Plant-based diets are becoming more popular, and scientific evidence proves they are also very healthy. Doctors and researchers claim that eating nutrient-dense plant-based food will keep you away from chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Is it easy to go plant-based?
Following a plant-based or vegan diet has never been easier! You can find many vegan products, including meat and cheese alternatives, plant-based milk, dairy-free mayonnaise, protein substitutes, snacks, chocolate and sweets. The quality of vegan cheese and plant-based meats has improved a lot in recent years. It is also easy to find egg replacements.
Keep your kitchen pantry stocked with some tasty plant-based staples, and it will be easy for you to avoid meat and dairy.
What foods do you eat on a healthy plant-based diet?
Vegetables, fruit and legumes
Fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits are the best sources of vitamins and minerals. They are also packed with healthy dietary fibre. Legumes are so high in protein and can be an excellent replacement for animal-based protein.
Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are a must-have for vegans. Both are made from fermented soybeans and packed with plant-based protein, making them a great meat alternative. You can find them plain or marinated in many exciting flavours. Silken tofu is a soft version of tofu and can be used for cakes, for example, a vegan cheesecake.
Nuts, nut butter, and seeds
Nuts and seeds are super healthy snacks and a staple in a plant-based diet. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Thanks to its binding properties, ground flaxseed can be used as an egg replacer in many savoury and sweet dishes. Chia seeds are healthy and delicious, often used by vegans in breakfast dishes like smoothies and desserts such as puddings.
Plant-based milk and yoghurts
These days there's no need to drink cow's milk. Dairy-free milk is high quality and delicious, and it will work well with your morning cereals as well as with hot beverages.
Plant-based milk can be made from soy, oats, almonds, rice, coconut, hemp and even potatoes. Some of them are calcium-fortified and contain added vitamin B12 - which is particularly needed for those on a plant-based diet.
Nutritional yeast is a big staple in vegan cuisine! It is a by-product of beer production and is rich in minerals and vitamins. Fortified nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12. It can be added to many foods to give them a slightly cheesy flavour.
Fermented foods and pickles are preserved using a traditional method. The most popular fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and miso. These foods have higher nutritional value and can give your body a dose of healthful probiotics, which are great for improving digestion and boosting your immunity.
What foods to avoid when following a plant-based diet?
When you follow a plant-based or vegan diet, you should refrain from animal-based products. These include all kinds of meats, fish and seafood, eggs, cheese, honey, mayonnaise (egg-based), dairy milk, and yoghurt.