Hey guess what!!! Did you know that certain foods have less of an impact (also known as a carbon-footprint) on our Earth? Aaaand… did you know that these SAME foods ALSO just so happen to be better for your overall health!? Funny how the universe works isn’t it? Here are 5 environmentally friendly foods (and their nutritional benefits for your body) that you can eat to help save the planet! This way EVERY (body) wins!!!
5 Foods to Eat that are Best for the Planet (and You)
Mushrooms – Contain beta-glucans and vitamin D! These are great for mental health and managing inflammation! Inflammation has been shown to directly influence physical and mental health… so the less inflamed you are, the better of a quality-of-life you can live!!
Legumes – Such as beans & lentils – These are great for gut health and therefore your mental health!! HINT: some people tolerate legumes better than others. If you have gut issues, it is best to consult a registered dietitian to see how to heal your gut so that you can eat more legumes without feeling bloated!
Seaweed – High in iodine, a mineral that is important for your thyroid. Not only is seaweed high in iodine, but it is also a significant source of tyrosine, which is an amino acid that is important for mental health!
Nuts and Seeds – These healthy fats pack a PUNCH of essential nutrients including minerals that you don’t typically get in any other food group!! These nutrients include magnesium (which is responsible for over 300 vital chemical reactions in the body), vitamin E (an antioxidant and important vitamin for you immunes system that fights off viruses) and monounsaturated fats (which can help to raise your good cholesterol HDL!)
Whole grains – consider sprouted grains if you have gut issues – white grains take more processing and therefore require more resources and energy to make!!
In addition to eating these foods, there are also other ways to eat more sustainably:
Eat more foods that don’t come in a package.
Line-caught or “sustainably sourced” seafood is more environmentally friendly for the planet.
Plant-based milks – require less resources to make than dairy milk!
Low water use fruits and vegetables – these are some of the foods that take the least amount of water to make:
Nuts (per calorie) – keep in mind these are calorie-dense foods so you need to consume much less of them in order to meet your energy needs! As a dietitian expert, I recommend buying “unsalted nuts” to help keep yourself in-check of the portion of nuts that you eat. If you are like me, I could eat an entire container of salted nuts, but when I eat unsalted nuts, it is much easier to eat a reasonable amount!