Of course! You can get all the nutrients you need going all vegan. Meat is not the only source of protein or milk is not the only source of calcium. Plant-based food offer vitamins and nutrients more than you think you know and more!
What is the Vegan Diet?
Being a vegan is different from being a vegetarian. While vegetarians eat any type of animal products, vegans, on the other hand, eat no fish, dairy, eggs, or any products that came from animals. Additionally, honey, refined sugar, corn syrup, some wines, and beers are sometimes excluded from their diet for the reason that they are being processed using animal products.
The Benefits of Veganism?
The healthy benefits of a vegan diet are endless. It is often linked to weight loss and enhanced insulin response. It can also help reduce heart diseases and reduce inflammation. If you’re feeling sore after a strenuous work-out, eating plant-based dishes after can greatly help restore your energy and decrease muscle inflammation.
Common Healthy Vegan Foods
The most necessary compounds your body needs are protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and zinc. These are all important in improving metabolism, promoting growth, and building strength. Also, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients essential for your body which can be hard to get from a vegan diet unless you include specific ingredients in your vegan dish.
Plant Sources of Protein
Soy, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the most common ingredients in veganism and a great alteration for meat. Moreover, there are shops that offer meat alternatives that produce plant-based “meat” products such as burgers, bacon, and others. It can replace meat in your ingredient and you will have the freedom to reinvent recipes with meat using these products. And, meat alternatives actually taste, look, and feel like actual meat. Lastly, you can include chia seeds in your diet because it contains ample amount of protein.
For your dairy alternatives such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, you can opt for yogurt that is made of nuts, seeds, soy, and coconut. These ingredients are high in calcium and vitamin D.
As for your amino acid daily fix, rice, beans, pasta, peas, and legumes are the best alternatives. The amino acid is the building block of our body and is necessary to consume daily. Thus, to balance your vegan meal plan, it is crucial to include these ingredients.
B12 is another ingredient predominantly found in meat or animal products. Hence, it is a challenge for vegans to acquire a good amount of B12 in their meal plan. On a brighter note, B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that our body can store efficiently. Thus, if you have been consuming meat products for years and decided to go green, your body will still have enough B12 and it will take years to deplete it. Also, if you eat breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast, it can provide some amount of B12.
Calcium and iron are bountiful in plant-based products. Beans, almonds, tofu, and green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium and iron. Also, fresh orange juice can also deliver calcium and cereals can be your iron source. A perfect breakfast combination.
Zinc, on the other hand, is commonly acquired from fishes and meats but also present in beans and nuts. Also, another alternative is to take supplements recommended by your dietician to ensure you are not deficient in iron or any other nutrients your body needs.
Vegan Meal Plant Example
a bowl of oatmeal without butter or milk
a smoothie made with fruits, nuts, almond milk, and dates
A bowl of fruits, nuts, hummus, whole-grain pretzels, rice cakes
a large salad with extra beans
grilled cheese sandwich made with soy cheese, tomato, arugula, and some red onions
lentil burgers, fettucini alfredo
In this era where harmful chemicals are used to produce food products and rampant pollution, it is important to carefully watch your diet. With regular exercise and some bowl of colorful fruits and vegetables, your body will start to renew. You will feel lighter, healthier, and happier going vegan.