A vegan’s diet consists of only plant-derived foods. Vegans or vegetarians do not consume animal products such as fish, meat, etc. Veganism is a term which refers to the practice of eliminating the use of animal products. The term “vegan” was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson co-founder of the British Vegan Society.
Every individual’s nutrient needs and energy requirements vary due to age, activity level, and oneâs state of health. Thus, the quantity of food consumed also varies accordingly. There are certain food that can provide an individual with all proteins and carbohydrates needed for healthy functioning of body. Some are discussed below.
1. Legumes, nuts and seeds
These include beans, split peas, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy products. These are nutrient-dense foods packed with protein, fiber, minerals, vitamin B, protective antioxidants, and essential fatty acids needed by body to prepare its own energy.
Whole grains provide vitamin B, fiber, antioxidants, proteins and minerals. Whole grains are preferred over refined grains because the refining process removes the healthiest nutrients. Whole grains — such as brown rice, oats, wheat berries, millet, and quinoa — should be given first priority in a vegan’s diet. A serving is one slice of bread, Â½ cup cooked grain or 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal is enough to provide all nutritional value for a day.
Consuming a variety of colorful vegetables every day ensures that one is getting an ample amount of protective nutrients. Vegetables being one of the most important part of a vegan’s diet not only provide them with all essential energetic items such as proteins and carbohydrates, but they also provide vitamins and minerals which are necessary to fight against many diseases.
Fruits, the fourth pillar of a vegan’s diet, provide with vitamins, especially citrus fruits and berries are a great source of vitamin C. Fruits provide antioxidants and fiber which may be helpful in keeping body young and active.
Thus, a vegan diet is healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.