Start Your Vegan Diet With These 9 Healthy Tips
Make your vegan journey easy and exciting by applying these tips.
If you are at that point in your life where you want to start leading a healthy life, then you have come to the right page. An if that plan involves starting a vegan diet, then worry not as there are simply tons of help that you can get from all your vegan friends like me.
Now one of the dilemmas you might have when starting your vegan journey is what exactly to eat in replace of meat, dairy and eggs. It could be a challenge if you are shifting cold turkey but there are ways to make the transition easier than sudden. One way is to do it slowly. Try to make the transition by slowly taking out meat, dairy and eggs from your diet and including more vegan ingredients into your diet.
That is just one of many tips you can use to have a great vegan journey. But you will also need a well-planned diet as days go by. So below are a few tips you can consider for your vegan diet.
Check them out below.
9 Healthy Vegan Tips
- Make Vegetables the Stars of Your Meals
Veggie-packed meals are a winning choice all-around: veggies are full of vitamins (like A and K) and minerals (like potassium), they keep your calories in check and, because they are high in fiber, they can help you feel more satisfied.
- Eat a Variety of Foods
To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need on a vegan diet, it’s important to eat balanced meals that include a variety of healthy foods. For example, you’ll get protein and fiber from beans; leafy greens are great sources of vitamins A, C and K. Choose produce from all colors of the rainbow to get all the benefits. Red tomatoes have heart-healthy lycopene, blue blueberries have brain-boosting anthocyanins and orange sweet potatoes have lots of vitamin A to help keep eyes healthy.
- Choose Whole Grains
Swapping out refined grains, such as white pasta and white bread, for whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet (nutrients that are stripped out when the grains are refined). And, the extra fiber from whole grains will help keep you full, and may even help you lose weight.
- Discover New Plant-Based Proteins
Vegan sources of protein really are plentiful and include: tofu, tempeh, edamame (soybeans), lentils, chickpeas and beans. Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, and seeds, like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, also deliver protein.
- Don’t Assume Vegan Food Products Are Healthier
Processed vegan foods often contain saturated-fat-laden palm oil and coconut oil. Stick to whole, nutritious foods that just happen to be vegan, such as carrots and hummus, nuts and dried fruit, whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole. Indulging in vegan treats every so often is fine, but don’t justify them as “healthy” simply because they’re vegan.
- Focus On Fish-Free Omega-3s
Even when you eat a variety of healthy vegan foods, some nutrients will be hard to come by. DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids, are important for eye and brain development, as well as heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids are found mainly in fatty fish like salmon, though they can be made by the body in small amounts from ALA, another type of omega-3 that’s found in plants like flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil and soy. A variety of foods, including soymilks and breakfast bars, are now fortified with DHA. Supplements of DHA/EPA made from algae are also available.
- Don’t Forget About Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also in some fortified nondairy milks such as soy or almond milk and orange juice. Some mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light are also good sources. In the summer months, when the sun is stronger our skin can synthesize D. The daily value (DV) for vitamin D is 600 IU, with some experts saying that it should be closer to 1,500 IU. Many people, vegans included, may need to take a supplement to hit those numbers.
- Pump Up Your Iron
Vegans can still get this mineral from beans, legumes and leafy greens, but iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) isn’t as easily absorbed as it is from meat sources (heme iron). To get the most of plant-based iron, eat iron-rich foods with vitamin-C rich foods, which helps boost absorption, and not at the same time as calcium-rich foods, which can inhibit iron absorption.
- Be Aware of B12
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that helps transform food into energy in our bodies and aids in brain function. People following a vegan diet can get some B12 from fortified cereals or energy bars, but should talk with their doctor about taking a supplement. The DV for Vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms for most adults.
Thank you so much to eatingwell.com for the very useful information.