There are many reasons why people choose to go vegan, from their love of animals, the planet, or health reasons. As a nation we consume more meat than is good for us, with our inbuilt preconception that a meal is made up of a type of meat accompanied by a smaller portion of vegetables, when really (if we’re going to eat meat) it should be the other way around. This is why movements like Meat Free Monday and World Vegan Day are so important, to challenge our preconceptions and make us be mindful of what we’re putting in our bodies.
While there are obvious benefits to a vegan diet, there are also risks of becoming deficient in important vitamins and minerals when diet isn’t controlled properly, so we’ve compiled our top tips for maintaining a vegan diet:
- Make sure you get the energy balance right to match your daily needs. Include energy-dense foods in your diet, such as nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, oils and dried fruits, all of which also offer vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that will help you to feel well and maintain a healthy weight.
- Although plant-based foods contain protein, they’re called ‘incomplete’ as they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids found in meat. It’s important that you combine your non-meat proteins together so the amino acid profiles complement each other. Known as food combining, this is simple to do by making meals that contain two or more of the non-meat protein sources: pulses (chickpeas, black-eyed beans, lentils) soya products (tofu, miso, edamame beans), nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and calcium are four essential nutrients that are commonly found in foods of animal origin and as such can often be lacking in a plant-based diet. Iron and vitamin B12 are particularly important as they are involved in red blood cell production, and a lack can result in anaemia. You might want to consider taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement to make sure you get all the micronutrients required to support good health and well-being.
Our nutritionist-developed Vegan delivery package is a great option for those that are looking to maintain a vegan diet but struggle to get all the necessary nutrients, or just struggle to find the time to shop, cook and prepare meals.