"A List of Healthy Vegan Foods"
If you're a vegan, you're not alone. Eight percent of the world's population has chosen this way of eating. Here in the UAE, it's easy to go vegan since our people are exceptionally health-conscious and are aware of environmental issues. Besides having a love for animals, many people who go on vegan diets do so for health reasons or to lose weight. However, when deciding on a vegan diet, it's important that you buy foods containing all the essential nutrients and vitamins. Are you considering a vegan diet? Here's a list of vegan foods, along with what to consider when going vegan.
WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET?
You’ve most likely heard about a vegan diet but may not be sure just what it means. Put simply, a vegan diet is one in which you do not eat any foods that originate from animals. In addition to meats, poultry, and fish, this includes any foods that contain ingredients derived from animals.
Virtually all fresh veggies are good vegan foods. When going on a vegan diet, it's important to increase your iron intake by eating leafy greens, which includes spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, and watercress. Excellent sources for complex carbohydrates are potatoes, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and other root vegetables. Moreover, legumes, such as lentils, beans, and peas, are rich in nutrients and contain healthy plant compounds.
Any type of fresh fruit is permitted on a vegan diet. Therefore, feel free to stock up on fruits, such as berries, apples, bananas, citrus fruits, pears, and others. It's best to choose seasonal, local fruit, when possible. By eating seasonal fruit, you can be sure you're getting the tastiest fruits with the most nutrition. What's more, seasonal fruits are generally cheaper than those that are not in season.
SEEDS AND NUTS
Walnuts, cashews, almonds, peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are just a few of the seeds and nuts found in a vegan's pantry. These protein-rich foods are also huge sources of fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, Vitamin E, and selenium.
Seeds and nuts are exceptionally versatile since they can be used in recipes, such as in desserts, salads, or sauces, or simply consumed as a snack on their own. Furthermore, they have a lot of antioxidants, along with other valuable plant compounds.
Oats, brown rice, whole wheat, and farro are examples of the whole grains that are ideal sources of fibre, complex carbs, and iron. They're also good sources of B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Be sure to include enough whole grains that are made with extra fibre, as this helps in keeping you full.
To stay healthy, you need some fat in your diet. Fat gives you energy and helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. But not all fats are good for you. Thus, only consume beneficial fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, olives, avocados, and avocado oils. Avoid unhealthy fats and oils, including saturated fats and trans-fats as they can cause bad cholesterol and increase low-density lipoprotein.
PLANT-BASED MILKS AND YOGURTS
These foods provide a good alternative to cow's milk, which is essential for healthy bones. As a vegan, you need to be sure you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D. That's why it's important to consume plant-based milks and yogurts that are fortified with Vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption. Just be sure you select unsweetened products to restrict your amount of sugar intake.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
- To ensure your meals are balanced and that you're getting all the nutrients your body needs, consume a variety of foods.
- Mix colorful fruits and veggies with healthy fats and whole grains. This way, you won't be eating the same boring salad for lunch every day.
- Red tomatoes are heart-healthy foods.
- Oranges and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which helps in promoting good eyesight.
- Rather than going "cold turkey", it's best to gradually transition into a vegan diet. For example, start out by eliminating red meat. Later, you can remove poultry, fish, and eggs.
- There are several benefits of a raw vegan diet, such as increased energy, improved digestion, better skin, and other perks.
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