Vegan Diet: Is it good for your Health?

salad-2756467_960_720Many people these days adopt vegan diet; of course!! For a number of good reasons including losing weight, getting healthier, eating better food options, to decrease the incidence of heart disease, emotional attachments with animals, for better environment and lot more.

Lets know what Vegan Diet is:

Vegan diet is a strict vegetarian diet which does not include any meat (flesh), poultry, seafood and not even any dairy product. It only consists of plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, soy products, beans and legumes.

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Health benefits of Vegan Diet:

  • Helps you to lose extra Weight.
  • Decreases risks of Heart Diseases.
  • Helps to decrease the level of Cholesterol.
  • Improves Blood Sugar Levels.
  • Improves Digestive Health.
  • Provides protection against Several Cancers.
  • Keeps Skin healthy.

Nutrition and Vegan Diet:

Vegan diet lacks some major nutrients such as protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids etc. Therefore, it is imperative to plan a well-balanced diet which can meet these requirements. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes along with some fortified cereals can provide all nutritional requirements.

Here is the list of some plant-based foods which are good sources of these Nutrients:

Protein: legumes (kidney beans, black chana) lentils, broccoli, whole grains, soybeans and soy products (tofu, soy milk, soy curd), almonds, chia seeds, peanut butter, sprouts, french beans.

Vitamin B12: Soy milk, Tofu, Fortified cereals (bread, pasta, oatmeal).

Vitamin D: Exposure to sunlight, mushrooms, fortified foods including (cereals, orange juice). Always checks the label before buying.

Iron: Dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, nuts and seeds (Sunflower, pumpkin) along with iron-rich foods. Consume more vitamin C rich fruits as it enhances the absorption of iron in the body.

Calcium: Mustard green, turnip green, kale, dried apricots, figs, blackberries, dates, oranges (fortified orange juice) Soybean, broccoli, mushroom, soy nuts, tofu, calcium-fortified plant milk(soy, almond, cashew). Always check nutrient content labels.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Flax seeds, chia seeds, soy products, walnuts, beans.

 

 

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