Vegan diet excludes meat, dairy products, eggs, and animal-derived food and ingredients. Unlike vegetarians, vegan diet absolutely excludes animal products. The reasons most people embrace vegan diet ranges from health reasons, environmental concerns, and mistreatment that that may be meted on the animals during processing. However, there is a debate on whether vegan food should include certain foods such as honey. Similarly, the debate extends on whether the cruelty-free diet should exclude second-hand products such as wool cloths and leather jackets.
A vegan diet requires a plan since it may lack many essential nutrients. In the long run, missing these nutrients can result in health problems. In fact, meeting all nutrient requirements in a vegan diet can be an uphill task. In this case, dietary supplements are requisite to fill the nutritional gap.
But the crux of the matter is what exactly do vegans eat? Vegan diet comprises legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables, including thousands of foods combinations. There are myriads of vegan versions of conventional foods. For instant, there are vegan non-dairy produce, vegan mayonnaises, and vegan hot dogs, among other food vegan substitutes. Love cheesesteaks? You can now have vegan cheese.
Some foods types such as soy milk and tofu are associated with veganism. However, even non-vegans enjoy feasting on these foods. Vegans also eat ordinary food that familiar in households every day, such as peanut butter, chips, spaghetti, sandwiches, and salad. Bread, vegetarian burrito with no sour cream or cheese and Thai curry prepared with coconut milk are also vegan foods. The same case applied for pasta with tomato sauce. Check out these amazing vegan recipes.
A balanced diet works in tandem with good health in a quest of providing energy to the body for day to day activities. However, some nutrients usually found in animal products may lack in your vegan diet. Below are some of these nutrients and their plant sources.
Iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron-deficiency is common in vegans. Plant sources of iron called non-haem iron can be mixed with vitamin C for effective absorptions. Some of the plant sources of iron from a vegan diet include Soybeans, tofu peanut butter, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kales, and also whole grains such as oats.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Our bodies cannot produce fatty acids. We get it from food. Fatty fishes are the richest source of these fatty acids. However, some plant sources contain minimal amounts of these acids. These sources include Chia seeds, walnuts, and Flaxseeds.
Animal producers are great sources of complete proteins. Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids. Some plant sources that contain complete proteins are tofu, nuts soybeans, seeds, legumes, lentils, buckwheat, seitan Quinoa, and soy milk.
Lack of calcium can cause a condition known as osteoporosis, which simply is having brittle bones.
Great plant source sofa calcium includes almonds, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kales and collard, sweet potatoes, butternut, squash, and other vegetables, lentils and legumes, chickpeas, white beans. Dried fruits like apricot, fish and calcium-fortified plant milk such as rice milk, and soy milk are great sources of calcium. Soy products are also excellent sources of calcium.
Vegan is essential for producing DNA and maintaining nerve cells. Some plants and B12 fortified foods such as faux meat, nori seaweed, soy products such as tempeh and fortified bread and cereals are suitable sources of B12.
Generally, the vegan diet should include:
· Whole grains such as millet, rice, bread, pasta bulgur, couscous
· Nuts such as chia seeds and flaxseeds
· Seeds, legume black beans chickpeas, and other beans
· Fruits and vegetables
· Tofu, seitan, and tempeh are ideal vegan meats
· Healthy fats such as avocado,
· Fortified dairy substitutes such as oat, soy milk, almonds, and plant-based yogurts
If you are used to consuming honey, agave nectar may be a good substitute. Similarly, nutritional yeast stands in perfectly for cheese. For desserts, fruit sorbet and dairy-free dark chocolate will do the trick. Nowadays, we have companies producing vegan-friendly products such as whipped cream and vegan mayonnaise. A healthy vegan diet focuses mainly on whole foods instead of processed foods. Excessive additives can undo the benefits veganism. Here is a list of vegan food.
Farmer’s market and supermarket stock great varieties of vegetables and fruits. Look out for canned or dried beans such as black beans and chickpeas. They are not only great sources of protein, but they make you satisfied. Some vegan foods products can prove to be quite costly. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on them. There are easy homemade versions of vegan foods that are healthy and easy to cook.
Conclusively, becoming a vegan may seem like an overwhelming task. However, it does not have to. The trick is to start slowly, by gradually dropping animal products such as dairy and eggs. With support and guidance, the journey will be a breeze. It is important to learn from others. Ensure that your food contains all the nutrients required by the body. Otherwise, you will have health problems which you are trying to avoid in the first place.