If you count potato chips, a lot of Americans have been eating a semi-plant-based diet for years… which begs the question: What exactly is a plant-based diet? Researchers at the American College of Cardiology recently studied three iterations of plant-based diets to find that, while a higher intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables was associated with a “substantially lower risk of heart disease,” a plant-based diet that emphasized “less healthy plant foods like sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes and sweets had the opposite effect.”
So, sure, you can sip sweet tea, eat french fries and snack cakes and call it a diet plant-based, but the outcome will be very different than if you’d stuck to leafy greens, unsweetened drinks and whole grains.
The good news? This is the golden age for getting your greens. More and more, the grocery store, coffee shop and even convenience store shelves are filling with healthy veggie snacks and plant-powered functional foods (check out our post about the difference between functional foods and nutraceuticals vs supplements) that everyone can feel good about. Here, we profile a few of our favorite easy ways to eat our veggies.
This family-owned company, based out of California’s abundant Central Valley, launched in the 1970s when a farmer and his wife started dehydrating their tomatoes for sale as snacks. Today, they dehydrate, package and sell multiple fruits and vegetables, including persimmons, corn and peas, as well as mixed veggie snacks. They also offer a collection of powders made from dehydrated and ground fruits that can be baked into muffins or dusted over yogurt for a fruity kick.
Focused on vitamins and superfoods, Life Equals produces convenient “superfood shots” that provide half your daily intake of fruits and vegetables with ingredients like carrots, beets, cranberries, spinach, and kale. For the fourth year, Life Equals also partners with charitable organizations to provide over a half-million vitamins to mothers and children around the world.
We love Amazing Grass for their plant-based protein powders, but when it comes to convenience, nothing beats their Green Whole Food Nutrition Bars. Each easy-to-carry snack bar contains alkalizing greens and nutrition-dense superfoods. They also taste great, which means that kids (and grownups) can’t help but gobble them up.
At Spinaca Farms, we are excited about companies like these, not only because they provide consumers with convenient routes to good nutrition, but because their products perfectly support our Root to Shoot Philosophy:
Why leave nutrient-dense broccoli stems, cauliflower leaves, and beet greens in the field when they could be part of a superfood shot, a pouch of dehydrated veggies, green nutrition bar or other veggie snacks? What if, instead of just helping people get their greens, we help them support farmers and mitigate food waste, too?