Plant-Based Diets

These days, because of the findings of various studies, choosing plant-based foods over meat and dairy is looking healthier and healthier. Plant-based diets can reduce the chances of heart disease and certain cancers, not to mention other things that look promising but require more research. Plus, eliminating animal products from your diet is one of the biggest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

As the world becomes more aware of the health and environmental benefits of plant-based eating, more people are ditching meat and dairy in favor of veggies, fruits, legumes, and grains. That’s all good, but going vegan can be challenging, especially in certain places that don’t easily cater to it.

If you have done any research at all, you will know that surviving on white bread and processed foods are not great options, whether or not you are including animal products in your diet. And if you eat mostly processed meals that while keeping vegan, you are likely to be missing some very key vitamins and nutrients.

But how do you get all the nutrients you need without eating meat? What about protein?

Here's everything you need to know about going vegan, including how to get enough protein, iron, calcium, and B12.

Plant foods can have complete proteins as well as complementary proteins.

Soy, quinoa, and golden chlorella are all plants that offer complete proteins, which makes them the perfect candidates for everyday vegan eating. Quinoa is a great addition to many main or side dishes. Golden chlorella can be sprinkled on foods, and now you can buy things, like pastas, that use golden chlorella to make them a protein-rich option. Soy is a favorite of many vegans because it comes in versatile forms: edamame, tofu, and protein powders.

However, you have plenty of other options as well. For example, a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread is a meal with complete protein because, between the two components, it contains all the essential amino acids you need.

You can create complete proteins by eating foods with complementary proteins together. To do this, you can combine legumes (such as peanuts, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils) with nuts/seeds (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, etc) or with grains (like wheat, rice, and barley).

So, as you can see, it is really pretty simple to get all the amino acids you need for a complete protein with relying on meat or dairy.

There are many iron-rich and calcium-rich plant foods.

Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Many people think of a rare steak when they think of a good source of protein, but, in fact, there are numerous plants that are very rich in iron. These iron-rich plants include morel mushrooms, seaweed, spinach, cocoa, kale, molasses, artichokes, white mushrooms, and the list goes one.

Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Society usually identifies dairy as the main source of this nutrient, but it can be just as easy to find calcium in plant foods.

Foods rich in calcium include bok choy, kale, arugula, broccoli rabe, rhubarb, and spinach. Quite honestly, vegetables are a wonderful source of most of the nutrients your need in life.

Don't turn your nose up at supplements and powders.

The trickiest vitamin to get as a vegan is B12. If you include nutritional yeast in your diet, you can find brands that have been enriched with B12. Golden chlorella supplements and powders may also contain large enough quantities of B12 to meet your needs.

B12 is added to many protein powders, which are easy to add into cereals, smoothies, and other dishes. If none of these options fit the bill for you, then be sure to include a daily B12 vitamin in your routine. B12 keeps your nerve cells and blood cells healthy and helps your body make DNA. So, you can see why it’s important.

Make your life easy by designing a plan.

Eating on the go is very much a part of the modern day. And if you live in a place with plenty of healthy, vegan-friendly snack shops, this could work out. But, if you find yourself losing track of what you have actually consumed each day, you might be losing out on some key nutrients.

To stay healthy and get everything that you need from your diet, it is best to have some meal plans for your week. When you make them, you can ensure your cover the nutrients you need. Then, you can go grocery shopping with the plans in place. If you get some meals on the run, you don’t have to worry as long as you have other well-rounded meals you’re enjoying as well.

At Natura.Punkt, we want to make your plant-based eating easy and versatile. Feel free to check out our snacks, supplements, powders, and pastas.