meal rather than the centerpiece, heed the same advice for fake meats. Fill your plate with whole foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils.

>>Looking for protein? Try these super sources of vegan protein!

2. Eat your colors

The more colorful your fruit and vegetable intake, the more nutrient-rich your diet. Aim for five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables every day and make sure your produce picks include all the colors of the rainbow. You'll be filling up on vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential phytonutrients your body relies on for optimal health.

>>Rich colored foods fill the phytonutrient gap

3. Eat that vegan breakfast

You may think you're too busy to start your day with breakfast, but by skipping breakfast you're missing out on the most important meal of the day. Breakfast not only gives your body a boost of nutrition for the day ahead, it revs up your metabolism, keeps you energized, and helps steer you clear of the empty calorie convenience foods. As important, when you eat breakfast, you set a good example for your kids to eat breakfast, too.

>>Vegan breakfast recipes to jumpstart your day

4. Eat organic and locally-grown foods

Eating organic, in-season, and locally-sourced foods is the best way to ensure you are cooking with nutrient-dense ingredients. For example, produce brought in from other countries or from across the nation lose their vitamins and minerals along the way. Further, organic foods may have higher levels of nutrients than non-organic foods, in addition to being free of toxic chemicals used in conventional farming. Another boon: Buying locally-sourced foods will support your local economy, too.

>>Why you should eat organic foods

5. Add variety to your vegan diet

Are you guilty of buying the same 17 grocery items every week? Though convenient and fuss-free because you've got meals made with these ingredients down to a science, you may be depriving your family of key vitamins and minerals that other foods provide. Venture into new vegan cookbooks, vegan recipes, and vegan dishes from a variety of cuisines to feed your family a well-rounded vegan diet that better ensures you are all meeting your daily recommended intake of nutrients.

>>New vegan recipes that will add variety to your diet!
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