Vegan Food is gaining momentum worldwide. Many are switching from Non-Veg to Vegetarian and Vegan Food styles. Then what is the difference between a Vegan and Vegetarian?. Vegans do not eat food that come from animals. That included Dairy Products and Eggs. One will be surprised to know that most of the Nutrients that we need can be obtained from a varied and balanced Vegan Diet.
Healthy Vegan Diet
- Variety of Fruits and Vegetables – at least 5 portions every day
- Potato, Whole Grain Bread, Rice, Pasta and other Starchy Carbohydrates for your meals
- Soya Drinks and Yoghurts with Low-Fat and Low-Sugar as Dairy alternatives
- Eat Beans, Pulses and other Proteins
- Use small quantities of Unsaturated Oils and Spreads
- Drink plenty of Juices and/or Water – 6 to 8 glasses of Water a day
With a good planning, selection and understanding about a Healthy and Balanced Vegan Diet, one will be able to get all the Nutrients our body needs. For Vegans who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to make sure that they get enough Vitamins and Minerals for the development of a healthy child.
Sources of Calcium, Iron and Vitamin D for Vegans
Like others, Vegans also must make sure that they get sufficient quantities of Calcium, Iron and Vitamin D from their food. Good sources of Calcium for Vegans can be Green and Leafy Vegetables, Calcium-Set Tofu, Sesame Seeds, Pulses, Dried Fruit etc. Fortified Fat Spreads, Breakfast Cereals and Exposure to Sunlight are some means of getting adequate quantities of Vitamin D. Otherwise, they can opt for Vitamin D Supplements.
As Iron is essential for the production of Red Blood Cells, include sources of Iron in the diet. Iron from Plant-based food is less absorbed by the body than Iron from Meat. Pulses, Whole meal Bread and Flour, Dark Green and Leafy Vegetables, Nuts etc. are good sources of Iron.
Our Body needs Vitamin B12 to maintain healthy Blood and Nervous System. Vegans should include Breakfast Cereals fortified with B12, Unsweetened Soya Drinks fortified with B12 etc. in their diet. Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids that are suitable for Vegans are like Flaxseed Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Soya Oil etc. Omega-3 Fatty Acids maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of Heart Diseases.
Read more about Vegan Food here
Disclaimer: Consult with a Dietitian or your doctor before starting with any Diet Programme. Every individual is different and hence the health conditions. So, just don’t rely upon general recommendations.