Tofu & Veggies

Food Sources

Protein

One of the most commonly asked question for a vegan is ‘But where or where do you get your protein from?’.

Isn’t it funny though, people that believe they need to eat animals for protein, well where do those animals get their protein from? From Plants – so why don’t we just go direct to the source and save the animals’ pain and suffering/health benefits from going directly to the source?

FACT-A lot of foods (Including meat) lose nutritional value once heated. So when people say they need to eat meat for a protein source they aren’t actually getting the protein serving they think they are getting.

Almost all foods have some form of protein. Vegans can source protein from:

  • Legumes
  • Soy products
  • Tofu
  • Almonds
  • Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Peanut butter
  • Quiona – rice alternative
  • Rices
  • Potatoes
  • Whole grain foods
  • Broccoli
  • Other meat alternatives/mock meat
  • Vegetable Base Protein Powders

Calcium

Another statement I hear regularly ‘Oh but you HAVE to drink cows milk for calcium ‘. Hello! Spinach holds more calcium then cows milk. You can also obtain substansial amounts of calcium from such foods as:

  • Almonds and Brazil Nuts
  • All Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Raw Broccoli
  • Flax, Sesame and Chis seeds
  • Tofu
  • Almond Milk

FACT – We as humans are the only species on earth who drink another species milk and continue to drink it beyond weaning. Milk is for babies, we don’t still drink our mothers’ milk, do we?

FACT- Intolerance to milk is the most common food allergy.

FACT – When pregnant, it’s often recommended for mum-to-be to not consume any dairy products.

Iron 

Dried beans and dark green veggies are especially good sources of iron and in fact better on a per calorie basis than meat. Iron absorption is increased enormously by eating foods containing Vitamin C along with foods containing Iron.

Some good sources of Iron include:

  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Tempeh
  • Black beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Tahini
  • Peas
  • Figs
  • Raisens

 Good Fats

A vegan diet is completely free of cholesterol and is generally low in fat. Hence why a lot of people suffering from major chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer are recommended to follow a vegan style diet.  In saying that, our body still needs ‘Good Fats’ such as avocado, coconut oil and nuts. As with anything, all in moderation.

FACT – Dairy products can account for nearly half of our saturated fat intake, making them a high risk factor in heart disease- our biggest killer.

ZincZinc can be found in grains, legumes and nuts.

Vitamin DUnfortunately Vitamin D is not found in a vegan diet but there are vegan friendly vitamin D supplements readily available. Don’t forget the main source of Vitamin D is of course sunlight. Try 15min a day in the sun you could even turn this into a nice afternoon walk.

VITAMIN B12 -Although the requirement for vitamin B12 is very low, it is a very important nutrient. It is especially important for pregnant and lactating women, infants and children.

Tempeh, miso, spirulina, mushrooms and seaweed are often labelled as being good sources of vitamin B12, however these products contain analogues of the vitamin which the body cannot use. It is recommended for vegans to regularly consume a B12, supplement, or a regularly consume B12 fortified foods.

FACT – People suffering from major chronic diseases are recommended to follow a vegan diet.