Varied And Balanced Diet
A balanced diet means to provide the body all needed nutrients in the correct amounts by beverages and foods. The organism needs the nutrients for development, energy supply and growth of the body as well as to keep up the body's own functions. There is a reason for the association between a balanced diet and wellness, health and fitness.
What Is Important?
All plant foods have different nutrition values and calories. The more varied the diet is, the more effective all essential nutrients can be provided.
The quality of the plant foods is also different from product to product. Make sure you only buy foods which are as full-fledged as possible. Predominantly, few and non-processed foods belong to this category.
Normally, supplements like protein powders and vitamin pills are not part of a balanced diet. Nonetheless, keep an eye on vitamin B12. It already is added to many products like plant based drinks or soy yoghurt. As well, there are plant foods with B12 on the surface because of bacteria (e.g. white mushrooms and nori seaweed). If the need of B12 cannot be covered, it is necessary to think about a dietary supplement with vitamin B12. What are the nutrients, to have a look at? Read here.
What About Convenience Foods?
There are processed foods for vegans also (frozen foods, too). Often they are still very nutritious and contain similar levels of nutrients as the original food. A look at the list of ingredients and nutrition table can show, if the food is still full-fledged.
It Depends On The Right Choice!
To bring variety to the diet, try to consume at least one food a day from each group below:
|fresh fruits||apple, pear, banana, avocado, mango, orange, strawberry, blueberry|
|fresh vegetables||tomato, potato, salad, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, kale, swiss chard|
|herbs and spices||parsley, basil, thyme, curcuma, garlic, ginger|
|grains and whole grain products||oat flakes, whole grain rye bread, wholemeal pasta|
|legumes||lentils, beans, peanuts, chickpeas|
|nuts and seeds||flaxseed, chia seeds, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds|
|cold-pressed oils||linseed oil, avocado oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil|
|mushrooms||white mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushroom|
These and many more plant foods are rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6-fatty acids), fibers, minerals, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants and secondary phytochemicals like flavonoids 1. A diet, based on plants only, naturally is poor in salt, cholesterol (plants do not contain it), saturated fatty acids, trans-fats and refined sugar. That's why the vegan diet brings along many health benefits .
To add some more sweetness to the varied diet, you can use birch sugar (xylitol), sugar beet molasses, maple syrup, agave syrup and stevia.
Which Products Should Be Avoided?
As possible, try to avoid products made of white flour and the ones with a high amount of cane sugar. The more white flour and sugar is in the product, the higher it stands in the list of ingredients.
The Certain Extra
The foods should have been produced in you region. Also, try to buy seasonal foods to keep the ecological footprint as small as possible. Studies already show that the vegan diet on bases of organic foods is associated with the lowest environmental burden 2.
Your buying behaviour can support the production of ecologically compatible foods. Because what is bought, has to be produced again. Furthermore, it is better to buy products with no or little packaging.
Nature offers numerous foods, that makes it easy to arrange the diet varied and balanced. There are still lots of flavours to discover. Boredom does not come up when cooking vegan. Trying out new vegan recipes is also helpful.