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How To: Be Healthy On A Vegan Diet

How To Get A Balanced Vegan Diet

We have one more podcast round-up for you...

After last week’s editorial on the importance of turning to a more plant-based diet with Deliciously Ella, we wanted to talk about the health implications of this. At REV we really believe in making sustainable change in the absolute most responsible way so the podcast on how to get the proper nutrients on a plant based diet we really wanted to summarise for you all considering it.

Our biggest take away is just eat as many varied things as you possibly can, but please see below all of the key take-aways we found and are considering here at the REV office as we try to commit to eating more mindfully! Thank you as always to Ella and Matt for this extremely helpful information.

Protein, can we get it from a vegan diet?

Types of proteins you need (9 types of protein you need to get from outside the body): you have to make sure you are getting variety from your different plants. For instance, don’t just go with one type of bean in your diet, make sure you are using three to four types or mix up your hummus to butterbeans one week or kidney beans from black beans in your chilis. Don’t worry about a huge variety in every meal, focus more on what sorts of different proteins you are getting within a week as it will be more well-rounded.  Best sources of plant protein: beans and pulses, nut and seeds, tahini, soy/tofu, edamame beans, nut milks, hemp seeds, broccoli and kale.

The issues around soy: when it’s used as an additive, it tends to be quite processed (soy milks, yogurts and powders) so just don’t overdue it with these forms of soy but don’t be scared of them either! Non-GMO and organic soy is best in these cases. In it’s original form, such as tempeh and edamame beans, it’s fabulous.

 

Protein powders – yay or nay? Protein powders are really easy ways to get amino acids into the body but these powders can be TOO full of protein. Your body can only absorb 25g of protein in a serving so any more than that and you won’t even get the benefits. Not to mention this can put a strain on your kidneys who are trying to absorb all this protein for you. A lot of powders have added sugar, flavouring and processed additives which are quite bad for you so do avoid anything but the most simple powders.  Hemp and brown rice protein powders are the very best – only add flavour yourself with things like bananas or blueberries to make it sweeter. Your body can handle and digest fruits much easier than anything processed!

Iron – how do you get it without red meat? A deficiency in iron is actually very common in meat and non-meat eaters alike. We need iron to get oxygen around the body and support our immune system and energy so trés important. PS women need it more than men, thanks to our lovely menstrual cycles and when breast feeding!

 

Plant based Iron: Lentils, kidney beans, adzuki beans, tahini, cashew nuts, seaweeds, chia seeds, dark chocolate, spinach and kale.

 

You might need to supplement your iron intake as well – vitamin c and fermented foods can help you absorb iron from plants. Also don’t drink caffeine whilst eating your fibre as it can dilute it!

Fats, get involved with them. The right sort of fats are so important for your diet and the great news is that with plants, fats are all good and bring important benefits. Our brains, moods, hormone balances, skin and hair, cardiovascular and joint health – we need fats for all these!

 

Good fats: Macadamia nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, walnuts, hemp seeds and spirulina.

 

Not so good fats (trans-fats): Margarine, deep fried oils, ready made meals, vegetable oils)

Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc – what about all these guys? We normally just think of dairy when it comes to calcium, but actually we can find calcium in loads of plant based sources so you can say goodbye to milk without freaking out.

 

Calcium: Chickpeas, lentils, tahini, sesame seeds, chia seeds, bok choi, tenderstem broccoli, cauliflower and okra.

 

Zinc: Supplements, sunflower seeds, oats, pumpkin seeds and more tahini (hummus for everyone)!

Fibre, what do you do with so much more fibre than you had before? (Think gas, sorry!): Simply, your body just needs some time to get used to it. You may need support if you are someone who struggles with FODMAPs so feel free to go to your doctor to discuss. P.S. lentils and brussel sprouts can be particularly problematic with gas so use less of these if you are struggling!