In today’s times, a Vegan Diet is now considered among the healthiest one can consume. The term ‘vegan’ was coined by Donald Watson, the creator of ‘Vegan Society’ in 1944. Vegans follow an extreme diet, abstaining from not just eating, but also consuming animal products, whether they are alive or dead.
How to know if you are Vegan
Not only that, they have adopted a new religious practice known as ‘Veganism’ which is the act of consuming only plant-based food and eschewing the use of other animal products. They consume food free of any animal products - including fish, dairy, eggs and meat; avoid any product made from an animal - including leather, silk, fur and wool and, even avoid any animal-using entertainment venues such as zoos, circuses and hunts.
While veganism is now becoming a practice worldwide its detractors feel that a plant-based diet does not satisfy all of an individual’s body needs. Yet, given the levels of consumerism and health and lifestyle related issues across countries today, veganism is now becoming the preferred choice of a lot of people as it is considered healthy - for oneself as well as the environment! Studies have shown that it leads to better heart health and blood sugar regulation. It’s extremely helpful when it comes to losing weight too. Vegan food is tasty, inexpensive and common to find nowadays. Listed below are eight vitamins and minerals which are a must have in any vegan’s diet:
- Vitamin C: Strawberries, lemons, kiwis, kale, oranges and broccoli; Vit C also helps increase absorption of fat-soluble vitamins as well as minerals like iron and zinc
- Vitamin A: Spinach, dried apricots, kale, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots
- Vitamin E: Spinach, mustard greens, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and walnuts
- Vitamin K: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, watercress, spring onions, kale and spinach
- Magnesium: Oats, cashews, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and almonds
- Calcium: Chia seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, tofu, white beans, blackstrap molasses
- Zinc: Black beans, cashews, wild rice, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds
- Iron: Red lentils, quinoa, oats, hemp seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds
- Include a Vitamin B12 dietary supplement
Consuming vitamins and minerals is not difficult when on a vegan diet, as most foods are readily available and, when it comes to apparel, cosmetics and products such as handbags and shoes, many companies are now endorsing this trend and manufacturing vegan products.
If you are considering shifting to a vegan diet, remember to put whole foods first. Ensure that you consume enough of each food group (fruits, whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds) and refrain from consuming caffeinated drinks an hour before and after meals.