Medical Reviewed by Ashwathy V. Pillai, Postgraduate Degree in Dietetics & Applied Nutrition
A Vegan Diet comprises of only plant based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts and excludes all animal products including dairy, honey, gelatin and eggs
Vegans are those who strictly follow this diet. Veganism is almost a way of life for those who follow the vegan diet. They are different from vegetarians.
While vegetarians say no to meat, fish and poultry, but do eat dairy products; vegans strictly restrict themselves from consuming anything that is derived from animals.
What makes a vegan meal
You will mainly find the dominance of fresh fruits and vegetables in a vegan meal. For breakfast, a vegan diet may contain fruits, nuts, oatmeal, coconut milk, fortified cereals and seeds like chia or flax seeds.
A typical vegan lunch may comprise of soy, rice, beans, legumes and vegetable salad. For dinner, a vegan may opt for grains, tofu, beans, broccoli, kale or spinach soup.
Throughout the day, a vegan may snack on raw veggies, sprouts, fruits and nuts.
If you are planning on being a vegan, you should certainly require careful planning of your diet intakes so that you can consume balanced vegan diet including all nutrients in right amount. Some specific changes in your diet can be:
- Consuming at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Switching to some dairy alternatives like unsweetened soy or pea-protein milk.
- Adding more whole grains in your diet.
- Consuming more fluids.
- Fulfilling your protein requirements from beans, pulses and other plant based protein sources.
- Saying ‘No’ to refined and processed foods.
- Choosing unsaturated oils and spreads.
7 Awesome Benefits of Following a Vegan Diet
Although a restrictive diet, Vegan Diet offers a host of health benefits along with the prevention of some serious diseases.
1. Weight loss
A Vegan diet is considered to be more effective for weight loss as compared to other diet regimens.
By having a plant based diet, you will consume more dietary fiber which keeps you fuller for a longer time, curbing your cravings to a great extent.
Also, by following a vegan diet, you restrict yourself from high fat meats and full fat dairy products which contain more calories.
2. Improved cardiovascular health
Vegan diet promotes your heart’s health as you reduce the consumption of saturated fats by cutting on dairy products and meats.
The reduction of saturated fats automatically improves your cardiovascular health.
Even increase in fiber intake as a part of vegan diet reduces the risk of heart stroke.
3. Protection against cancer
Studies show that a vegan diet may protect against certain cancers.
Consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables reduce the chances of colon cancer and prostate cancer.
Even women who restrict themselves from eating meat products have lower chances of breast cancer.
4. Reduced arthritis levels
If you opt for a vegan diet, then restricting yourself from having dairy products can help in alleviating arthritis.
Studies show that a vegan diet which is gluten free can lead to positive impact on health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Also, consumption of whole foods and plant based diet reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
5. Reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Switching over to a vegan diet can be beneficial for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Even research shows that a vegan diet provides additional protection against Type 2 diabetes.
6. Keeps osteoporosis at bay
A carefully planned and well balanced plant based diet can lead to consumption of adequate amount of calcium, having a positive impact on your bone health.
As a part of a vegan diet, eating figs, kale, spinach, black-eyed peas, and turnip greens can fulfill the requirements of calcium in your body.
Also, vegan products such as soy milk and cereal grains are excellent source of Vitamin D, leading to prevention of osteoporosis.
7. Ensures longevity
Being Vegan can also give you the lift of long life. Studies show that restricting the consumption of meat products leads to low mortality.
Consumption of red meat and processed meat have been linked with high mortality, while following a vegan diet, such products are completely eliminated, giving a person chance to live a longer life.
If you are looking to improve your overall energy and fitness levels, and lose weight fats, going on a vegan diet shows positive results.
It improves your physical well being in terms of energy, healthy hair, reduction in body odour, healthy skin, stronger nails and reduction in bad breath.
Although there is hardly any study to prove these benefits, yet more dependence on fresh fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, legumes and beans can definitely make your body stronger and appearance attractive. So, you can go vegan and choose a lifestyle which will lead you to a healthier version of yourself!
Talk to our Possible Nutritionist today to know more about a healthy vegan diet and how to follow it . The first consultation is on us! Click here to avail.