Living as a vegan What do vegans eat? 12 plant foods for vegan diet

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To eat vegan is not difficult, it only requires a good preparation and the renunciation of animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and all products of animal origin, so all dairy products such as cheese, butter, yogurt and cottage cheese, but also honey. But how does one become a vegan? What do we still eat at all, if we must do without everything possible? However, a vegan diet is not automatically healthy and there is even the risk of suffering from a deficiency of nutrients, so it is important to inform yourself in advance about a balanced, healthy, vegan diet and to ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients and vitamins.

It is not enough to eat instead of animal products, rows of artificially enriched with nutrients plant foods that naturally contain no or very little nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin D, zinc, calcium, iron or the like. Therefore, it is advisable to resort to purely plant-based health-promoting vegan diets and consume foods in their natural form. By no means does veganism mean a one-sided or tofu-heavy diet.

The association Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. is pro-meat?

The German Society for Nutrition comes to the conclusion that with a vegan diet a sufficient supply of some nutrients (e.g. vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids) is not or only with difficulty possible and are consequently also not optimal for health, thus does not recommend to do without meat and animal products. However, it must be remembered that it is of course unfavorable not to get essential nutrients, but it is even more unfavorable to take in toxins such as pesticides, hormones, drugs, heavy metals, etc., which are present due to industrial food production, especially in animal products in even higher levels than in a purely plant-based diet.

Vegan diet is good for the cardiovascular system

If one considers this however, pays attention at the same time to a balanced vegetable nutrition and has one mainly purely vegetable food in its natural form on the menu, then there is with a vegan nutrition nothing to fear and one does itself and its health something good, since this nourishing form, if it is lived balanced, is rich in vital materials, minerals, vitamins and trace elements, which the body needs straight today so urgently. In 2018, a review was published stating that people who live vegan have a 40 percent lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

The diseases that veganism protects against continue to include cancer and diabetes. This is mainly due to the fact that the vegan diet is low in saturated fats and high in fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Vegans also tend to consume more vitamins and minerals than non-vegans, which may help protect against chronic diseases.

12 plant foods for the vegan diet

Fruit

rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium. The best choice are berries, oranges, apples and bananas

Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower provide important antioxidants; leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and chard are rich in calcium; root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and beets are rich in iron and other micronutrients.

Legumes

Beans of all kinds contain protein, iron and B vitamins; lentils provide folic acid; chickpeas contain magnesium.

Whole grains & pseudo grains

Wheat berries, quinoa, oats and barley is rich in fiber, iron and B vitamins

Nuts & Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds provide healthy fats as well as protein and minerals such as zinc

Soy products

Vegan milk from soybeans is an excellent source of calcium and protein, better than conventional dairy products; soy, which is what tofu is made from, contains essential amino acids

Healthy oils

Extra virgin olive oil is a good vegan source of monounsaturated fats; avocado oil provides oleic acid for skin health

Nutritional yeast

vegan cheese alternative with B vitamins.

Seaweed

vegan source of iodine and other important minerals like iron

Fermented food

vegan source of probiotics that help maintain the health of the digestive system

Herbs

Parsley, basil, oregano and thyme contain antioxidants; cilantro can be a good source of vitamin K

Mushrooms

vegan cheese alternative with B vitamins.

With veganism, you can eat a balanced and healthy diet, allowing it to be both nutritious and delicious.

When you eat a vegan diet, you can enjoy all the benefits of veganism, such as higher energy levels, better overall health, weight loss, but on the other hand, you have a lower risk of chronic diseases and you can do something good for the environment at the same time. With more vegan foods available than ever before, this type of diet is becoming increasingly popular with people looking to improve their health and lifestyle. So don't hesitate - switch to a vegan diet today!

Fruit

  • Apples, oranges, pears and apricots are a good source of vitamins and fiber.
  • Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in antioxidants.
  • Bananas have been shown to be beneficial to a vegan diet, providing important micronutrients such as potassium and magnesium.
  • In addition, vegan foods like avocados, guavas and passion fruit are full of healthy fats and vitamins.
  • Finally, vegan smoothies offer an easy way to combine a variety of vegan ingredients into one drink.

Vegetables

If you want to eat vegan, the supply of vitamins, minerals and fiber through them is crucial.

Often, you can access here without hesitation, because the calorie density of vegetables is usually lower than that of nuts, cereals or oils.

So you can eat broccoli, beet, Chinese cabbage, radishes, tomatoes, lamb's lettuce, eggplant, cauliflower and asparagus without worrying about your figure. Moreover, green vegetables such as kale, fennel, spinach leaves and broccoli often contain a lot of calcium without the harmful and carcinogenic effects of animal products such as cow's milk.

Legumes

In addition to fruits and vegetables, legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, peas, beans, but also soybeans and peanuts have important nutrients that can add balance to the vegan lifestyle. Legumes are often the main source of protein for vegans.

Cereals and pseudocereals

What are the varieties of cereals?

There are 7 types of cereals, these are:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Millet

What is pseudocereal?

Pseudocereals are grains of plant species that are outside the family of sweet grasses (Poaceae = normal cereals), but are used similarly to them. They are ideal for baking bread from and contain No gluten, about which we wrote our article Is gluten unhealthy? How wheat poisons us (book recommendation) report. Pseudocereals include:

  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Teff flour
  • Canihua
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds

Nuts and seeds

Many nuts and seeds contain important nutrients, for example Omega-3 fatty acids in Walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts. Also, nuts generally contain above average zinc, especially Peanuts are rich in this essential trace element.

Oils and fats

Oils like olive oil and coconut oil are vegetable and give you important nutrients. Vegan oils can be used to prepare vegan dishes. Some vegan oils, such as olive oil, are also healthy for the cardiovascular system.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms can also provide the body with important nutrients in a vegan diet. Especially mushrooms contain many B vitamins, minerals such as potassium and phosphorus and important trace elements such as selenium. Compared to conventional meat products, mushrooms also have the same amount of protein.

Mushrooms can improve your vitamin D balance

Did you know that Mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms exposed to sunlight, enrich vitamin D can and thus represent an excellent source of the sun vitamin in a vegan diet? It is vitamin D2, the precursor of Vitamit D3, which remains in the blood only a few days, but you can dry mushrooms in the warm season in the sun and then consume them in the winter and vegan living people thus additionally support the vitamin D balance.

Algae

Today we know 40000 species of algae, of which about 160 are used in cooking and are predestined for vegan diets.

The best known types of algae are:

  • Nori
  • Kombu
  • Wakamé
  • Hijiki
  • Dulse

Omega-3 fatty acids from algae are the better

Algae contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium and iron in quite high concentrations and are therefore suitable very good for vegans as a substitute for fish. In addition, they are sources of Vitamins A, C, E, niacin and folic acid, so are ideal for the support of Eyes, nerves, brain as well as skin, hair and nails. Algae oil is also a popular Omega 3 supplements alternative to fish oil, which you can safely do without.

To round off the vegan diet, vegan substitutes such as vegan cheeses and vegan meat can also be integrated into the menu. However, these vegan alternatives do not replace a balanced vegan diet based on fresh plants. So, if you want to eat a vegan diet, it is important to meet your body's needs with plant-based foods. Focus on eating whole foods and include a variety of vegan products in your diet. This way, you can ensure that the vegan lifestyle meets all of your metabolic needs without causing nutritional deficiencies!

In summary, a vegan diet can be healthy and nutritious with the right choice of vegan products. A plant-based diet has a variety of health benefits, but requires careful planning and nutritional knowledge to ensure that all dietary needs are met. With so many vegan options available today, it is becoming easier and easier to switch to veganism!

How do I get vitamin B12 as a vegan?

If you ban meat and eggs from your diet, you may become deficient in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for vegans who may not get enough in their daily diet. Fortunately, there are many vegan sources of B12 that can help meet daily requirements, such as fortified Plant milk, nutritional yeast and fortified breakfast cereals. However, among these vegan sources of B12, there are some that prove to be the best and most reliable. Perhaps the most popular choice for increasing vitamin B12 levels is a dietary supplement in the form of tablets or injections; these usually contain the best form of B12 for absorption in the body. In addition, certain mushrooms are known to contain high amounts of this vital vitamin - a great option for anyone looking to get an extra boost from a natural food source!

B12 through plant milk

When it comes to vegan sources of vitamin B12. Fortified plant milk products one of the best options. This milk is made from nuts, seeds, grains or legumes and is often fortified with B12 as well as other important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Some of the most popular vegan plant milks include. Soy milk, almond milk and rice milk. These vegan milks can be used in a variety of recipes, from smoothies to baked goods.

Nutritional yeast is a B12 secret tip

Nutritional yeast is another vegan source of vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is generated from a Molasses grown protozoa and contains all nine essential amino acids as well as B12. It has a nutty, cheesy flavor and is great for adding to vegan dishes or vegan cheese sauces. You can also sprinkle the nutritional yeast over salads, soups or pizza for an extra boost of flavor and nutrients

B12 in muesli

Enriched breakfast cereals finally, are a vegan source of vitamin B12 that can be enjoyed at any time of day. Many vegan breakfast cereals are fortified with B12, providing a convenient way to ensure daily intake of this important nutrient. For example Oatmeal, granola or vegan granola bars be a good vegan source of B12.

These are just a few of the vegan options available when it comes to the question: what do vegans eat? There is an abundance of vegan foods available today, from delicious plant proteins to plant milk is not only a good source of vegan B12, but also contains other important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. For this reason, it is a good choice for anyone looking for a vegan-friendly source of these nutrients. Plant milk is also available in a variety of flavors and consistencies, making it a versatile addition to any vegan diet. So if you're looking for a delicious and nutritious way to get your daily dose of B12, fortified plant milk is the way to go!

In summary, it can be said that vegan sources of vitamin B12 abundant are and can help vegans get the recommended daily amounts they need for optimal health. From fortified plant milks to nutritional yeast to fortified breakfast cereals, vegan B12 sources are easy to find and taste delicious too! With these vegan B12 sources, a vegan lifestyle doesn't have to compromise on nutrition - a healthy vegan diet is not only possible, but also very beneficial for overall well-being.

Become vegan(er)!

Veganism allows you to eat a healthy and varied diet while protecting the environment and animals. The range of plant-based foods is huge and vegan recipes can cover all tastes. With vegan foods, vegan supplements or B12 fortified vegan foods, vegans can ensure their bodies are getting enough nutrients to stay healthy. So why not give veganism a try today? You'll be surprised at the delicious options available!

Thank you for reading our article on vegan nutrition - what do vegans eat? 12 plant-based foods for a healthy vegan diet. We hope this information was helpful in understanding veganism and making sure you are eating a balanced diet as a vegan. We wish you all the best on your vegan or becoming vegan journey!

Sources:

Vegan Society (2020). What Is a vegan diet? https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism

WebMD (2019). 12 Plant Foods That Are High in Iron. https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/12-plant-foods-that-are-high-in-iron#2

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Simon O.
Orthomolecular expert and nutritionist
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