The best meal kits for vegetarians focus on well-rounded meals that energize, satiate, and taste great. At YAYE Organics, we build our meals with the six pillars of nutrition in mind. These pillars focus on the foods we consume, and the complementary daily habits that support overall wellness. So, what are the best meal kits for vegetarians, and what nutritional elements should I prioritize when it comes to my meals? See our tips for optimal health through a plant-based and vegetarian lifestyle below:
Six Pillars of Nutrition for the Best Vegetarian Meals
- Eat Colorfully
- Count Nutrients, Not Calories
- Hydrate to Regulate
- Healthy Fats Only
- Arm Yourself with Antioxidants
- Eat Whole & Eat Intuitively
A colorful plate is one of the strongest indicators that your meal is nutrient-dense. Certain colors can even indicate the nutritional benefits of your food. For example, when it comes to leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, these foods pack in a ton of magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin B, calcium, and beyond. They are a crucial component of a well-rounded diet. Meanwhile, darker blue and purple hues found in eggplants, plums, and berries tend to be very antioxidant-rich, leading to stronger immune system health, better blood pressure levels, and improved digestive function.
Some other colors to incorporate? Reds and oranges. Crimson-colored foods, like cranberries, bell peppers, and cherries support heart health and reduce inflammation in the body. Orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and oranges contain high levels of beta carotene, which many people know support eye health. However, they also contain a lot of vitamin A which aids immune system function, boosts skin health, and reduces cell damage. While these foods have a great impact individually, it’s best to incorporate all the colors in as many meals as possible. Scientifically, it comes down to something called plant polyphenols: the protective compounds that make these fruits and vegetables colorful and nutrient dense. When consumed together, these different polyphenols strengthen each other, meaning a well-rounded, colorful meal can pack a serious punch nutritionally.
Count Nutrients, Not Calories
For decades, diet culture has focused primarily on the importance of tracking calories, or even maintaining a caloric deficit. The issue with this? Calories indicate very little about the actual nutrient density of foods. In fact, some of the healthiest foods, like nuts, seeds, and grains are fairly high in calories, but provide so much nutrition per-serving that it would be ridiculous to cut them out. High calorie foods can also be an important tool for satiation – and of course, flavor! That’s why the best meal kits for vegetarians are all about well-rounded, delicious foods.
Hydrate to Regulate
Drinking water is one of the most important steps to improving overall wellness. It’s the key in the ignition for nearly every important bodily function. Hydration is also crucial for flushing out toxins and moving the nutrients you consume throughout the body. The best way to maintain proper hydration is to just keep a water bottle on you during the day and sip frequently. It’s also a good idea to consume hydrating foods like apples, cucumbers, and leafy greens. Drinking and eating liquids regularly also helps to identify when you are truly hungry vs. thirsty, which can be harder to distinguish when you’re dehydrated. Unfortunately, if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated, so be sure to keep up with your water consumption so it becomes an automatic habit.
Healthy Fats Only
When we hear “fat,” most people picture oil. However, the healthiest way to consume fats are through whole foods, like nuts, avocados, seeds, and legumes. These foods pair fat with a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so they provide a lot of satiation and nutritional value per-serving. In small amounts, olive and coconut oils contain good fats (polyunsaturated fat) which aid in absorption and maintain good cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, not all oils are created equal. Nut and seed-based oils, like sunflower oil or canola oil can actually wreak havoc on overall health when consumed in large amounts because they are high in saturated fat. They have been shown to increase oxidative stress, damage cells, and even cause neurological issues over time. Seed oils are also among the most popular for packaged foods and restaurant meals. They tend to be less expensive – and their high smoke point makes them ideal for deep frying (well-known as one of the harshest cooking methods for overall health). The best vegetarian meal kits prioritize good fats and completely cut-out oils that do harm.
Arm Yourself with Antioxidants
Antioxidants are a nutritional powerhouse and should be incorporated into almost every meal. The purpose they serve? Essentially, they offer protection from oxidative stress on the body caused by reactive oxygen molecules. Otherwise known as free radicals, these molecules become an issue for those who consume an excess of processed sugars, saturated fats, and common chemical food additives. Antioxidants protect your tissue from the cell damage they cause, which is why it’s important to incorporate as many antioxidant-rich foods into your diet. Luckily, these essential nutrients are in basically every plant-based food. It’s easy to sneak them in throughout the day by throwing some greens in a grain bowl or adding berries to your morning meal.
Eat Whole & Eat Intuitively
Intuitive eating is another phrase that gets tossed around a lot in modern diet culture – however, it is misunderstood by many. Intuitive eating is the process of understanding, following, and honoring your body’s cues for when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. Ultimately, tapping into the body’s natural intuition can lead to amazing health outcomes. However, this is near impossible to achieve under the standard American diet. The highly processed, engineered foods that so many people were raised on contain such high levels of sugar, saturated fats, and chemical additives that our brains get tricked into craving these flavors, textures, and fat levels when they really don’t serve our overall wellness. Cutting these “Franken-foods” out of your diet allows the body to better regulate. You’ll get a stronger sense of what foods aid your digestion, what gives you the most energy, and what you’re really craving when you’re hungry.
Getting Help with the Best Vegetarian Meal Kits
Over time, following these nutrition pillars becomes second nature. However, there are plenty of resources to get started and stay on the best path for overall health. YAYE Organics delivers the best meal kits for vegetarians, with nutrient-dense, colorful, and satisfying meals that meet every single nutrition pillar. Sometimes, the hardest part of eating healthy is the time and mental energy it takes to put together a great meal. YAYE can take on that task, with the best vegetarian meal delivery for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners throughout the week. If you’re looking for fresh meal delivery in Denver, be sure to check out our options.
The Bottom Line: Sign up for the Best Meal Kits for Vegetarians
Ready to get started with one of the best meal kits for vegetarians? Though everything we make is entirely plant-based (dairy + egg free), YAYE gives you the freedom to choose from delicious, well-rounded plant-based meals so you can feel great. Check out our meal delivery menu to see what we’re serving this week and get started with your plant-based meal subscription today.
Check out the YAYE Mag to see the latest plant-based nutrition insights and meal tips.