Want to bask in an au-naturel living that could make life better by contributing a healthier environment around you? It probably can’t be truer with a vegan diet then. With the world getting swoon by the burgeoning demand of a vegan lifestyle, it’s worth dabbling your feet inside the Millennial green story, a story that could take your idea of vegetarian eating to the next level.
What do vegans eat? Vegans eat only plant based foods no animal products at all! The food list would be endless and fantastic healthy meals are made using fruits, veggies, legumes, seeds and many other pure healthful ingredients… natures larder is very full … take a look and see…
But before you jump right in the vegan grocery and suddenly choose to eat an all-herbal way, you should first understand what actually a vegan diet means. As the term,Veganism suggests, this rejuvenated concept talks about either a person or his food chart which is completely plant-based, in other words, vegan. In this eating regimen, people completely abstain from foods, derived from animal protein, including meat, poultry, egg, fish, dairy products, honey or sometimes even those that are processed using animal byproducts, for example, gelatin (used in making desserts), rennet (used in making cheese), and other meat substitutes (they contain egg/dairy ingredients).
What’s more, Veganism has a direct link with the anti-cruelty spree against animal agriculture and slaughter for food consumption.
So, let’s waffle, no more and straight look inside.
What do vegans eat?
So, coming back to the most common question again, “What do vegans eat?”, you probablyneed to look for the answer by taking a look inside their stay-healthy, nutrient-rich food chart. In other words, a low-fat, less sugarcoated (LOL), andfull-time vegan diet chart is created keeping all the nitty-gritty of nutritional factors in mind. If you did not know already, the genuine vegans follow a simple and precise dietary rule that comprises of a daily intake of all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds in a proportionate combination.
So, here is a quick look at the few thumb rules of stepping into a flawless vegan styled regimen.
Here we go…
Whole foods and healthy eating, essential vitamins:
Remember, eating healthy and nutrition-packed foods is the staple to veganism. In other words, your brand new vegetarian diet should be rich and fortifiedwith whole food, essential vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients like Vitamin B12, D, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iodine just to name a few.
And you can find these in plenty, in food items like grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, Superfoods, healthy fats, and fermented foods.
So, here is a list of some high-nutrition foods to fetch you all the essentials of an authentic vegan culinary…
I. Nuts and seeds: Rich with essential plant compounds and antioxidants, almonds, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, eg peanuts, tahini, pumpkin seeds, rape seeds, flax seeds, Chia seeds are a great source of Vitamin E
II. Fortified plant milk and yogurt: Fortified almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk yogurt, and even vegan ice creams contain plenty of calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 and make a great alternative to cow’s milk
III. Fortified nutritional yeast: They could not be a better option to source B vitamins, Vitamin B12, protein, and fiber in ample. You can generally find them in the forms of yellow powder and flakes across the food stores
IV. Fermented and sprouted plant foods: This category of foods is a great source of probiotic bacteria and also offer Vitamin K2 in a bounty. They can not only enhance the nutritional value of your food but improve your immune and digestive functions to a great extent.
You can also find fermented and sprouted grains like miso, tempeh, natto, and kimchi in food stores.
V. Whole grains, Cereals, and Pseudocereals: Foods like whole bran cereals, wheat bread, rye, millet, barley, brown rice, oatmeal, spelt, teff, quinoa are really a great find when you want to locate whole grains from your vegan platter. They offer lots of B Vitamins, fiber, iron, magnesium, and complex carbs.
VI. Fruits and vegetables: Fresh, seasonal leafy green veggies and herbs like seaweed, broccoli, spinach, watercress, artichokes, Bok Choy, black-currants, kale, tofu, turnip greens, and mustard greens are the most viable healthy eating alternatives when you switch to vegan dishes. They offer a lot of vitamins, anti-oxidants, iodine, and minerals.
However, if you are among the fruitarians (raw-food and low-fat vegan), you must look for low-fat, plant foods and limit your intake of nuts, coconuts, avocado, etc. For sweet tooths maple/rice syrups, molasses, agave nectar, dairy-free dark chocolates, and fruit sorbet make superb substitutes of sugary items. Also, swap your butter intake with olive oil.
Vegan junk food (bad vegan foods, processed foods):
The goofiest part of a vegan diet is probably binging on the bad vegan foods, especially those foods that deliver significantly low in terms of plant-based nutrition. So next time you pick up food from the supermarket just because it’s labeled “vegan”, ask yourself twice. Remember, every vegan food is not healthy. So make no mistake, to choose whole foods instead of science lab processed foods.
So if all this while you were thinking that vegan meats, vegan frozen dinner, cheese, fries, Pringles, pizzas, Thin Mints, Fritos, Lay’s, desserts such as Oreo cookies, and non-dairy ice creams were making you a perfect vegan diet, you seriously had a mess with your organic eating plan, believe it or not. While there is no big deal about these vegan junk foods, making up a tiny portion of your whole week’s meal plan, but they should not be where your vegan food goals stem from.
Meat replacements/alternatives (nutrition, protein, etc):
As said already meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, poultry, and the dairy products are a big no-no for vegans. So,What do vegans eat? They eat everything that contains no protein from a dead or living animal.
Switching to a plant-based diet does not always mean that you are missing out your daily protein requisite. In fact, in a proper diet, you could consume more protein than an average meat eater and it’s true.
Surprisingly, foods like pulses, beans, lentils, jackfruit, peas can make a super-rich are a great stand-in for animal-derived foods. And if you sprout, ferment and cook them right, they could increase the nutrition absorption further.
What’s more, you could easily replace raw eggs with Chia seeds and flax seeds and scrambled eggs with scrambled tofu. Also, spirulina, Chlorella, seaweed, quinoa, teff, amaranth, spelt, fortified yeast, soya/coconut milk, and wheat protein like gluten/seitan are some of the best protein-rich sources of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and more.
Milk alternatives (soy, coconut, etc.):
With the world of cafe and groceries stacking up one after the other delicious plant-based varieties, choosing your perfect milk alternative could be an overwhelming experience. You can choose from a wide selection of almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, pea milk, hazelnut milk, flax milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.
While some tastes naturally sweet and savory, the others offer a great blend for your favorite vegan cereals, whipped cream, bakery items or French roasts. That said, each one can make a delicious glass full and comes packed with gems of nutritional values like fiber and more.
Vegan cheese alternatives:
Are you looking for the best cheese alternatives in your vegan diet? Look no further than the gourmet options like soy-based cheese, cheese made from nuts and the list is endless. You could even get a soy-free option in cheese that comes in non-GMO chunks.
In fact, there are all types of gluten-free and casein-free options available in vegan cheesesthat not only taste great, melt better but make a great stand-in for any dairy cheese.
Bet you did not know that fortified nutritional yeast can also make a great cheese substitute in select recipes. However, don’t forget to swap your cheese based sauce with the vegetable ones.
Why choose vegan foods?
If this is the last question on your mind, your food choice could change your life forever and for the better. And, what better way to stay healthy and free from the side effects that are common with antibiotics and hormones used in animal farms? In fact, a plant-based vegan diet is a time-tested regimen that has constantly beenevolved and refined by nutrition and diet experts around the world.
So, here is a list of the main advantages of following a genuine vegan diet…
I. Prolongs life and reduces risks of premature death
II. Improves cardiovascular health and lowers risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer
III. Improves body mass index (BMI), controls obesity by helping in weight loss and weight management
IV. Reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Finally, with a gazillion of advantages in the realm of fitness and wellness, vegan foods are here to stay. So, go vegan and entice your taste buds with what nature has in store.And of course, that feeling of saving a million lives with one wise food decision will surely lift your soul.
The Bottom Line:
In a nutshell, a vegan diet comes with a tall-list of benefits and it claims no rocket science. So, there is no perfect time to go, “vegatarian”. You can switch to a vegan regimen anytime. But switching from an all-fleshy to a strict leafy meal overnight might be challenging and daunting at the beginning. Fear not, simply, set yourself some easy-to-follow goals and try to stick to it. Take time to plan your meals and munchies. Slowly replace your non-veg selections with healthy and tasty nutrient supplies. Ideally, you should eat more carbohydrate-rich foods to cater to your protein and energy needs. Also, make sure you eat them in little portions and more frequently. And, don’t forget to reward yourself once in a whileby indulging in an all-vegan chocolate-rich almond smoothie, or a sunflower seed pizza. Guess what, you will soon get used to your new vegan palate.