There are several reasons for following a vegan diet. But most people choose to eat vegan meals all day because of the health benefits it provides. A vegan diet is a great way to control your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure.
However, you won’t get enough nutrients for maintaining your health if you plan your vegan diet poorly. Here is the list of some of the plant-based foods that vegans should include in their diet.
Lentils are a great source of soluble fiber and protein. Unlike other foods of the legume family, the amount of iron in lentils is much higher. The number of B vitamins and folate that are important for women is high in lentils. Folate is essential for women of childbearing age because it reduces the risk of some birth defects. You can, add lentils in your soups, casseroles, and chilis.
Plain tofu is a great source of zinc, iron, protein, and also omega-3 fatty acids that help in lowering cholesterol levels. Half a cup of tofu will give you 100 mg of calcium. You will get almost 350 mg of calcium from calcium-enriched tofu. Keep in mind that Calcium is essential for your body for building bones.
All forms of nuts are highly rich in protein. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. are also a great source of vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, calcium present in the nuts is not in a form that is easily absorbed into the body. Recent studies are showing that eating more nuts do not lead to weight gain even though they are high in calories
Broccoli, spinach, collards, and switch chard are some of the leafy greens every vegan should include in their diet. They contain high amounts of iron and cancer-fighting antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamin A and folic acid.
Each cup of beans contains about one-third of your protein and iron requirements and about half of the fiber requirement. A good amount of B vitamins, zinc, and potassium are present in a single cup of beans. The best way to consume beans is by combining them with grains like rice and pasta.
Enriched whole-grain cereals are highly rich in iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and many other nutrients. Vegans don’t eat eggs or dairy products that are the greatest sources of vitamin B12 and including grains in the diet can help them have this vitamin.
You’ll also have to eat several vegetables and dried fruits to get the essential nutrients for your body when you are on a vegan diet.