Meal Prepping for Vegans
Veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of animal products, especially in the diet. Veganism or Vegetarianism is not just a fashion, it’s a health trend. The one who follows this type of diet is known as a vegan. Veganism is also associated with a philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. Thus Vegans can be categorized further on these bases. Some who avoid only the consumption of animal products, and others who also don’t prefer using the commodities made from exploitation and cruelty on animals.
Food choices are completely one’s own personal preference. Everyone should just do the best they can. Both vegans and non-vegans equally contribute to the wellbeing of mother earth. But the plus point on the vegans’ side is that they have a wide range of food choices. Thus they prefer to avoid some natural sources of nutrition.
Veganism and Health Benefits:
Looking on the positive side, switching to a vegan diet has a lot of health benefits. Various health councils have regarded this type of diet appropriate for every stage of life, including infancy and pregnancy. Vegan diets reduce the risk of various health problems like diabetes, blood pressure, heart-related disorders, obesity, etc. It also boosts our immune system and keeps a person healthy and energetic. Vegan diets are also rich in dietary fibers, various vitamins, iron, and folic acid.
Vegans do not eat beef, pork, poultry, animal seafood, eggs, or other animal products. Depending on the category of vegans some are there who just avoid the consumption of these products but some vegans also refrain from exploitation of animals. This can be due to religious or sometimes due to ethical beliefs.
People have realized that Veganism is not just healthy but appealing to the eyes as well. The variety of vegan diets not only add to the taste but looks colorful too. Vegan diets include grains and other seeds, legumes particularly beans, fruits and vegetables, edible mushrooms, and nuts. Meatless products based on soybeans are sources of plant protein. Soy is a protein source, therefore soy-based dishes are most common in vegan diets. Butter can also be replaced with alternate vegan products. Vegan cheeses are made from seeds, nuts, etc. Mashed potatoes, bananas, doughnuts, etc. can be used as egg substitutes. There are many variations of the diet. A raw vegan diet consists of Veggies, fruits, grain and legume sprouts, nuts, and seeds.
How to plan a balanced Vegan Diet?
A well planned and balanced vegan diet is suitable to meet all the criteria for nutrients in every stage of human life. A complete vegan diet includes protein, magnesium, iodine, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin E. However, finding balanced, healthy meals on a vegan diet is often a difficult task. If the vegan diet is not planned properly then it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and health issues.
A healthy vegan diet must contain proteins, healthy fats, a variety of whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. Foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, and soy products help you in boosting the protein intake throughout the day. Oils like coconut oil and olive oil are healthy fats that can be included in a vegan diet. Some of the healthy vegetables that must be included in your vegan diets are broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, etc. Some examples of fruits are peaches, apples, bananas, pears, pomegranate, pineapples, grapes, lemons, etc. A bowl of whole grains are common in a vegan diet. Whole grains like barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, etc are best. Nowadays a burrito bowl is a common preference among vegans. It includes all the necessary healthy meals. Legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, etc. are the best sources of protein that must also be included in a vegan diet. Along with legumes, soy products, and nuts like cashews, peanuts, walnuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. add to the protein supply in the diet. An important thing to note is that many processed vegan products that you buy from stores such as vegan meat substitutes are often loaded with sodium, additives, and other ingredients that may harm your health. You should try to stick mostly on unprocessed items to avoid health issues. In short, a balanced vegan diet must include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats.
For vegans who really want to stay healthy, the consumption of a nutrient-rich diet with whole and fortified foods is very important. Here are some of the foods and food groups that should be a part of your healthy vegan diet.
- Legumes:- Vegans mainly avoid animal and dairy products rich in proteins in order to exclude all forms of animal exploitation. Therefore it is very much necessary to switch to the alternative of animal products rich in protein. Here we have legumes, iron-rich plant alternatives. It is advantageous if you consume sprouted, fermented or cooked legumes. Because it decreases the level of ant nutrients in the legumes. And ant nutrients reduce the absorption of minerals.
Beans, peas, and lentils are nutrient-rich plant alternatives that must be included in a vegan diet. Proper consumption can also increase nutrient absorption.
- Nuts and seeds: Every vegan should add these protein-rich and nutrient-rich versatile and nutritious food in their diet.
- Whole grains and cereals: Whole grains, cereals, and pseudocereals are good sources of complex carbs, iron, and dietary fiber.
- Fruits and vegetables: Some vegans rely on processed and unhealthy meat alternative and vegan junk foods to replace their favorite animal foods. This can harm your health. Instead, there are many ways to replace your favorite meals with vitamin and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables. These are really very healthy.
Here is an example of a few foods which you should include while planning a 7-day vegan diet plan. Oats, nut mix, tofu, boiled lentils, bread, nut butters, quinoa, broccoli and boiled chickpeas. Including these items in your vegan diet plan will help your body meet all the essential needs.
For beginners on a vegan diet, the following food items are suggested and considered the best. Fruits and vegetables both fresh and frozen, fresh and dried herbs and spices, natural sweeteners, pantry items, baking items, canned and dried legumes, fresh soy products, and whole-grain products.
Preparing a weekly vegan diet plan can prove beneficial. Including lunch bowls, burrito bowls, and healthy meals can contribute to the nutritional requirements. Planning and eating is a better way to check out whether your meal is perfect and rich in all sources. A weekly diet chart must include all the varieties of foods differing in taste, color, and nutritional value. Gluten-free foods like quinoa, brown rice, etc. should be included in a healthy meal. A wide range of vegan recipes are available online today. Some examples include healthy pasta salad, coconut cauliflower curry, vegan ice cream, peanut butter cookies, vegan falafel burgers, etc.
Vegan diets are gradually becoming a popular choice all over the world. Many researches also suggest that vegan diets are better for your body as well as the environment. The range of variety and the look of the presentation is very much appealing to the eyes of the consumer. It also has a variety of satisfying tastes.
In addition to the health benefits, a complete vegan diet also helps you to reduce your excess body weight. An increasing number of people are turning to veganism for this good reason. Vegan diets have a natural tendency to reduce your calorie consumption. This makes them effective in promoting weight loss without focusing on cutting calories. A vegan diet not only improves heart health but it also contributes towards improving kidney functions and lowering blood sugar levels. Vegan diets are believed to protect against various cancers also. It also lowers the symptoms of arthritis and the pain associated with it.
However, a vegan diet doesn’t include all the required nutrients. This type of diet limits the intake of certain nutrients. Thus deficiency of some important nutrients can occur. A well-planned plant-based diet including a sufficient amount of foods must also include nutrient supplements. For example, we did not discuss any food rich in calcium, vitamin B12, or vitamin D included in the diet. Therefore it is clear that a vegan diet is a deficit of calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D So other supplements like plant milks and yogurts fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 must be included as an alternative to products made from cow milk.
In short, completely cutting animal products out of your diet can increase your risk of causing nutritional deficiencies. Although vegan diet helps you to stay healthy and fit, sometimes improper planning and total dependency on these foods can lead to the risk of issues like anemia, impaired immunity, brain and nerve disorder in babies, weekend bones, etc. Therefore following a balanced vegan diet along with certain supplements can help in ensuring that your body is getting proper nutrient supply according to its requirements.
Looking on the other hand, vegan diets are pocket friendly. This is one of the reasons that appeal to humans. Money-saving and health providing factors are likely to be accepted faster. Whatever we eat, it should be chosen to meet all the body requirements.