2. Recommendations for range of foods
Fruits and vegetables should be the basis for the vegan diet not only because of its high density of micronutrient. A varied combination following the colors of a "traffic light" (German one ;-): red, orange and green vegetables on a daily basis.
Grain and other foods high with starch do also play a major role. Products made of wholemeal are to be prefered to those with superfine flour because of health reasons and should be consumed freely.
A copious consumption of legumes is recommended in the context of a healthy nutrition as well. The reason for this is a high concentration of protein plus a good saturation. Soy products do not have to be consumed compulsively but are a an enrichtment to the vegan menu because of its variety of omega-3 fatty acid and secondary metabolites. Also wheat gluten (seitan) can be a good source for protein.
A moderate ingestion of seeds and nuts should also be a part of a vegan diet. Seeds and nuts have a beneficial profile of fatty acids and provide you with comparatively high amount of protein, folic acid, vitamin E, minderals and fibers. According to their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids linseeds and walnuts are valuable. To increase your absorption of calcium sesame and poppy seeds are recommended, brazil nuts for good supply of selemium.
Vegetable oils are an important source for essential fatty acids and vitamin E. The main focus should be on olive oil and rapeseed oil supplemented with linseed, walnut and hemp oil.
Dried fruits enrich the vegan nutrition according to its high density of minerals but do have a high concentration of sugar. Therefore its consumption should be moderate especially in consideration of a potentially increased risk of caries.
Not to be forgotten is an integration of iodine (e.g. algae or fortified cooking salt), vitamin D (staying outdoors, fungi and supplements) and vitamin B12 (fortified products and/or supplements).
To avoid dehydration at least 2 liters are to be drunken. Alcohol should be comsumed moderately if desired at all (at most one glas of red wine per day).
Besides nutrition your corporal fitness and personal lifestyle like (none) smoking do play an important role for your health.
A well-balanced vegan nutrition is rich of vitamins and minerals because of its over average percentage of vegetables and fruits . Folic acid for example is mostly found in vegetables and wholemeal products which vegans comsume a lot. In contrast to that omnivors rarely cover its recommended amount.
In the following we will go into some nutrients which are important to be a part of the vegan nutrition. When the vegan diet is not planned well the intake of those nutrients could be not enough. For most of the namend nutrients this is not a particular vegan problem but also for omnivors, who eat meat, cheese and other diary products where a lack of a special nutrient can develop.
Energy providing nutrients (important)
None energy nutrients
- Fat-soluble: vitamin A, d, e and k
- Water-soluble: vitamin b1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin C
- a) Bulk elements: natrium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium
- b) Micro elements: iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, fluorine
Omega-3 fatty acids, particular amino acids, all vitamin, minerals and micro element. They are indispensable for life und have to be a part of nutrition.
Fibers, secondary metabolites. They do not seem to be essential but do have a healthy effect.