Johnny was taught in school that females also produce milk when they give birth and that’s how they feed the child. He was also taught that cheese, butter, etc. were made from milk. To his teacher’s surprise, Johnny raised a question during a running class at school that why cow milk is used for butter, cheese, and daily milk needs instead of human female milk? His mother was called by the school authorities so that he could be reprimanded correctly for asking such vulgar questions. Alarming!! Right?
In the current times, there are a few intellectuals who refrain from using animal products, particularly in diet and otherwise. They support an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals and treat them equally as living beings. A follower of an animal-free diet and products is known as a vegan. There are several categories into which of vegans can be distinctly classified. The movement was started at least half a century back in the US by a few individuals, eliminating the use of animal products, particularly in the diet which has spread across the world over all these years.
A vegan or plant-based diet would exclude all animal products which means no meat, no animal dairy, and not even eggs. An increasing number of health enthusiasts, animal activists, and environmentalists have been moving towards a vegan diet.
The benefits include eliminating the risk of heart diseases which are more or less concerned with animal fat. Recent large scale studies have found that a person consuming more of plant-based food and less of animal fat has the following advantages:
- Better for heart health – The diet helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease the death rate in adults. This diet is better than animal products because animal products are the main source of saturated fats which eventually deposit in the heart.
- Lower cancer risk – A vegan diet means the consumption of fibres, vitamins, and phytochemicals. All are biologically active compounds in plants that help to decrease the risk of cancer.
- Weight loss – By using people’s vegan diet to consume low calories and reduced their extra weight to leave a healthy life.
A vegan diet can provide for all the nutrients that a person needs but they should be more aware of how to obtain certain nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin B-12 that usually come from a non-vegan diet. Vegans who want to stay healthy should consume a nutrient-rich diet with whole and fortified foods. Below is a list of food that a vegan has to include in their daily diet.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and peas are great options that contain 10–20 grams of protein per cooked cup.
- Nuts, Nut Butters, and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of iron, fiber, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. They also contain a good amount of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. Hemp, Flax, and Chia Seeds are the best seeds you could come across for omega-3, 6 and proteins.
- Tofu: This could easily be the go-to vegan meat that can replace your regular meats in terms of protein and taste.
- Calcium-Fortified Plant Milk & Yogurts: These types of foods help you with your daily calcium needs, vitamins B12 & D which helps to keeps the bones healthy.
- Sprouted and Fermented Plant Foods: Good source of vitamin K12 which helps reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Plus sprouting method reduces the anti-nutrients which are found in plant-based foods.
- Whole Grains, Cereals, and Pseudocereals: Be it a vegan diet or not, one should include whole grains and cereals for their fiber content, nutrient value, and plant protein.
Vegans do not consume foods of animal origin, including meat as well as foods that contain animal-derived ingredients. Due to this, their intake of certain nutrients decreases, and their requirements for others increases.
A well-planned plant-based diet should include sufficient amounts of the foods discussed above. This will help vegans to stay healthy and avoid any type of deficiencies. There are alternatives available like Dotshot which is a premix vegan antioxidant drink or plant-based foods rich in proteins and nutrients.
In this post we describe, how being a vegan can have amazing health benefits, without losing on the daily nutrition.