Nutrition Through Balanced Vegetarian Diet

Vegans are typically vegetarians who do not eat meat, fish, poultry, egg, or dairy products. Veganism may be followed due to health, religious, or ethical reasons. Irrespective of the reason, it is essential to ensure that a vegan diet meets the daily nutritional needs of an individual.

Healthy Vegan – The Benefits of Being One

Following a healthy vegan diet provides multiple benefits. Studies show that vegetarians live longer. A healthy vegan diet reduces the risk of cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. Disease-fighting phytochemicals in the form of different colors are found in vegetables and fruits. These help the body detox in a natural way. Vegetables and fruits contain more fiber, thereby reducing the incidences of constipation and hemorrhoids. It is said that legumes like soy help menopausal women get rid of hot flashes, fatigue, and mood swings. Studies also indicate that vegetarians have stronger bones. A healthy vegan does not have the problem of overweight, and his overall health is generally good.

Vegan Nutrition – High in Protein and Iron

Vegan nutrition should contain variety. It should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and leafy greens. Protein, zinc, and iron are normally found in good quantities in vegan nutrition. Sources of protein include lentils, peas, tofu, soy milk, spinach, broccoli, rice, whole wheat bread etc. Zinc is found in nuts, grains, wheat germ, and legumes. Leafy vegetables and greens contain high level of iron. Apart from these, raisins, beans, lentils, swiss chard, chickpeas, and soybeans also contain iron. Calcium levels are high in dark green vegetables. Soybeans, almond butter, and broccoli also contain calcium.

Vegan Essentials – Add Them to Your Diet

Vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and iodine are found less in a plant-based diet. Hence, these are vegan essentials. A vegetarian should make a conscious effort to include sources of these in his daily diet. Vitamin D can be had in the form of D-fortified orange juice, soy milk, or rice milk. Vitamin B12 is essential for pregnant, lactating women, and children. Hence, vegans will benefit from taking vitamin B12 supplements, fortified soy products, and fortified cereals. Omega-3 fatty acids can be had through flaxseed, flaxseed oil, tofu, walnuts, and soy beans. Vegetarians should use salt with iodine while preparing food. About ? teaspoon of iodized salt should help meet the daily need for iodine. For those who avoid dairy products, soy milk, rice milk, buttermilk, crumbled tofu etc. can be used as dairy replacers.

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
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