New Delhi: You probably know that going vegan can have major health benefits, from aiding weight loss to offering some protection against type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. But do you also know that ‘veganism’ could be the single biggest strategy to reduce pollution and lower environmental impact on the planet? Meanwhile, World Vegan Day is celebrated on November 1st every year by vegans around the world. The main goal of the day is to encourage people to adopt the vegan lifestyle, which may benefit human health as it is for animal welfare, and, of course, the natural environment.
Basically, a vegan diet excludes the consumption or use of any products made from animals. In other words, a vegan diet contains only plant-based foods. If planned properly, a vegan diet can be highly nutritious since it’s rich in nutrients but low in saturated fat. Here are some of the healthiest foods vegans can eat.
Foods vegans should add to their diet
Beans, lentils and peas are excellent sources of plant-based protein. They’re also rich in fibre, iron, folate, manganese, zinc, slowly digested carbs, antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. Adding them to your diet is a good alternative to animal-derived protein sources such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, etc. Protein has numerous health benefits – such as increasing muscle mass and strength, improving fat loss and metabolism, better bone health, lowering blood pressure, etc.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in protein and other essential plant nutrients that are good for your health. It’s a healthy option to add nuts, seeds and their byproducts to a vegan diet as they make a great alternative to animal proteins.
Tofu, a gluten-free food made from condensed soy milk, is high in protein, iron and calcium. Foods like tofu and tempeh minimally processed meat substitutes that contain many important nutrients for your body.
Plant-based milk and yogurt
Vegans are recommended to include calcium-fortified foods in their diet as they tend to consume smaller amounts of calcium compared to vegetarians or meat-eaters. A calcium deficiency can lead to a number of health problems, including hypoparathyroidism, osteoporosis, rickets in children, etc. So, it’s a good option for vegans to include plant-based milk and plant yogurt in their diet as an alternative to animal-based dairy products. Fortified plant milks and yogurts have vitamins and minerals – such as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 – added to them, making them are good alternatives to cow’s milk.
The bottom line is, a healthy animal-free diet can be good for your health, however, going vegan without proper planning can result in some health risks.