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5 Plant-Based Tips for a Healthier New Year

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Wellness Services Corporate Dietitian


Jan 17th, 2019


If you could do just one thing in the new year to boost your health, start by adding more plant-based foods to your daily diet! Plant foods are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds (like phytochemicals), many of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action in your body. Most plant foods are also cholesterol-free and low in sodium and saturated fat. It’s no surprise then that research continues to suggest that plant-based meals may decrease the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers and may even help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Some plant foods and plant-based products add a punch of protein while others are rich in healthy fats! For protein power, try incorporating beans, soybeans/soymilk/soy yogurt and legumes or whole grains, such as quinoa, oats, wild rice, amaranth and spelt, nuts and nut butters and higher protein vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach and potatoes. Healthy plant fats mainly come from avocados, olives and extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, edamame, tofu and soymilk.

While many families are moving toward plant-based products for a variety of reasons including a focus on health, food sensitivities, new flavors and for environmental benefits, there is still work to be done. In the United States, 93% of kids aged 1 to 18 years are not meeting the daily recommended intake for vegetables, according to the National Cancer Institute. Read on for five simple and quick was to start incorporating more plant-based foods seamlessly into yours and your family’s diet!

Start with Breakfast

Switch to plant-based products and enjoy a plant powered breakfast more often. This stunning and addicting recipe for a Pink Power Smoothie Bowl, features SILK strawberry yogurt alternative along with frozen pink dragon fruit! If the color “pink” had a flavor, it would taste like this smoothie bowl!

Sub In Plant-Based Foods

Some popular plant-based entrees are eggplant parmesan, pasta primavera or vegetable lasagna, tofu and vegetable stir-fry, bean burritos, veggie scramble and minestrone or lentil soup—all of which are simple and delicious additions to your New Year recipe rotation!

Give a Plant Power Makeover

For many of your favorite recipes, try cutting the amount of meat in half while increasing the amount of plants or adding other plant ingredients to the recipe like spinach, beans or mushrooms. That’s exactly what we did in this recipe for Italian-Style Spinach & Mushroom Meatballs!

Opt for Plant-Based Dairy

This fun recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats calls for SILK Vanilla Soy Milk to soak the oats overnight and an almond cream cheese substitute for the chocolate swirl.

Sneak in Veggies When No One is Looking

While it may look like you’re adding lots of shredded coconut when whipping up one of these Almond Joy Smoothie Bowls, you’re actually adding frozen riced cauliflower and all of it’s nutritional benefits. The crave-able flavor comes from blending coconut milk yogurt with almond butter and unsweetened cocoa so no one will even notice the veggies!

Find more inspiration to power up your New Year with plants and plant products on our Pinterest page!

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