Switching to a vegan diet often means overhauling your lifestyle. Whether you are cutting out animal products for ethical, environmental, or health reasons, you might not realize how much food contains meat or dairy. In addition to cutting out these foods, you will need to find additional ways to nourish your body.
Fortunately, vegans have access to an abundance of food and supplements to help them stay healthy. With the right dietary choices, you can get all of the nutrients you need. The following are some basic tips to kickstart your journey into veganism.
Fill your plate with fruits and veggies
While it may seem obvious, some vegans overlook this basic eating guideline. Try to fill your plate with vegetables at every meal, adding some fruits here and there. To help you achieve this, plan your dishes around the vegetables that you have available. Enjoy a spicy stir fry full of broccoli, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and snap peas. Build a colorful salad with spinach, avocado, tomatoes, olives, carrots, and radishes. Enrich your oatmeal with bananas and berries.
By filling your meals with colorful fruits and vegetables, you can fill your body with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Once you have a foundation of vegetables and fruit, you can add grains, proteins, and fats.
Enjoy plant-based protein
Getting enough protein is one of the biggest concerns that new vegans have. Women need about 46 grams of protein per day, and men need around 56. While this may sound intimidating, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources that you can include in your meals. Fill up on foods like beans, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, tempeh, lentils, quinoa, and chickpeas. You can also purchase a plant-based protein powder to add to your smoothies in the morning. By including these tasty ingredients in your meals and snacks, you can feel strong and satisfied.
The body needs a specific set of vitamins and minerals to function at its best, and some of these are only found in animal products. The best way to learn your deficiencies is to see your doctor and have a blood test. They can then recommend which private label supplements are best for your health needs. Some of the most common supplements that vegans take are vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, omega-3 fats, and iron. By taking a set of these supplements, you could find yourself feel stronger and more energetic.
Remember your grains
A vegan diet should be rich in fiber and healthy grains. Enjoy nourishing rice bowls or veggie tacos on corn tortillas. Add quinoa to your salads and munch on some whole-grain avocado toast. These essential carbohydrates are part of a balanced meal, aiding in digestion and keeping you full. Just be sure not to go overboard on grains, especially those made of refined flour like white bread and pasta. Healthy grains should accompany vegetables and protein in your meals.
Go easy on the junk food
You may have heard of “junk food vegans,” or those who sustain themselves on processed foods like oreos, chips, and pizza with cheese substitutes. While it’s certainly fine to reach for these snacks occasionally, they should not be the center of your diet. By eating processed foods consistently, you miss out on all of the vitamins and minerals present in tasty fruits and vegetables. While it might be tricky at first, keep adding in healthier options to find balance.
By eating plenty of nutritious foods, taking your supplements, and balancing out your meals, you can enjoy a healthy life as a vegan. And of course, remember to have fun with your new lifestyle. Experiment in the kitchen, fill your bag at the farmer’s market, and swap tips with other vegans. Your meals and life will be more fulfilling as a result.