All you need to know about Veganism

Want to switch to a vegan diet? Here’s everything you need to know before incorporating a vegan diet into your lifestyle.

Veganism has become very popular and more & more people are going vegan nowadays because of health, environmental and ethical concerns. In the past few years, many sports personalities and celebrities have turned vegan and are leading the charge for this animal-free diet.

We have listed down everything you need to know about this diet before opting for it.

What is Veganism?

Veganism is defined as a lifestyle that completely excludes all kinds of animal products, such as meat, seafood, bee products and dairy products. It attempts to prohibit any type of exploitation or cruelty against animals in any form like food, clothing etc.

A vegan diet includes only plant-based foods, excluding any form of animal product or even animal-derived ingredients & additives like lactose, whey, albumin, casein, gelatin, shellac, pepsin, carmine, isinglass, fish-based omega-3 fatty acid foods and animal-based Vitamin D3 foods. Vegan diets are of many different types like whole-food, raw-food, junk-food, low-fat, raw food vegan diet.

Foods you should eat

A vegan diet is composed of only plant-based foods, and animal foods are replaced by foods derived from plants.

  • Tofu- It is a rich protein source for vegans and a good substitute for meats, chicken, fishes and eggs. You can use this versatile ingredient in many recipes.
  • Legumes- Foods like beans, lentils and peas are an excellent plant-based source for many essential nutrients. You can include them in your diet in the form of sprouts or by fermenting or properly cooking them according to your taste.
  • Tempeh and Seitan- They are loaded with a fair amount of protein and are a great alternative for animal-based protein sources.
  • Nuts and nut butter- They are an excellent source of several essential nutrients and also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which are beneficial to maintain good health. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc. are rich sources of iron, zinc, copper, dietary fibre, magnesium, selenium, manganese, Vitamin E & omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Plant milk and yoghurt- Calcium-fortified plant milk is the best alternative for dairy products to fulfil your dietary calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 needs.
  • Seeds- Some seeds like hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds should be an essential part of a healthy vegan diet. These seeds contain the right amount of protein, fibre, omega-3 fats and several other essential nutrients.
  • Whole grains- A healthy vegan diet must include a whole-grain portion of both cereals and pseudocereals. Oats, teff, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, etc. are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, B-vitamins, iron, zinc, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants and several minerals.
  • Green vegetables & fruits- Both are an important part of vegan diets to enhance nutrient intake. Leafy green veggies like kale, spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, etc. are high in iron and calcium.
  • Fermented plant foods- Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Miso, kombucha, pickled vegetables and sourdough bread are good fermented food options for vegans and contain probiotics and Vitamin K12.

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