nutrition

I have 5 words: Nutritional Yeast, Chickpeas, Broccoli, Soya and Seeds. Okay that was 6 but you get my point!

Eating a plant based diet doesn't mean you won't get all the nutrients that you need, and those foods mentioned are 5 super simple ways to make sure your meals are always jam-packed full of goodness.

There are 6 nutrients that you can't survive without. These are:

protein carbohydrates fats vitamins minerals & water

protein

Protein is a macronutrient which means you can consume it in large portions. It forms building blocks for everything in your body but it does not fuel your body unless necessary. Did you know that roughly 16% of your body weight is protein! Protein is made up of amino acids. Some of these amino acids are produced naturally by your body, whereas some we have to ingest. It’s recommended that men should eat 55g of protein each day and women should eat 45g. There are often myths that by becoming vegan you won’t eat enough protein everyday, but actually it’s very easy to maintain a plant based diet and consume those amino acids...

Soya! Soya is a great way to get your protein and there are so many soya-based products available in the shops. Rice, grains and pulses are another brilliant source of protein as is broccoli - who would have thought it! Almond milk doesn’t just taste yummy, you guessed it! It’s packed full of protein! Whilst we’re on the topic of almonds, all nuts are amazing sources of protein! Check out the list below to see how to easily fit protein into your plant based diet.

100g of Tofu contains 12g of protein 8oz of Soy Milk contains 7g of protein 128g of Quinoa contains 8g of protein 100g of dry chickpeas contains 19g of protein 100g of Broccoli contains 2.8g of protein 8oz of Almond Milk contains 2g of protein

carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are another macronutriet which means they can be eaten in large quantities. Despite the many weightloss theories about cutting out carbs, this nutrient is essential to fuel your body and protect you against diseases. In fact, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of your daily food intake, but make sure you eat the right ones as there are bad carbs as well as healthy ones!

Rolled oats are an essential part of a vegan diet, not only for their versatility, but also for their carbohydrate percentage - who would have thought porridge was a necessity! Surprisingly, tomatoes are also a great source of carbohydrates, as are bananas and blueberries. Potatoes are an obvious carbohydrate rich food source and can be used for loads of different recipes. Lentils are too! Check out the list below to see how to easily fit good, healthy carbs into your vegan diet.

100g og oats contains 17g of carbohydrates 1 medium tomato contains 5g of carbohydrates 100g of white potatoes contains 74g of carbohydrates 100g of lentils contains 22g of carbohydrates 1 medium banana contains 27g of carbohydrates 100g of blueberries contains 22g of carbohydrates

fats

Fats are another macronutriet, again meaning they can be eaten in large quantities. However, it's important that you make sure you're eating the right fats to maintain a healthy diet. Despite being told fats are bad for you, if they're eaten correctly, fats have major health benefits, such as being an energy source, balance your blood sugar and decrease your risk of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Unsaturated fats are so important to incorporate into your diet as your body can't naturally make these fatty acids. These fats contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 and can be found in a number of vegan ingredients. Avocado, coconut and vegetable oils all contain unsaturates fats. Nuts and seeds, such as cashews and sesame seeds. Another brilliant source of healthy fats is avocado, so keep those Insta-worthy avo toasts coming! Check out the list below to see how to incorporate healthy fats into your diet.

1 tbsp of coconut oil contains 14g of fats 100g of sesame seeds contains 7g of fats 100g of cashews contains 46g of fats 1 avocado contains 24g of fats 10 medium olives contain 4g of fats 100g of dark chocolate contains 24g of fats

vitamins

Vitamins are micronutrients. This means that you don’t need to eat a lot of them as a little goes a long way! There are 13 vitamins that you have to eat in order to keep your body functioning. Some of them you’re probably already heard of, such as Vitamin D, B6 and B12. Vitamins lower the risk of diseases, help your body to heal and are great for your vision, skin and bones.

Fruits and veggies are the easiest way to get your vitamins, and through adopting a vegan diet you’ll probably find you’ll be eating a lot more of these! It’s important to know which fruits and vegetables are rich in which vitamins so that you don’t become deficient in any of the essential vitamins through only eating one type of fruit or vegetable. You need to make sure you vary your intake to ensure you get all 13. Vitamin B12 is a bit of a difficult one as it is mainly consumed through eating meat as it’s a bacteria that develops inside animals. There are ways to eat B12 as foods like nutritional yeast and some plant milks are fortified with it, but you should try and take a Vitamin B supplement as well just to be on the safe side.

Carrots & Broccoli are rich in Vitamin A Kale & Spinach are rich in Vitamin B Cirtus fruits are rich in Vitamin C Mushrooms & Soya are rich in Vitamin D Nuts & Sunflower Oil are rich in Vitamin E Cereal & Grains are rich in Vitamin K

minerals

Minerals are another type of micronutrient, again meaning that you only need to eat a small amount to ensure you get enough. Minerals help to regulate your metabolism, strengthen your bones, heal wounds and remain hydrated. The most well-known minerals are calcium, zinc and iron.

There are lots of vegan ingredients that have a high mineral content, but it’s important you have a varied diet to ensure you eat enough of all of the mineral types. Fruits are a great way to get the minerals you need to keep your body healthy, as are lots of vegetables - especially leafy greens. Nuts and seeds are also packed full of minerals so try to sprinkle them on your meals as a quick way of getting your hit for the day.

Spinach & Kale are rich in calcium Fortified Plant Milks are rich in calcium Chickpeas & Kidney Beans are rich in zinc Hemp Seeds & Sunflower Seeds are rich in zinc Quinoa & Lentils are rich in iron Broccoli & Tofu are rich in iron

water

Water is an easy one - drink lots of it and you'll be fine! But you can also incorporate it into your cooking if you find you aren't drinking enough. The Apple Pie Oats recipe uses 500ml of water to make one bowl of porridge so that makes it a super easy (super yummy) way to increase your water intake. 

Being a vegan also means you're probably going to be eating a lot more fruits and veggies than you did before, and these are another way of consuming the most vital nutrient for the body. Did you know that oranges, blueberries, pineapple and peaches contain over 80% of water, and watermelon over 90%! Just keep up with your 5 a day and you'll be hydrated in no time!

celery is 95% water zucchini is 95% water tomatoes are 95% water strawberries are 92% water grapefruit is 91% water oranges are 87% water

Please note that I'm not a nutritionist or a dietician. I have spent hours researching what foods are best for my body and how to keep myself healthy whilst eating a plant based diet. I'm no professional at all, but if you ever want any help with veganism and nutrition then please contact me and I'll do my best to give any advice or support I can! I also highly suggest downloading the Cronometer app which allows you to add your meal and then tells you how much of each nutriet you've eaten.