There are lots of people who choose to remain vegan and practice veganism not only for ethical reasons but also for health and environmental factors too.
It is the vegetarians who do not eat fish, meat or poultry in any form. In addition to this, vegans do not use any animal products such as dairy products, honey and even eggs. Through decades of practice, there are several vegans in the world today and it is now a scientifically proven fact that vegan diets support good health at all stages of life and reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. Vegan diets, on the other hand, are nutritionally more complete than others.
The underlying principle of vegan nutrition is to consume a wide variety of plant foods. Human bodies do grow well if one can take a well-planned plant-based diet. What is the goal of eating? It is to provide with a balanced amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals to get sufficient amount of calories to sustain the daily activities.
A healthy vegan diet will include fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
Here is a brief synopsis on vegan nutrition.
Protein: Rich source of protein in vegan nutrition includes whole grains (brown rice, bread and pasta, oats), seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower), legumes (peas, lentils, beans) soy products (tofu, flour, soy milk) and of course nuts that include cashew, almonds and hazels.
Carbohydrates and fats: Whole-grain products, lentils, potatoes and dried fruits add to the carbohydrates in vegan nutrition. These are important to release energy for carrying out the daily activities.
Essential fatty acids: Sources of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in vegan nutrition encompasses safflower, evening primrose, flaxseed, pumpkin seed and soy oils.
Vitamins: Vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, tomatoes and spinach is a good source of vitamin A, while berries and citrus fruits supplement the vegan nutrition with vitamin C. Sources of vitamin D is found in soymilk and vitamin E is found in whole grains, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
Minerals: Minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron also complement vegan nutrition through food items such as:
- Wheat gram, wholegrain, pulses, tofu, soymilk, peas and parsley (rich in zinc)
- Nuts, seeds, pulses, dried figs, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables and molasses (rich in iron content)
- Pulses, grains and parsleys are rich source of calcium.
Folate: Wheatgram, lightly cooked green leafy vegetables, yeast extracts, nuts, peas, dates, oranges, avocados and whole grain is a rich source of folate.
However, in vegan nutrition the only source of vitamin B12 is through supplements. Vitamin B12 is not to be found in plants based product and by-products. It is only found in animal products. Vegan diet is fundamentally deficient in vitamin B12, so take a pill of vitamin B12 to keep pace with modern lifestyle in a healthy tone.
Scientific studies and experiences of many people have helped conclude that consumption of whole grains, legumes, nut fruits and vegetables in a vegan diet provides thorough protection against chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and even cardiovascular disease. A plant-based diet helps fight obesity and aids in reducing level of cholesterol too.