A lot of people are becoming vegan for various reasons. Some do it to minimize their carbon footprint, to reduce the effects of climate change and some do it because of animal cruelty reasons. In a vegan diet, people focus on consuming all the raw and naturally sourced ingredients and exclude animal products from their diet. Some people that want to take things to the extreme eat only raw and organically grown fruits and vegetables.
Adopting a vegan diet is a lifelong journey, and we are here to make sure that all your protein requirements are met while following a vegan lifestyle. Following veganism is a journey in itself, people that are new to veganism should start by changing their food choices a little by little. Especially if you’re coming from a heavy meat based diet we would advise you to start slow and transition into veganism over the years.
In a vegan or plant based diet we excludes all the animal products. You don’t have to start seriously, you can just start your journey with a 7-day vegan challenge. It will help you get familiar with various vegan recipes and it will be good for your mind and body.
Health benefits of a vegan diet
- The research behind the benefits of following the vegan is substantial. If you’re following a standard American diet and switch over to a vegan diet you’re going to see improvement in chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke even an extension of life in some cases. Although you can reap the benefits of veganism while supplementing your diet with animal products in moderation.
It is a win-win situation, people that are eating predominantly meat can supplement their diets with minimal amount of animal products every once in a while. Another approach towards veganism is that people should focus on getting most of their nutrition from a plant-based diet.
In a plant based diet, the majority of their calories are from plants like fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and a moderate amount of poultry and fish with a minimal amount of red meat. That’s a diet that most beginners should focus on, a step in the right direction. A healthy way to follow any diet is to adequately plan your meals beforehand.
The myth around the vegan diet
People usually think that you can’t build muscle while following a vegan diet. This couldn't be further away from the truth there are many ways by which you can plan your diet beans, legumes, lentils, peas, soy milk, nuts, tofu and seeds all of these are highly rich in protein. Moreover, there is a documentary on Netflix that follows the life of Olympic athletes that are on a strictly plant-based diet and are doing amazing in their sports.
Are taking supplements necessary?
Whether people want to accept it or not, a vegan diet should be supported with supplements like B12.
How much protein should I eat?
The ideal protein consumption should be about 0.36 grams per pound of your body weight. Although you should consult a nutritionist to get the exact number that will be suitable for your body’s needs.
Vegan Sources of Protein
Quinoa - Quinoa is a seed that consists of all 9 essential amino acids. It is a nutritious and gluten-free source of protein and carbohydrates. The overall nutrition content of Cooked quinoa is consists of 71.6% water, 21.3% carbohydrates, 4.4% protein, and 1.92% fat.
Quinoa seeds are usually treated similar to cereals like wheat, barley, oats etc. Salads made from quinoa seeds are a great way to start your day. Links to blogs that can help you with the recipes or you can follow @Healthygirlkitchen, @plantyou and @VeganRicha on Instagram. They upload various plant-based recipes that will add spice to your diet.
Is Quinoa gluten-free?
Yes, quinoa is completely gluten-free, quinoa is actually a flowering plant. quinoa carbs - Nutritional values of Quinoa are as follows. It consists of 39 grams of carbohydrates, which is almost similar to a cup of rice.
Tofu - Tofu is a compressed soy product. It is usually high in protein but quite low in calories. There is a myth related to tofu that eating it in excess can cause hormonal imbalances, which is not true. There is plenty of research done on this and consuming anything in excess will have side effects and tofu is not an exception in that case. The nutritional contents in 100 grams of tofu are 144 calories, 17 grams protein, 3 grams carbs, fat 9 grams.
Lentils - There is a variety of lentils brown, puy, green, yellow and red, the beluga. Each of them is highly nutritional with high protein content at a much cheaper cost. In 100 grams of lentils, there are 225 calories, 9 grams of protein, 7.5 grams of fibre.
Soya Chunks - It is another soy product a rich source of proteins and omega 3 and low on calories, soy chunks are 50% protein with low in calories. They are an adequate option for people that want to fulfil their protein intake of the day. Since they are basically tasteless they can be added in the dish while cooking your lunch or dinner, they blend in so well. Otherwise, you can eat it as a side dish or as post work out a snack after properly cooking.
Various vegan products are coming into the market to help meat eaters transition from a heavy meat diet to a vegan diet. These products include vegan milk, vegan bakery items and even vegan meat. We’ll leave a link to the ones that you might want to check out. (add links)
Vegan Cheese - Vegan cheese is a good alternative for people than traditional cheese. It is mostly made from dry fruits like almonds, cashew and macadamias. Health-conscious people are switching to vegan cheese because it contains healthy fats but no cholesterol.
Vegan Milk - There are various types of vegan milk available in the market, almond milk, soy milk, Coconut milk, Oat Milk, Rice Milk, Cashew Milk, Macadamia milk etc. Each one of them is known for its nutritional contents, although soy milk contains the most amount of protein per serving.
Vegan Protein Powder - For the people that consistently go to the gym, protein powder supplements become essential to build a great physique. When we compare Pea Protein (Plant-based protein powder) and whey, nutritionally speaking whey protein has 20-30% more BCCAs than any of the plant-based proteins. BCCAs is usually responsible for building muscle and decreasing muscle fatigue after the workout session.Vegan Ice cream - Vegan ice cream is made from soy milk, almond milk or soy milk. It is usually more expensive than conventional dairy-based ice cream, but there are new brands that are building their businesses catering to people following veganism or plant-based diet. It is estimated that the price of vegan related products will drop in the near future.
Recipes (add links) Smoothie, cake, salads, breakfasts.
ConclusionSeek out help from people that have been following the vegan diet for a while now. There is plenty of nutritionists, dietitians and physicists that would be willing to guide you in switching to a plant-based or vegan diet. Eating healthy is an act of self-love, including nutritious food and plant-based food in your diet, is one of the best ways to take care of your body. It is finally time that we as a society wake up to our food choices.
Eating excess processed food leads to various chronic diseases, there have been a number of credible researches done on that. We need to be aware of our eating choices to keep the risks of chronic diseases minimized.
Stay connected with your roots
In the modern age where everything is just a tap away. It is essential to keep in touch with your roots. Eliminate the mediators from your diet and source directly from the farmers. You can start your vegan journey by changing your small habits like instead of ordering your groceries online, going visit the farmer’s market in your town weekly and buying fresh and organically grown vegetables straight from them. Keep yourself connected with your food. Growing your own food is always an option if you have a front yard or garden.