Going Vegan? Make Sure you Eat These
Tis’ the season for resolutions. And if you are one of the 10,000+ taking the Veganuary pledge this month, then you definitely want to read this.
Veganuary is the worldwide campaign inviting people to go on a full plant-based diet for 31 days. Why? According to the campaign there’s a reason for everyone to try vegan–whether it’s for animal welfare, helping the environment or just improving your health.
Whole plant-based foods are naturally chockful of nutrients and beneficial plant-based compounds like antioxidants. It’s no surprise that plant-based diets have been linked to a wealth of health benefits ranging from lower cholesterol to longer lives to slimmer waistlines. Studies have also indicated that plant-based diets may help prevent and reverse some of nation’s top killing diseases.
The quality of a plant-based diet is very important and a good determinant of the resulting health benefits. Without proper planning and knowledge, vegan diets can ironically become one of the unhealthiest diets you’ve been on.
Getting all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need for the day requires eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. In other words, eating vegan mac and cheese and broccoli alone isn’t going to cut it.
Nutrients of Concern for Vegan diets
The thing is certain nutrients are more challenging (but not impossible) than others to get from plant-based foods—either due to not eating enough of those foods, the fact that some of these nutrients are found in limited foods or because the body doesn’t absorb them as easily as others. It is important to recognize these nutrients and make sure you are regularly eating sources of these nutrients (and/or supplements when actual food sources are not available).
Check out this chart by VeganHealth.org which outlines the important nutrients to consume, how much you need each day and what foods to get these nutrients from.
By: Scarlett Full, in-house Registered Dietitian
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