Vegan Food Pyramid
Those who are new to vegan diet just eat whatever plant-based food. Some do not think much of meeting the nutritional needs. Although, animal products have an essential role in diet, and in vegan diet, there is a better method to substitute the nutrients that can be consumed in meat.
- Grains: Whole grains and unprocessed grains provide a bulk of calories. This can make you satiated and can increase your daily serving. Thus, your energy needs will be complemented.
- Vegetables: Cooked and raw vegetables are healthy and should be in the list of your daily diet. The cruciferous and leafy green vegetables are high in nutrients.
- Fruit: Fruits are best for breakfast, desserts, and snacks. It is best to limit fruit juices, and choose fresh fruits.
- Legumes: Hummus, cooked beans, lentils, soy milk, and tofu are included in this category. Limit vegan meaty substitutes and choose those calcium-fortified ones.
- Nuts and seeds: On a regular basis, do not have more than 2 servings. It does not provide any essential fats.
As said, there are essential nutrients that we need to consume daily, and as vegans, there are nutrients that we should take from plant-based substitutes. The following are the essential nutrients, the daily recommended intake, and the plant-based substitute that contains high amounts of the nutrients.
- Calcium: The daily recommended intake of calcium is 1,000 milligrams. It can be found in navel oranges, kale, spinach, broccoli, soy milk, tofu, almonds, and molasses.
- Iron: The daily recommended intake of iron for males is 8 milligrams and 18 milligrams for women. It can be found in oatmeal, spinach, collard greens, dried figs, green peas, lentils, almonds, and molasses.
- Zinc: The daily recommended intake of zinc for females is 8 milligrams and 11 milligrams for males. It can be found in wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, tofu, lentils, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and almonds.
- Iodine: The daily recommended intake for iodine is 150 micrograms. It can be found in seaweeds and iodized salt.
- Protein: The daily recommended intake of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Protein is abundant in whole wheat, quinoa, peanuts, tofu, soy milk, beans, lentils, pumpkin seed, and almonds.
- Omega-3: The daily recommended intake for omega-3 is 1.6 grams for male and 1.1 grams for females. It can be found in chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
- Vitamin D: The daily recommended intake of vitamin D is 15 micrograms or 600 IU. It can be gained through sun exposure for 10 minutes, and vegan supplements for Vitamin D2 or D3.
- Vitamin B12: The daily recommended intake for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms. It can be found in nutritional yeast.
Be healthy! You should eat the plant-based foods that can give you the recommended daily intake of the essential nutrients.