If you’re planning on going vegan, or simply trying to add more plant-based foods to your diet, there are certain things to bear in mind to ensure you give your body all the nutrients it needs to function healthily.
To help, Nutritionist for Discover Great Veg, Pixie Turner, has shared her five top tips for healthy plant-based eating.
From ensuring you get enough of important vitamins and essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, carbohydrates and protein, to making sure you’re enjoying a variety of plant-based foods, these tips will help make sure you have a healthy Veganuary, and beyond!
- Familiarise yourself with plant sources of calcium, like tahini, leafy greens such as kale and cavolo nero, beans, tofu, and lentils. Fortified plant milks are great too, but ideally you want a variety of sources. Calcium has a number of important functions, including helping build bones, keeping teeth healthy and ensuring blood clots normally. It is also important in pregnancy, when it is vital for the healthy development of baby’s bones and teeth.
- Ensure you have a decent protein source with at least two of your meals each day. That could mean having beans in your lunch and tofu for dinner, for example, or soy yoghurt with breakfast and lentils for dinner. For tasty plant-based mealtime inspiration, where you can find my recipes for All-the-Greens Risotto and Cavolo Nero Salad with Sweet Potato, Pear, Walnut, and a Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing and more, visit the recipe page.
- Look to eat a wide variety of foods. How healthy your diet is depends on what you include, rather than what you exclude, so aim to enjoy a spectrum of plants. More variety generally means more nutrients and enjoying a selection of foods also helps keep things interesting! As well as enjoying a variety of plants in main meals, remember you can also add them to snacks, side dishes, smoothies and more.
- Iron from plant foods isn’t as well absorbed by the body as those from animal products, so it’s worth prioritising some good sources of plant-based iron. Examples include lentils, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, and fortified breakfast cereals. Iron is really important for making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.
- Don’t be afraid of carbs. Carbohydrate sources like grains and potatoes are absolutely your friends, and will help keep you full, satisfied, and energetic. As well as starch, they also contain calcium, iron, fibre and B vitamins.
For interviews with Nutritionist Pixie Turner, images or recipes, please contact Emma Wheat or Charlotte Grove T: 01189 475 956 firstname.lastname@example.org