Becoming vegan is all the rage these days. Millions of people have already gone meatless and turn into healthy food many are trying to opt for vegetarianism. Be it love for animals or considering heart health, the reasons for becoming a vegetarian are endless. No doubt going vegan is a positive step, but it is important to focus on your nutrition once you ditch meat. Well, that’s true that following a plant-based diet can deprive you of many vital nutrients.
Fortunately, vegans can keep themselves healthy by relying on a nutrient-rich diet that includes whole and fortified foods. To help all vegetarians in this regard, we have come up with a healthy food list. The list mentions the top 8 foods every vegan should eat to stay healthy.
1. Fruits And Vegetables
A healthy food diet is incomplete without fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are not only flavorful and tasty but they have all the nutrients that your body needs. So, make a habit of eating them daily. Include different kinds of fruits in your meal including apples, citrus fruits, berries, avocados, banana, etc. For vegetables, incorporate veggies like broccoli, kale, mushrooms, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens.
Extra Health Tip: Purchase organic fruits and vegetables as they are free from pesticides.
A terrific source of protein, iron, and zinc, tofu is one of the best substitutes for meat. Made from soybeans, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and Vitamin D. A half-cup of tofu will give you 100 mg of calcium and about 30% of your daily dose of vitamin D. Tempeh which is prepared from fermented soybeans is also a good replacement for fish.
3. Cereals, Whole Grains & Pseudocereals
These grains are rich in fiber, iron, B vitamins, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. Also, some varieties have more protein than others. For example – Spelt, amaranth, quinoa, and teff are said to contain more protein than rice and wheat. The best is to eat sprouted versions of these high-protein substitutes.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are a good source of protein, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. The list includes almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc. Some, like almonds, also offer calcium. In seeds, we recommend consuming sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
5. Beans & Lentils
Beans and lentils can’t be missed when it comes to healthy food for vegans. A cup of cooked beans offers a decent amount of protein, fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, and many B vitamins. Lentils, just like beans, are a great source of soluble fiber and protein. Make sure to rinse them well. Also, try to eat organic ones.
6. Plant Milk & Yogurt
Most vegans stay away from dairy products. For them, calcium-fortified plant milk and yogurts should be a part of the daily meal. Choose organic brands and opt for products made from hemp or soy. Reason – almond and coconut milk are lower-protein alternatives.
Seaweed contains the essential fatty acid DHA that has several health benefits. Also, it has manganese, iodine, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Algae such as chlorella and spirulina are also good sources of protein.
8. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits, when combined with nuts, make a powerful pack of protein, iron, and other nutrients. The best part- they are handy and can be taken anywhere. Think of mangos, apricots, cherries, dates, etc. when it comes to dried fruits.