A good vegan diet plan offers you a healthier way of meeting your nutritional needs with a sufficient number of calories, as well as a wide range of food items. When planning your healthy vegan diet, be sure to include an adequate amount of nutrients that are typically found in animal products such as iron, protein, calcium, omega-3s and vitamin B12. Read on to find out more about how to plan out a nutritious vegan diet.
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For a healthy vegan diet plan, the Food and Drug Administration – FDA, recommends a daily protein consumption of approximately 0.36 g protein in every pound for an average adult. Good sources of vegan proteins, as well as essential and non-essential amino acids include protein from plants such as:
- Whole grains
Other good sources of protein are soy products which offer soy protein that is significantly similar to proteins that animal products contain.
While red meats are the best sources of iron, vegans will be pleased to learn that some plant foods also contain iron. Good sources of vegan iron include:
- Dried beans
- Enriched grains
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
Typically found in dairy products, calcium is crucial for the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. Vegan sources of calcium include dark green vegetables such as broccoli and kale, tofu, as well as calcium-fortified or enriched food items.
Typically sourced from animal products, vitamin B12 is necessary for preventing anemia and the red blood cells production. Because many plant-based foods are not reliable sources of B12, it’s common for the average adult vegan to develop a deficiency to vitamin B12. It is therefore important for vegans to consider including fortified soy products, enriched cereals, vitamin supplements and nutritional yeast to ensure that their diet has a sufficient quantity of vitamin B12.
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for enabling individuals to enjoy good cardiovascular health, develop the brain and eyes, and produce EPA and DHA fatty acids. Some vegan-friendly sources of omega-3s include canola oil, flax seeds, walnuts and soy products. It is important for you as a vegan to consider supplementing your diet with food items that fortified with omega-3s.