How to Eat a Healthy Vegan Diet
Author: Sheridan Lee Date Posted:1 November 2019
November is World Vegan month, which is a great time to highlight some of the benefits of a vegan diet whilst checking to make sure you are getting all the nutrients our wonderful plant friends offer us!
You may have noticed that veganism has grown substantially over the last few years, with our awareness being bought to the noticeable changes of our environment, and the impact animal consumption can have on our health. If you’re unsure of what the vegan concept is, you may have heard of the other term used called ‘plant-based’, which is abstaining from consuming animal and their by-products. Veganism also includes abstaining from using products tested on animals, and avoiding wearing clothing that are made from leather and fur.
More studies are coming out which have found that eating a vegan diet can help with type 2 Diabetes and has the potential to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating a vegan diet can also have a positive impact on weight reduction and also reduces the risk of other chronic diseases such as cancer, dementia and cataracts.
Maintaining good health on a vegan diet can take some work at the start, but once you’re aware of what your body requires, what to eat and where to buy it, it becomes a way of life. Nutrients on a vegan diet that we need to focus on are Vitamin D, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and protein.
Like anyone who aims for a good diet, incorporating a whole foods based diet is the key. This is focusing on consuming foods closest to their natural state as possible. Whole foods retain their fibre, and have beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients that can sometimes be removed after processing. The aim is to have a variety of fruits and vegetables (eating the rainbow), grains, legumes, nuts and seeds in your daily meals.
Foods to Include:
- Nuts and seeds - almonds, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
- Grains - amaranth, oats, wild rice, quinoa
- Tofu and Tempeh
- Legumes - lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas
- Fruits & Vegetables - think ‘eating the rainbow’ and fresh herbs
- Oils - flaxseed, hemp and walnut
If you feel the need with some assistance being on a vegan diet, come in and speak with one of our naturopaths or nutritionists to help with food or supplementation or book a consultation with our practitioners