Tag: vegetarian diet

    Vegan Diet – Foods You Can and Cannot Eat, Benefits and Risks

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    Vegan Diet - Foods You Can and Cannot Eat, Benefits and Risks

    If you invite a dinner guest who’s a vegan, you’ll want to check your menu carefully to make sure it follows two basic rules. Foods from plants are OK, but foods from animals are off limits, including common ingredients like eggs, cheese, milk, and honey.

    About 3% of Americans follow a vegan diet. Their reasons for eating this way vary. Some vegans do it to improve their health. A plant-based diet could lower the risk for certain diseases. Others stay away from meat because they don’t want to harm animals or because they want to protect the environment.

    If you’ve thought about trying a vegan diet, you might wonder if this way of eating is right for you so we https://thevegangarden.com/ will give information that will help you to deciding. Although you can get some real benefits from going meatless, there are a few challenges, too.

    Vegan Diet - Foods You Can and Cannot Eat, Benefits and Risks

    On a vegan diet, you can eat foods made from plants, including:

    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Breads, rice, and pasta
    • Dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk
    • Vegetable oils

    What You Can’t Eat

    Vegans can’t eat any foods made from animals, including:

    • Beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat
    • Chicken, duck, and other poultry
    • Fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels
    • Eggs
    • Cheese, butter
    • Milk, cream, ice cream, and other dairy products
    • Mayonnaise (because it includes egg yolks)
    • Honey

    Studies show that vegans have better heart health and lower odds of having certain diseases. Those who skip meat have less of a chance of becoming obese or getting heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Vegans are also less likely to get diabetes and some kinds of cancer, especially cancers of the GI tract and the breast, ovaries, and uterus in women.

    Going vegan might even help you live longer, especially if you also cut down on your daily calories.

    Better weight control may be one reason for all of these health benefits. Vegans have a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who eat animal-based products.

    Good nutrition is another perk. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are staples of the vegan diet. These foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and compounds that help protect against diseases like diabetes and cancer.

    A vegan diet is healthy overall, but avoiding animal protein can shortchange you on a few nutrients, like protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. You need protein to power all the chemical reactions in your body. Calcium strengthens your bones and teeth. Omega-3 fatty acids keep your cells healthy and protect your heart by shielding against heart disease and stroke. These nutrients are especially important for children’s growing bodies and for pregnant women.

    You can find substitutes for most of these essential nutrients in plant-based foods like:

    • Protein: nuts, soy, beans, quinoa
    • Calcium: soy milk, fortified orange juice, tofu with calcium, broccoli, kale, almonds
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: flaxseeds, vegetable oils, plant-based supplements
    • Iron: tofu, soy nuts, spinach, peanut butter, fortified cereals

    One nutrient that’s impossible to get from plant sources alone is vitamin B12, which your body uses to make red blood cells and DNA. You’ll only find B12 in animal products. If you go vegan, you may need a supplement to make up for what you don’t get from your diet.

    Keep in mind that a vegan diet is only as healthy as you make it. Products like “vegan” ice cream, cookies, and candy are tempting, but you don’t want to overdo. If you eat high-fat and processed foods and supersize your portions, you’ll gain weight and might end up with many of the same health problems you’d have on a meat-based diet.

    Does the idea of a vegan diet interest you, but you’re not sure how to start? If you want, you could plunge right in and cut out all poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy at once. Or, take a more gradual approach and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat at each meal.

    If removing all animal products from your diet feels overwhelming, try a less strict approach. Some diets focus on plants, but still leave wiggle room for other types of foods:

    • Pescatarian: no meat and poultry, but you can still eat fish
    • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: plant-based diet, plus dairy and eggs
    • Flexitarian: plant-based diet that on occasion includes animal products.

    Your doctor or a dietitian can help you choose the right foods as you start a vegan diet. It’s very important to get help from an expert if you have a long-term condition or you’re pregnant, to make sure you get the right mix of nutrients in your new eating plan.

    The Raw Vegan Diet: Benefits, Risks and Meal Plan

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    The Raw Vegan Diet: Benefits, Risks and Meal Plan

    Following the raw vegan diet requires proper preparation to ensure you are still getting the vitamins and minerals your body requires. Adding supplements can help you avoid vitamin B12, vitamin D, or calcium deficiency.

    Though the raw vegan diet isn’t new, it has been regaining popularity recently.

    It combines the principles of veganism with those of raw foodism.

    While some people may choose to follow it for ethical or environmental reasons, most do it for its purported health benefits. These include weight loss, improved heart health and a lower risk of diabetes.

    However, a fully raw vegan diet may also pose some health risks — especially when it’s not well planned.

    This https://thevegangarden.com/‘s article reviews the raw vegan diet — including its benefits and risks.

    What Is a Raw Vegan Diet?

    Raw veganism is a subset of veganism.

    Like veganism, it excludes all foods of animal origin.

    Then it adds the concept or raw foodism, which dictates that foods should be eaten completely raw or heated at temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C).

    The idea of eating only raw foods has existed since the middle of the nineteenth century when Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer Sylvester Graham promoted it as a way to avoid illness.

    A raw vegan diet is generally rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes. It also tends to be naturally low in processed foods.

    Those choosing to follow a raw vegan diet are often motivated by health reasons.

    They believe that raw and minimally heated foods are more nutritious than cooked ones.

    Alternative meal preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, soaking, sprouting and dehydrating, are used instead of cooking.

    Some proponents also believe that a raw vegan diet provides all the nutrients humans need — which is why supplements are often discouraged.

    The Raw Vegan Diet: Benefits, Risks and Meal Plan

    Health Benefits

    The raw vegan diet is plentiful in nutrient-rich plant foods. It’s also linked to several health benefits.

    May Improve Heart Health

    A raw vegan diet may improve heart health due to its focus on fruits and vegetables — both of which are consistently linked to lower blood pressures and a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

    This way of eating also includes plenty of nuts, seeds, sprouted whole grains and legumes. Studies show that these foods may improve blood cholesterol levels and further lower your risk of heart disease.

    Observational studies report that vegans may have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.

    What’s more, several randomized controlled studies — the gold standard in scientific research — observe that vegan diets are particularly effective at reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol.

    Few studies have looked at the effect of raw vegan diets specifically. Yet, their high content of nutrient-rich plant foods may offer similar results — though more studies are needed.

    May Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

    A raw vegan diet may also reduce your risk of diabetes.

    Again, this may partly be due to its focus on fruits and vegetables, which are linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, this diet is rich in fiber — a nutrient linked to lower blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity.

    One recent review study linked vegetarian and vegan diets to a 12% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, with vegan diets being the most effective.

    What’s more, vegan diets contain good amounts of nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes, which may further help lower blood sugar levels.

    That said, few studies have looked at the direct effects of raw vegan diets.

    However, since they’re likely to include as much — if not more — nutrient- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables compared to other types of vegan diets, similar benefits may be expected.

    May Aid Weight Loss

    A raw vegan diet seems very effective at helping people lose weight and keep it off.

    In fact, studies consistently link raw food diets — including raw veganism — to lower amounts of body fat.

    In one study, people following various raw diets for over 3.5 years lost around 22–26 pounds (10–12 kg). What’s more, the participants with the highest percentage of raw foods in their diet also had the lowest body mass indexes (BMIs).

    In another study, people following a raw vegan diet had a total body fat percentage between 7–9.4% lower than those eating a typical American diet.

    Moreover, several high-quality studies report that low-fat vegan diets — including raw vegan diets — are particularly effective for weight loss.

    May Improve Digestion

    The high amount of fiber in whole plant foods may help improve your digestion.

    Raw vegan diets are high in both soluble and insoluble fibers.

    Insoluble fibers add bulk to your stools and help food move more quickly through your gut, reducing the likelihood of constipation.

    Soluble fiber is also beneficial, as it helps feed the good bacteria in your intestines.

    In turn, these healthy bacteria produce nutrients, such as short-chain fats, which help reduce inflammation in your gut. They may also improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Potential Risks

    A raw vegan diet may also come with some risks — especially if you don’t plan it well.

    May Be Nutritionally Unbalanced

    Vegan diets can be appropriate for all life stages — as long as they’re well planned.

    One of the prerequisites to a well-planned vegan diet is to ensure it provides all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You can do so by consuming either fortified foods or supplements to compensate for the nutrients it is naturally low in.

    Vitamin B12 is one example of a nutrient naturally lacking in a raw vegan diet. Getting too little of this vitamin can lead to anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, heart disease and poor bone health.

    While anyone can have low vitamin B12 levels, vegans not taking supplements are at a higher risk of deficiency.

    In fact, one study found that 100% of participants following a raw vegan diet consumed less than the recommended 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Moreover, more than a third of the participants were vitamin B12 deficient at the time of the study.

    However, the use of supplements is often discouraged on a raw vegan diet, due to the belief that you can get all the nutrients you need from raw foods alone. This can increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies.

    Raw vegan diets also appear to be low in calcium and vitamin D, and proponents often discourage the use of iodized salt, which may further put you at risk of deficiency.

    May Weaken Muscles and Bones

    Several aspects of a raw vegan diet may result in weaker muscles and bones.

    For starters, this way of eating tends to be low in calcium and vitamin D — two nutrients needed for strong bones.

    In one study, people on a raw vegan diet had lower bone mineral content and density than those following a standard American diet.

    Some raw vegan foodists may be able to get enough vitamin D from sun exposure.

    However, older adults, people living in northern latitudes or those with darker skin may be unable to consistently produce enough vitamin D from sun exposure alone.

    What’s more, a raw vegan diet tends to provide very little protein — often less than 10% of your total number of calories per day.

    Though such low protein levels may theoretically be sufficient to meet basic biological needs, some evidence links higher intakes to stronger bones.

    Protein is also important for preserving muscle mass, especially during periods of low calorie intake that lead to weight loss — such as can be expected on this diet.

    May Promote Tooth Decay

    Raw vegan diets may also increase your likelihood of tooth decay.

    This may be especially true of diets which include a lot of citrus fruits and berries.

    These fruits are thought to be more acidic and more likely to cause erosion of your tooth enamel.

    In one study, 97.7% of people on a raw vegan diet experienced tooth erosion to some degree, compared to only 86.8% in the control group.

    However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be drawn.

    May Reduce Fertility

    In some cases, a raw vegan diet may reduce fertility.

    In one study, 70% of women following a raw vegan diet experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle. What’s more, about a third developed amenorrhea — a condition in which women stop menstruating entirely.

    Additionally, it was observed that the higher the proportion of raw foods, the stronger the effects. The researchers calculated that the women eating only raw foods were seven times more likely to experience amenorrhea than other women.

    Scientists note that one of the main ways a raw vegan diet may impact a woman’s fertility is by being very low in calories. This may cause women to drop too much weight, reducing their ability to menstruate.

    How to Follow a Raw Vegan Diet

    To follow a raw vegan diet, you should first ensure that at least 75% of all the food you eat is raw or cooked at temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C).

    Animal products should be avoided entirely, while fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds should be plentiful. Grains and legumes can be included but must be soaked or sprouted prior to consumption.

    Foods to Eat

    • Fresh, dried, juiced or dehydrated fruits
    • Raw, juiced or dehydrated vegetables
    • Raw nuts and seeds
    • Uncooked grains and legumes (sprouted or soaked)
    • Raw nut milks
    • Raw nut butters
    • Cold-pressed oils
    • Fermented foods like miso, kimchi and sauerkraut
    • Seaweed
    • Some sweeteners, such as pure maple syrup and unprocessed raw cacao powder
    • Condiments, including vinegars and unpasteurized raw soy sauce

    Foods to Avoid

    • Cooked fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes
    • Baked goods
    • Roasted nuts and seeds
    • Refined oils
    • Salt
    • Refined sugars and flours
    • Pasteurized juices
    • Coffee and tea
    • Alcohol
    • Processed foods and snacks, such as chips and pastries

    Sample Menu

    The following sample menu can give you an idea of what a few days on a raw vegan diet might look like.

    Day 1

    • Breakfast: Tropical green spirulina smoothie
    • Lunch: Raw pea, mint and avocado soup
    • Dinner: Raw vegan pizza

    Day 2

    • Breakfast: Chia seed pudding topped with berries
    • Lunch: Raw nori wraps with a spicy dipping sauce
    • Dinner: Raw pad thai

    Day 3

    • Breakfast: Raw banana pancakes with almond butter
    • Lunch: Raw spiralized zucchini topped with a basil pesto sauce
    • Dinner: Raw lasagna with marinated veggies, sun-dried tomatoes and a cashew-cilantro sauce


    • Pecan energy balls
    • Raw vegan granola bar crackers
    • Dehydrated fruit
    • Chia pudding
    • Fruit smoothies
    • No-bake chocolate chip cookies
    • Veggie salad with guacamole dressing

    10 Best Vegan Protein Sources

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    10 Best Vegan Protein Sources

    Eating vegan or vegetarian is becoming a more common dietary choice, and that means more and more people have questions about getting enough nutrients—like protein—in their plant-based diet. Here’s the good news from https://thevegangarden.com/: It’s easy to meet your daily protein requirements as a vegan. The secret? It’s all about balance.

    Part of maintaining balance with a vegan diet is to avoid becoming a “junk food vegan,” which may land you with low energy and a protein deficiency. For example, a diet consisting purely of frozen vegan waffles and chips won’t supply enough protein (or practically any other nutrient) for your body’s energy needs. But if you take full advantage of a plant-based diet and fill your plate with colorful produce, hearty grains and satisfying spuds, then you should have no problem meeting your daily protein goal.

    How to Determine If You’re Eating Enough Protein as a Vegan

    Those who aren’t sure they’re meeting their protein goals can easily figure that out. Download a food tracking app, such as Cronometer or MyFitnessPal, and record your regular diet for several days. Keep an eye on your protein intake and see if you’re hitting your daily number. In general, the recommendation is to get 10%-35% of your total calorie intake from protein, per the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That’s about 200 to 700 calories for a 2,000-calorie per day diet.

    If you find you aren’t getting enough protein, try incorporating more of the suggested foods below into your meals. Remember, if you have another reason to need extra protein, such as being pregnant or following a rigorous training schedule at the gym, then it’s a good idea to consult a registered dietitian and pay closer attention to tracking your protein intake.

    10 Best Vegan Protein Sources

    The Best Vegan Proteins

    Free of dairy, eggs and meat, this extensive guide highlights some of the best vegan protein sources available. You will see some classics on this list, like beans and tofu, as well as often-overlooked foods like green peas and wild rice that also pack some serious protein punch.

    1. Soy

    The ubiquitous vegan protein is often associated with processed patties or mystery “meat” loaf, but it doesn’t have to be. Soy protein can be a part of a healthy plant-based diet. Foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame and even soy milk are great options for adding protein to your diet. Try cooking up a stir-fry featuring tempeh or tofu, steaming some edamame for an easy appetizer, or topping your morning cereal with soy milk.

    According to a 2016 review in Nutrients, many of the health benefits of eating soy are associated with 2-4 servings of soy foods a day. Here is how much protein there is in common soy foods, per the USDA:

    • Tempeh: 17 g protein per 1/2 cup
    • Shelled edamame: 9 g protein per 1/2 cup
    • Tofu: 9 g protein per 3 ounces
    • Soy milk: 7 g protein per 1 cup

    2. Nutritional Yeast

    Don’t let nutritional yeast’s scientific-sounding name throw you off. Affectionately nicknamed “nooch” by the vegan community, it’s an inactive yeast that is yellow in appearance and has a unique cheesy, umami-rich taste. It has 4 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, according to the USDA, and as a bonus, is a great vegan source of vitamin B12.

    Most food sources of vitamin B12 are animal sources, so many vegans need to supplement. Talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you’re getting enough if you eat a vegan diet. Enjoy nutritional yeast in sauces or dressings, sprinkled on your next pasta dish or tossed into a bowl of popcorn.

    3. Seitan

    Seitan is a staple in plant-based diets. It is created with vital wheat gluten, the main protein in wheat, which results in a chewy and hearty texture that really mimics meat in some dishes. It’s important to note that because seitan is made with wheat gluten, it is not gluten-free.

    A 3-ounce serving of seitan contains 20 grams of protein, per the USDA. You can make seitan yourself by purchasing vital wheat gluten or find it precooked next to the tofu in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket or natural-foods store.

    4. Whole Grains

    Even though we typically think of them as carbohydrate sources, whole grains can sneak extra protein into any meal. Many varieties are naturally high in protein—not to mention they deliver fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. To boost your daily grain intake, start your day with a warm bowl of oatmeal, keep lunch fresh with a quinoa salad or end your evening with wild rice-stuffed peppers for dinner.

    Here’s a short list of whole grains and how much protein they contain, per the USDA. All measurements are for cooked grains.

    • Quinoa: 8 g protein per 1 cup
    • Wild rice: 6.5 g protein per 1 cup
    • Oats: 6 g protein per 1 cup
    • Buckwheat: 5.5 g protein per 1 cup

    5. Green Veggies

    Often overlooked when it comes to protein, green vegetables offer more than just vitamins and minerals. Foods like spinach, Brussels sprouts and green peas all contain decent amounts of protein to balance out your plate. Not to mention, greens are antioxidant-rich, full of fiber and low in calories. Try adding cooked spinach to pasta, mixing green peas into a curry or roasting up Brussels sprouts for an irresistible crispy side.

    Here’s a sampling of green veggies and amounts of protein for each, per the USDA. All measurements are for cooked vegetables.

    • Spinach: 5 g protein per cup
    • Green peas: 4 g protein per 1/2 cup
    • Brussels sprouts: 2 g protein per 1/2 cup

    6. Sprouted Bread

    Sprouted grain bread, also sometimes called Ezekiel bread due to the popular brand name, is a whole-grain baked good that has a hefty amount of protein too. Depending on the brand you purchase, one slice contains 4 to 5 grams of protein, per the USDA. That means that if you make a sandwich with two slices of bread, you’re already starting with a whopping 10 grams of protein before you even add the fillings. Other ideas for using sprouted-grain bread include toast, breakfast strata or breadcrumbs.

    7. Potatoes

    The humble spud isn’t always thought of being a health food due to its many unhealthy incarnations (looking at you, french fries and loaded potato skins), but it’s actually a wholesome addition to your diet. Just one large russet potato with the skin contains 8 grams of protein, per the USDA—that’s more potassium than a banana—and it’s a good source of fiber. Other varieties, like red or sweet potatoes, don’t contain as much protein (7 grams and 2.5 grams respectively), but they still can contribute to your daily intake goal. Try potatoes of all types mashed, roasted, baked or scalloped. Here’s a recap of protein amounts in potatoes, according to the USDA:

    • Russet potato: 8 g per large spud
    • Red potato: 7 g per large spud
    • Sweet potato: 2.5 g per medium spud

    8. Legumes

    A go-to for vegans looking to bulk up their protein intake, legumes are the budget-friendly base of many plant-based dishes. The category of legumes includes beans and lentils, both powerhouses when it comes to plant protein. Different lentil varieties can contain up to 18 grams of protein per cup (cooked), while beans can range between 10 and 18 grams per cup depending on the type. Use lentils as taco filling, in chili or as a curry base. Beans are extremely versatile; some of our favorite ways to use them are blended into hummus, formed into fritters or as baked potato toppers.

    Here’s a brief rundown of lentils and beans and how much protein they contain, per the USDA. All measurements are for cooked legumes.

    • Lentils: 18 g per 1 cup
    • Chickpeas: 14.5 g per 1 cup
    • Black beans: 15 g per 1 cup

    9. Seeds

    Seeds aren’t just for the birds. From sesame seeds whirred into tahini to flax seeds sprinkled onto oatmeal or baked into bread, seeds can be a rich source of protein and fiber in a vegan diet. Flax, chia and hemp are also good sources of plant-based omega-3 fats. Seeds are an especially nice protein option for anyone with nut allergies. Spread sunflower-seed butter on toast, blend tahini into a salad dressing or make a chia seed pudding.

    Here are a few seeds and seed butter, including how much protein each contains, per the USDA:

    • Pumpkin seeds: 8.5 g per 1 oz
    • Hemp seeds: 9.5 g per 3 tablespoons
    • Tahini: 5 g per 2 tablespoons

    10. Nuts

    No plant-based pantry would be complete without several varieties of nuts, which are equally easy to snack on or to incorporate into recipes. The American Heart Association recommends eating 1.5 ounces of nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butters several times a week. Although the serving sizes are minimal, each contains a hefty dose of protein. Easy uses include packing up pre-portioned baggies of almonds for grab-and-go snacks, whisking peanut butter into sauces and adding a sprinkling of walnuts to your next salad. Here’s a sampling of nuts and nut butter and how much protein each contains, per the USDA:

    • Almonds: 9 g per 1.5 oz
    • Walnuts: 6.6 g per 1.5 oz
    • Cashews: 8 g per 1.5 oz
    • Peanut butter: 8 g per 2 tablespoons

    What’s The Best Vegan Protein Powder

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    What's The Best Vegan Protein Powder

    My search https://thevegangarden.com/ for the best vegan protein powder was born out of a deep, existential question I couldn’t, ahem, shake: Do any plant-based protein powders actually taste good?

    You see, I am a food person who also loves to lift weights. And while there’s a lot of dubious bro-science about weightlifting and nutrition, one thing we seem to agree on is that increasing your protein intake (to around 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of body weight per day) is helpful for…the gainz. That’s kind of a lot when you consider that even protein-packed foods like chicken and fish only have around 30 grams per serving. Then there’s the convenience issue: Who has time to grill a steak after every workout?

    Whey, which contains dairy (but little to no lactose), has long dominated the protein powder market—and my kitchen. It’s popular because it has a clean, neutral flavor, and it mixes easily in milk and water. But in recent years, I’ve watched as vegan protein powders have surged onto shelves.

    “This stuff isn’t just for those who follow a vegan diet,” says Taylor Wolfram, MS, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist. “If someone’s body isn’t tolerating animal-based protein powders, trying out vegan options is a great idea. Also folks with animal welfare and environmental concerns will want to consider vegan protein powder as it’s much kinder to animals and has a gentler impact on the environment.”

    What's The Best Vegan Protein Powder

    Vegan protein powder can be made from virtually any legume, seed, or grain, from hemp seeds to brown rice to watermelon seeds. According to Wolfram, “vegan protein powders based on legumes like soy and pea protein powder” are going to provide the most high-quality, bioavailable protein. She warns that, like any protein powder, vegan options may contain added sugar alcohols like erythritol and xylitol, which can give some people digestive issues.

    The one time I’d tried vegan protein powder it was from a health food co-op, and it was truly nauseating in flavor, texture, and appearance. But I wondered if, in this new era of plant-based innovation, we’d finally gotten vegan protein powder right. I was down to give it another shot, but only if I could find the best vegan protein powder out there, and by “best” I mean most delicious. (And if you’re really on that health kick, also check out our review of the best greens powders you’ll actually want to drink.)

    So my quest began. I lined my countertop with tubs of vanilla protein or as close to vanilla as I could get (isn’t that what they call the scientific method?), put my ancient Magic Bullet to the test,* and landed on 11 brands ranging from totally palatable to truly the best tasting plant-based protein powder I’ve tried.

    Future Kind Organic Vegan Protein Powder

    This was a great entry-level vegan protein. Mild and meek and barely sweet, it embodies “vanilla” in more ways than one. One 85-calorie scoop delivers 20 grams of protein made from the humble pea. It’s sweetened with stevia but doesn’t have any of that bitter, cloying aftertaste. This was the only protein powder that mixed up great in a shaker bottle, no blender required. Did it thrill me? No. But I can get my thrills in places other than a tub of organic vegan protein.

    KOS Organic Plant Protein

    Full disclosure, I did not love this USDA-certified organic protein powder, but my living companion polished it right off (he adds about half a jar of peanut butter and actual candy bars to his post-workout protein shakes, so the powder is pretty incidental). KOS is one of those Instagram brands that popped up so many times on my feed that I finally gave in and bought a tub. The branding is cute, I will say that. The taste, however, was stevia-sour on the front end and vegetal on the back, which makes sense given that it has a farmers market’s worth of produce in powdered form, including shiitake mushrooms and tomato. This might also be why it’s got a bit of a sludgy bottom when mixed with water or milk alone. Each serving has 150 calories and 20 grams of complete protein from flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, chia seed, and organic pea protein.

    About Time Vegan Protein

    I’d used About Time’s whey protein powder ages ago and was excited to see that it had three vegan flavors now, all of which use a blend of pea, brown rice, and pumpkin seed protein and include a full panel of BCAAs. Stevia is the only sweetener, and there are 122 calories and 22 grams of protein in each scoop. The vanilla flavor mixed perfectly into almond milk and had a clean, neutral taste. When I stirred it into cooked oatmeal (a thing I do a lot), it incorporated nicely without clumping.

    Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

    This is one of those proteins I’ve been seeing in health food stores for years, and I will say it fully commits to its brand. And if ~health~ is your personal brand, this is the powder for you. There’s a farmer on the packaging! And carrots! And grapes? Also this one is made from an organic plant formula, non-GMO, and raw. (I went down a rabbit hole trying to figure out why other vegan proteins were not raw and emerged confused, but do with that info what you will.) Each scoop has 130 calories and 22 grams of protein, and no, there are actually not carrots or grapes in here, but there are literally 14 protein sources, ranging from pea protein to millet sprout to adzuki bean to something called “cracked wall chlorella,” which I assume is superior to normal chlorella. Sweetness comes in the form of erythritol and stevia. Upon first sip, I thought, This tastes raw and like dirt, so there’s truth in advertising, I guess.

    PlantFusion Complete Protein

    This protein powder is SO FINE, and I’m not talking about looks. I’m talking about texture, baby. If I didn’t have the ingredients list in front of me, I’d swear it was made from the sands of Dune. It also tastes really good, with a creamy, rich mouthfeel and a decent amount of sweetness from a combo of stevia, monk fruit, lucuma, and yacon powders–fancy! Pea protein is the first ingredient, but there’s also quinoa, amaranth, artichoke, algae, and branch-chain amino acids, a.k.a. BCAAs (good for muscle growth). Their powers combine to provide 21 grams of protein, 120 calories, and just a liiiittle bit of a weird aftertaste. Because it’s SO FINE, there was some residue left in the bottom of the blender, but nothing too bothersome.

    Orgain Organic Protein

    Orgain is one of the more affordable vegan proteins on the market. It is made from a protein blend of pea, brown rice, and chia and has 21 grams of protein per each 150 calorie serving. Although it’s sweetened with erythritol, a sugar alcohol, it’s got more calories and carbs than most other protein powders. It also has a surprisingly great flavor, even with water alone. It mixes up silky smooth and just thick enough, like a glass of vanilla soy milk, with no weird vegetal aftertaste. This one is the budget pick for sure.

    No Cow Protein Powder

    In its silver metallic tub with its fancy metal scooper, No Cow tastes as expensive as it looks. The yellowish tint made me think I’d be getting eggy French vanilla vibes, but the flavor was balanced and not too sweet. Made from pea and brown rice protein as well as stevia and erythritol, each 130-calorie scoop of No Cow has a protein content of 22 grams. This one will mix into anything and basically disappear, which is exactly what you want from a protein powder sometimes.

    Vega Sport Premium Protein

    This is the Old Spice of protein powders, marketed to manly men who Lift Heavy and Eat Clean and Consume an Unholy Amount of Protein. When I opened the tub, the powder clung to the lid like it was magnetized, which was kind of creepy but also cool, like maybe you’d build muscle and become part superhero if you used it. Made from pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and alfalfa, it offers 30 big boy grams of protein in each 160-calorie scoop. Yes, the scooper is huge. It mixes up to an impossibly smooth and rich beverage, like an aged scotch or a vintage Pinot, if those things were milkshakes. Sweetened with stevia, it’s a classy choice for classy dudes…and me.

    Bowmar Nutrition Vegan Protein

    Bowmar has six vegan flavors(!) but for some reason they passed on vanilla, so I went with Cookies & Cream, which tasted so incredible I wondered if maybe I was just sick of vanilla. One scoop has 100 calories and 20 grams of protein from peas as well as pumpkin, sunflower, and watermelon seeds. If that sounds gritty, it’s not. This one mixes well with just milk, retaining some pleasant chocolate cookie crumbles throughout. It is sweetened with sucralose, so if you’re not about artificial sweeteners, walk on by.

    OWYN Plant Protein Powder

    OWYN, which like many of the other options on this list is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, stands for Only What You Need. If what you need is a delicious egg cream–like beverage that happens to have 140 calories and 20 grams of pea, pumpkin, and chia protein, you’ll agree. You could quibble about the 4 grams of cane sugar, but maybe it’s canceled out by the “Superfood & Greens” blend of broccoli, kale, and spinach? I’ll let you do your own math, but the flavor was rich and creamy, with just a slightly chalky texture when mixed with almond milk alone. Add a frozen banana, and you’ve got a truly decadent smoothie.

    Beam Vegan Protein

    I found out about Beam through an Instagram wellness influencer, and that makes sense to me because Beam is the “that girl” of vegan protein supplements, with its sleek packaging and quirky flavor lineup (also no vanilla). I wanted to hate it, but instead I loved it more than I reasonably should have. If the limited-edition Birthday Cake flavor is available (it comes and goes), buy it immediately. But Cinnamon Cereal is a close second; it tastes like cereal milk and has zero aftertaste despite blending pea, pumpkin seed, and mung bean protein with apple fiber, blueberry fiber, and red algae thrown in for good measure. One scoop is 100 calories and 20 grams of protein, and the only downside is the sucralose—artificial, but so, so good.

    Greek-Style Vegan Feta

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    Greek-Style Vegan Feta

    This vegan feta recipe has the classic tangy, salty, savory flavors and firm-crumbly texture of classic feta but without any of the dairy. It’s surprisingly easy to make with a block of extra-firm tofu and a few pantry staples. Crumble into salads and wraps, serve on top of crostini, or toss into pasta.

    Every time I’ve ordered a Greek salad since going vegan, it’s felt a little lackluster. It’s always nice and light, but it without any feta, it lacks the same salty, briny, tangy bite that a classic Greek salad has.

    But, this vegan feta has the same savory tanginess of traditional feta (and lots of herby Greek flavor) but without any of the dairy!

    It’s surprisingly simple to make, packed with protein thanks to tofu, can be served in small cubes or crumbled, and will stay good in the fridge for a week. To know more about it you can follow this website https://thevegangarden.com/

    Why you’ll love this recipe 

    Easy. This recipe could hardly be simpler – just press a block of extra firm tofu, dice it into cubes, then let it hang out it in a special marinade in the fridge, and you’re set!

    Wholesome. This vegan feta is a nourishing, protein-packed alternative to dairy-based feta, with none of the lactose but all of the salty and savory flavor.

    Versatile. This vegan feta is great in salads (especially a watermelon or cucumber salad), grain bowls, and couscous dishes. It’s also delightful on top of flatbreads or pizzas. Or you could stuff it into pasta, eggplant, zucchini, or tomatoes, or even add it to a side of roasted or grilled vegetables.

    And it would be a fabulous way to jazz up my Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad as well as the Greek Gigantes Plaki in my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook!

    Greek-Style Vegan Feta

    How to make this tofu feta 

    Remove tofu from packaging and drain any excess liquid.

    Wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels, then weigh it down with a heavy cookbook, or a large plate weighed down by a few cans of beans. Press the tofu for 1 hour, changing the towels in between. If you have a tofu press, you can use that for 20 to 30 minutes, releasing and then re-setting the clamps halfway through.

    Slice the tofu into 4 vertical slabs, then slice vertically again so you have 8 slabs. Then, dice each slab into small bite-sized cubes.

    Add the ingredients for the marinade to a medium bowl: miso paste, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, spices, and salt/pepper. Whisk well until the miso is well incorporated.

    Transfer the diced tofu to a container large enough to hold it, or to a large mason jar. Pour the marinade on top, close the lid, and shake back and forth to distribute the marinade.

    Allow the tofu feta to marinate in the fridge for 12 to 48 hours (I recommend 48 hours).

    Tips for making this vegan feta

    Don’t skimp on pressing the tofu.

    Pressing the tofu well is important to successfully making this recipe. Pressing the tofu removes water from the tofu, making the texture firmer and allowing the flavors in the marinade to fully absorb.

    Marinate the feta for 48 hours if you can.

    You can marinate for as little as 12 hours, but the longer it rests, the more the flavors develop and the more it has the briny, salty taste like feta. I prefer to marinate for 48 hours.

    More Vegan Cheese Recipes

    • Fermented Cashew Cheese: one of the most unique and delicious vegan cheese recipes you’ll try! It’s sliceable and spreadable and has so much savory, cheesy flavor!
    • Vegan Queso: 10ish ingredients and 5 minutes of work is all you need for the BEST vegan queso. Great in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, or just as a dip with tortilla chips.
    • Butternut cheese sauce: used in my crispy baked mac cheese, but also great as an all-purpose cheese sauce!
    • Smoky, spreadable cheese: find this easy spreadable recipe in my “pantry quesadillas” recipe

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How should I use vegan feta?

    In all kinds of salads, grain bowls, and wraps! It’s particularly good in my Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad (feta and orzo are a natural match!), Grilled Corn Salad, and Instant Pot Couscous and Lentil Salad.

    In summer, we love making a classic watermelon feta salad. Simply mix watermelon cubes or wedges with torn cucumbers, add fresh mint and basil, along with the vegan feta. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy a delicious bite of summer!

    If you have my cookbook The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, you’ll see the vegan feta gets served along the Gigantes Plaki (giant Greek beans stewed in tomatoes…so so good!).

    For a simple lunch idea, stuff pita pockets or wraps with hummus, chickpeas or lentils, crunchy raw or pickled veggies, and vegan feta!

    You can also toss vegan feta into pasta and pasta salads. If you’re having guests over, use it to round out a Mediterranean mezze platter or use it to make a Greek spin on bruschetta.

    Can I omit the oil or substitute it?

    I personally wouldn’t, as feta naturally has some fat, and we want to mimic that rich mouthfeel (tofu is pretty low in fat, especially compared to animal-based feta). That said, at least one reader substituted aquafaba with oil and enjoyed the results (peep the comments!). So, if you’re oil-free, that’s an option!

    How long does the vegan feta last?

    Store the feta in the fridge in its marinade, and it will stay fresh for about 7 days.

    Vegan Feta

    This vegan feta recipe has the classic tangy, salty, savory flavors and firm-crumbly texture of classic feta but without any of the dairy. It’s surprisingly easy to make with a block of extra-firm tofu and a few pantry staples. Crumble into salads and wraps, serve on top of crostini, or toss into pasta.


    • 1 14-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons white miso paste brought to room temperature
    • 1/3 cup 76 mL apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup 60 mL lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves crushed
    • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional


    • Drain the tofu and slice vertically into 4 slabs. Line a cutting board with a few layers of paper towels or a clean dish towel. Place the tofu slabs on top, wrap the tofu in more paper towels or a clean dish towel, then weigh the tofu down with a heavy cookbook, or a large plate weighed down by a few cans of beans (or use a tofu press). Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes (I usually leave it for an hour), changing the towels in between.
    • Once pressed, cut the tofu into small cubes (you don’t want large cubes).
    • In a medium bowl for which you have a lid, whisk together the miso, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the miso paste is dissolved. Add the tofu pieces to the marinade (you can also add the tofu to a large glass jar and pour the marinade on top). Mix well, shaking the bowl or jar, but don’t break up the tofu.
    • Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but preferably for 48 hours. The longer, the brinier it’ll taste, like classic feta. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 7 days.

    Nutrition Info

    Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

    What Exactly Is Vegan Cheese?

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    What Exactly Is Vegan Cheese?

    If you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet but hankering for some cheese, you may not need to skip it. While real cheese traditionally comes from the milk of cows, goats or sheep, alternatives made with nuts, nutritional yeast and vegetable oils are popping up. Thank food technology, human ingenuity and the popularity of vegan diets for bringing cheese into the dairy-free world. But what exactly is vegan cheese and what do you need to know before you try it? So keep reading on this site https://thevegangarden.com/ to know more about it.

    What Ingredients Are in Vegan Cheese?

    Vegan cheeses are 100 percent animal-free and made using vegetable proteins. Usually they’re made from soy; nuts, such as cashews and macadamias; and vegetable oils, such as coconut oil. You can also find cheeses that derive from agar, tapioca, peas and arrowroot.

    The ingredient list on some vegan cheeses may raise the eyebrows of those trying their best to eat clean and minimally processed foods. Many contain added starches and thickeners such as carrageenan and xanthan gum.

    What Exactly Is Vegan Cheese?

    How Is Vegan Cheese Made?

    When vegan cheesemakers first began creating vegan cheese, the main goal was to make it look like traditional cheese. But over time, they realized that wasn’t going to cut it. They had to figure out ways to make the animal-free cheese taste and act more like the real deal-think melting on toast.

    Vegan cheese is created using a process that shares some similar steps with traditional cheesemaking-sans animal milk, of course.

    Plant proteins are separated using bacteria. Then ingredients such as oils and thickeners are added to help create the desired cheeselike consistency.

    Just like traditional cheeses, the next big thing needed for a tasty vegan cheese is time. The vegetable protein and bacteria sit and break down further. Unlike the animal proteins in dairy cheeses, however, those in vegan cheeses don’t naturally bond to one another. The result is flavors that tend to not be as complex and unique.

    Does Vegan Cheese Taste Like Cheese?

    The biggest thing you’ll notice with your dairy-free cheese is that it doesn’t melt quite the same. Don’t expect quite the same ooey-gooey experience when you top your pizza with vegan cheese. Keep in mind that all brands are different, so if you try one brand you don’t like, don’t give up on the rest. Vegan cheesemakers are coming up with new processes all the time that are making these cheeses taste even more like the traditional stuff.

    Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?

    If you’re avoiding regular cheese because of the saturated fat, you may not need to. Recent research shows cheese may actually be good for your health and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Vegan cheeses are typically lower in fat, protein and calcium than regular cheese and are likely gluten-free. Because vegan cheese is a processed food, it tends to be higher in sodium, so check your labels. Vegans can’t count on vegan cheese as a protein source, the way that vegetarians may sometimes rely on regular cheese. So while it’s not a super vegan health food the way kale and lentils are, vegans may rejoice in eating pizza, grilled cheese and queso dip again.

    What Are the Best Brands of Vegan Cheese?

    We reached out to vegan cookbook author Dreena Burton of Plant Powered Kitchen and The Colorful Kitchen blogger Ilene Godofsky Moreno to find out their recommendations for the best vegan cheeses on the market. Here’s what they said:

    Vegan Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan substitutes vary from simple shakers made with blends of nutritional yeast and nuts by companies like Parma to more authentic-looking shreds and wedges from Violife, Burton says.

    Vegan Mozzarella Cheese: “Miyoko’s Kitchen Fresh Italian-Style Vegan Mozz is the real deal,” Moreno says. “The texture is eerily similar to traditional mozzarella, and it’s delicious fresh in a caprese salad or melted on pizza.” Burton agrees that Miyoko’s Kitchen makes a terrific mozzarella substitute.

    Vegan Cheddar Cheese: Moreno’s go-to Cheddar is Daiya Cheddar shreds: “It gets super melty when grilled in a sandwich or mixed into pasta.” Other good brands of melty vegan cheeses, according to Burton, include Follow Your Heart and So Delicious.

    Vegan Ricotta Cheese: Kite Hill has nailed the unique texture of ricotta cheese, Moreno says. “My mom recently started swapping out the traditional ricotta in her famous lasagna for Kite Hill’s vegan version, and no one in my family could even tell the difference!”

    Vegan Cream Cheese: Tofutti and Go Veggie are among the best companies offering soy-based cream cheeses, says Burton, who also recommends trying out artisanal nut-based cream cheeses.

    Many artisanal cheeses have their own unique flavors that you may enjoy, so if you’re looking for a fun Friday night activity, buy a few and create an at-home cheese plate taste test.

    “I think artisanal cheeses are the best representation of plant-based cheese because the flavors generally taste very real and fresh,” Burton says. “They come in outstanding flavor varieties and their textures rival any dairy cheeses.” She recommends checking out varieties by Treeline, Dr-Cow and Punk Rawk Labs.

    Is peanut butter vegan? It’s not as simple as you think

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    Is peanut butter vegan? It's not as simple as you think

    Of course, we know the basics of following a vegan diet – absolutely no animal products. This means no meat, no fish, no dairy products, and no eggs. But there are products that may catch you out, like honey or peanut butter.

    Peanut butter is a wildly popular condiment and ingredient which is favoured for the rich taste it offers to a wide range of dishes, a delectably creamy texture, and a surprisingly impressive nutrient profile.

    Peanut butter is a highly versatile spread that works well in a range of recipes. From sweet treats like cookies and smoothies to savoury dips like satay, you may be wondering if a vegan can incorporate one of the world’s favourite things into their diet; and with so many brands on the market today, all offering different styles, you may be unsure which brands, if any, are vegan.

    In order to help you get to the bottom of this dilemma, this https://thevegangarden.com/‘s article will discuss and investigate whether all commercially available peanut butter is vegan. So, is all peanut butter vegan?

    Is peanut butter vegan? It's not as simple as you think

    Most peanut butter is, indeed, vegan

    In fact, most types of peanut butter in your local supermarket will be made from a few simple ingredients – roasted peanuts, oils, and salt. Some brands may decide to include other additives and ingredients in order to enhance the flavour or preserve the product for longer, and this can include molasses, sugar, or agave syrup – all of which are luckily vegan.

    This does indeed mean that many types of peanut butter that you see are free of animal products and can still be included as part of your vegan diet. Some brands of peanut butter that are vegan friendly include:

    • Meridian
    • Whole Earth
    • Sun-Pat
    • Pip & Nut
    • Manilife

    Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list of all the brands of vegan peanut butter available in your local supermarket – many own brands and other brands not listed here are indeed vegan, just make sure to check the label!

    Some types of peanut butter are not vegan

    Although a majority of peanut butter brands are vegan, some may actually include animal products for a range of reasons. One of the most common animal product additives is honey – which is typically excluded from vegan diets as it is produced by bees and, therefore, considered an animal product.

    Although less common, some kinds of peanut butter also have omega-3 fatty acid supplements, which are sourced from fish like anchovies or sardines. Furthermore, other brands use cane sugar in the product itself. Although sugar is vegan, cane sugar is sometimes filtered and bleached with bone char; rendering it non-vegan.

    Unfortunately, some brands of peanut butter may have completely vegan ingredients but are prepared in facilities that also process non-vegan products; increasing the risk of cross-contamination. Although some vegans don’t mind consuming products that may contain trace amounts of animal products, due to cross-contamination, many do choose to exclude these items from their diet.

    Is all peanut butter vegan? How you can know for definite

    The easiest and fastest way to determine whether or not your favourite brand of peanut butter is vegan friendly is to check the ingredient list. Non-vegan peanut butter brands will include things like honey, fish oil, and even gelatine – all of which you should steer clear from if you’re following a vegan diet.

    Some products may also be labelled as certified vegan, which ensures they do not contain any animal products and have not been tested on animals, but also shows that they do not contain products that are filtered and bleached with bone char.

    Although some products may be labelled as vegan, they may be processed in facilities that also process animal products. In these instances, in order to qualify for vegan certification, these brands are required to verify that any shared machinery is thoroughly cleaned in order to prevent cross-contamination.

    If you aren’t sure whether a product is definitively vegan or not, another way to check is to get in touch with the company or manufacturer to directly address your concerns.

    7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

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    7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

    Eating meat, dairy, and eggs doesn’t just harm animals and the environment – it can also have a negative impact on our health. Eating processed meat increases our chances of developing cancer, and research suggests that consuming animals’ flesh, milk, and eggs could be as detrimental to our health as smoking.

    Many vegan foods are rich in plant-based protein, which doesn’t have the harmful health effects of animal-derived protein.

    Given how healthy plant-based foods can be, it’s no wonder that more and more world-class athletes and other famous names are opting to eat vegan. Check out in this https://thevegangarden.com/‘s article some of the health benefits below:

    7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Eating Vegan

    1. Vegan foods are rich in the nutrients your body needs.

    You can get all the nutrients you need from a healthy, balanced vegan diet rich in wholefoods including fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds. Several studies have reported that people who eat vegan tend to consume more fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E.

    2. Eating vegan helps reduce our risk of suffering from cancer and other diseases.

    A recent study suggests that eating vegan can help reduce our risk for disease, as plant-based foods are packed with phytochemicals – including the powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Researchers found that vegans had higher concentrations of antioxidant carotenoids, a higher proportion of total omega-3 fatty acids, and lower levels of saturated fatty acids than non-vegans, all of which are linked to positive health outcomes.

    An 11-year German study involving more than 800 vegetarian men also found that their cancer rates were less than half those of the general public.

    3. Vegan food can boost your mood.

    It’s a given that following a compassionate lifestyle that avoids harming animals will give you a clearer conscience, and studies show that vegans may actually be happier than meat-eaters. In fact, vegans and vegetarians had better scores on depression tests and mood profiles than those who ate fish and meat.

    4. Eating vegan can help you achieve a healthy body weight.

    Vegan foods tend to be lower in calories than animal-derived ones, making it easier to achieve a healthy body weight without actively focusing on cutting calories. Most vegan foods contain significantly less saturated fat than animal “products” do, and many studies have shown that vegans tend to have lower body mass indexes than non-vegans.

    5. It can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

    Research has shown that people who eat vegan tend to have lower blood sugar levels than non-vegans and may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 78%. Consuming plenty of healthy plant-based foods can also help mitigate the risk factors associated with developing diabetes, such as obesity.

    6. Your skin may benefit, too.

    Who doesn’t want a glowing complexion? When it comes to skin issues, one of the worst culprits is dairy – multiple studies have shown that dairy consumption exacerbates acne in both men and women. Aside from ditching dairy, vegans typically eat more fruit and vegetables, which means they get more of the good stuff that’s needed for healthy skin, such as antioxidants and vitamins.

    7. Eating vegan can reduce the pain of arthritis.

    Studies have shown that a diet high in healthy vegan foods can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, since consuming animal-derived foods is linked to pain-causing inflammation. Eating probiotic plant-based foods such as fermented vegetables and non-dairy yogurts with live cultures can boost the good bacteria in the large intestine, also helping to boost nutrient absorption and reduce inflammation.

    15 healthiest vegetables: Nutrition and health benefits

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    15 healthiest vegetables: Nutrition and health benefits

    There is no single most healthy vegetable, but eating a variety of vegetables can improve health and well-being. Nutritious options to try adding to the diet include spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

    All vegetables contain healthful vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber — but some stand out for their exceptional benefits.

    Specific vegetables may offer more health advantages to certain people, depending on their diets, overall health, and nutritional needs.

    In this https://thevegangarden.com/‘s article, we look at 15 of the most healthful vegetables and suggest ways to enjoy them as part of a balanced diet.

    1. Spinach

    Spinach is a leafy green vegetable and a great source of calcium, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants.

    Due to its iron and calcium content, spinach is a great addition to any meat- or dairy-free diet.

    One cup of raw spinach is mostly made up of water and contains only 7 caloriesTrusted Source. It also provides:

    • an adult’s full daily requirementTrusted Source of vitamin K
    • high amounts of vitamin A
    • vitamin C
    • magnesium
    • folate
    • iron
    • calcium
    • antioxidants

    Vitamin K is essential for a healthy body — especially for strong bones, as it improves the absorption of calcium.

    Spinach also provides a good amount of iron for energy and healthy blood, and a high level of magnesium for muscle and nerve function.

    It is also rich in antioxidants, and researchTrusted Source suggests that spinach leaves may lower blood pressure and benefit heart health.

    If a person is taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), they should use caution when increasing their intake of dark leafy greens. Doctors recommend maintaining a consistent vitamin K intake over time for people taking these medications.

    How to eat spinach

    People enjoy spinach raw in salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Cooked spinach also has significant health benefits and is a great addition to pasta dishes and soups.

    2. Kale

    Kale is a very popular leafy green vegetable with several health benefits. It provides around 7 caloriesTrusted Source per cup of raw leaves and good amounts of vitamins A, C, and K.

    Kale may benefit people with high cholesterol. One small 2008 study reports that males with high cholesterol who drank 150 milliliters of kale juice each day for 12 weeks experienced a 10% reduction in low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol and a 27% increase in high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol.

    Research from 2015Trusted Source, meanwhile, suggests that kale juice can reduce blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

    If a person is taking blood thinners, such as Coumadin, they should use caution when increasing their intake of dark leafy greens. It is best to maintain a consistent vitamin K intake while taking these medications.

    How to eat kale

    People use baby kale in pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. A person may also enjoy kale chips or juice.

    3. Broccoli

    Broccoli is an incredibly healthful vegetable that belongs to the same family as cabbage, kale, and cauliflower. These are all cruciferous vegetables.

    Each cup of chopped and boiled broccoli contains:

    • around 31 caloriesTrusted Source
    • the full daily requirement of vitamin K
    • twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin C

    According to the National Cancer InstituteTrusted Source, animal research has found that certain chemicals, called indoles and isothiocyanates, in cruciferous vegetables may inhibit the development of cancer in several organs, including the bladder, breasts, liver, and stomach.

    These compounds may protect cells from DNA damage, inactivate cancer-causing agents, and have anti-inflammatory effects. However, research in humans has been mixed.

    How to eat broccoli

    Broccoli is very versatile. People can roast it, steam it, fry it, blend it into soups, or enjoy it warm in salads.

    4. Peas

    Peas are a sweet, starchy vegetable. They contain 134 caloriesTrusted Source per cooked cup, and they are rich in:

    • fiber, providing 9 grams (g) per serving
    • protein, providing 9 g per serving
    • vitamins A, C, and K
    • certain B vitamins

    Green peas are a good source of plant-based protein, which may be especially beneficial for people with vegetarian or vegan diets.

    Peas and other legumes contain fiber, which supports good bacteria in the gut and helps ensure regular bowel movements and a healthy digestive tract.

    They are also rich in saponins, plant compounds that may help protect againstTrusted Source oxidative stress and cancer.

    How to eat peas

    It might be handy to keep a bag of peas in the freezer and gradually use them to boost the nutritional profiles of pasta dishes, risottos, and curries. A person might also enjoy a refreshing pea and mint soup.

    5. Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are root vegetables. Baked in its skin, a medium sweet potato provides 103 caloriesTrusted Source and 0.17 g of fat.

    Each sweet potato also contains:

    • much more than an adult’s daily requirement of vitamin A
    • 25% of their vitamin C and B6 requirements
    • 12% of their potassium requirement
    • beta carotene, which may improve eye health and help fight cancer

    Sweet potatoes may be a good option for people with diabetes. This is because they are low on the glycemic index and rich in fiber, so they may help regulate blood sugar.

    How to eat sweet potatoes

    For a simple meal, bake a sweet potato in its skin and serve it with a source of protein, such as fish or tofu.

    15 healthiest vegetables: Nutrition and health benefits

    6. Beets

    One cup of raw beets contains:

    • 58.5 caloriesTrusted Source
    • 442 milligrams (mg) of potassium
    • 148 micrograms of folate

    Beets and beet juice are great for improving heart health, as the vegetable is rich in heart-healthy nitrates. A small 2012 studyTrusted Source reports that drinking 500 g of beet juice significantly lowered blood pressure in healthy people.

    These vegetables may also benefit people with diabetes. Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which might be helpfulTrusted Source for people with diabetes-related nerve problems, called diabetic neuropathy.

    How to eat beets

    Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness, but they also taste great raw in juices, salads, and sandwiches.

    7. Carrots

    Each cup of chopped carrots contains 52 caloriesTrusted Source and over four times an adult’s daily recommended intake of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene.

    Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyesight, and getting enough of this nutrient may help prevent vision loss.

    Certain nutrients in carrots may also have cancer-fighting properties. A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of 10 articles reports that dietary carrot intake was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.

    How to eat carrots

    Carrots are extremely versatile. They work well in casseroles and soups, and they provide great health benefits when eaten raw, possibly with a dip such as hummus.

    8. Fermented vegetables

    Fermented vegetables provide all the nutrients of their unfermented counterparts as well as healthful doses of probiotics.

    Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are present in the body and in some foods and supplements. Some researchers believe that they can improve gut health.

    According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source, probiotics may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They may also prevent infection- or antibiotic-induced diarrhea.

    Some good vegetables for fermentation include:

    • cabbage, as sauerkraut
    • cucumbers, as pickles
    • carrots
    • cauliflower

    How to eat fermented vegetables

    People eat fermented vegetables in salads, sandwiches, or as a side dish.

    9. Tomatoes

    Although tomatoes are technically a fruit, most people treat them like vegetables and use them in savory dishes. Each cup of chopped, raw tomatoes contains:

    • 32 caloriesTrusted Source
    • 427 mg of potassium
    • 24.7 mg of vitamin C

    Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer, and the beta carotene in tomatoes also helps combat cancer.

    Meanwhile, other potent antioxidants in tomatoes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may protect vision.

    The Age-Related Eye Disease StudyTrusted Source reports that people who have high dietary intakes of these substances have a 25% reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.

    How to eat tomatoes

    People enjoy tomatoes raw or cooked, and cooking them releases more lycopene.

    10. Garlic

    People have long used garlic in cooking and medicine. Each garlic clove contains just 4 caloriesTrusted Source and is low in vitamins and minerals.

    However, garlic is a natural antibiotic. For example, a 2018 reviewTrusted Source notes that people have used garlic for purposes similar to those of antibiotics since the 16th century.

    Allium, a component of garlic, may be the source of its health benefits. Confirming this will require more research.

    How to eat garlic

    Heating garlic reduces its health benefits, so it is best to eat garlic raw, in bruschetta or dips, for example.

    11. Onions

    Each cup of chopped onions can provideTrusted Source:

    • 64 calories
    • vitamin C
    • vitamin B6
    • manganese

    Onions and other allium vegetables, including garlic, contain sulfur compounds. Review studies, including a 2019 reviewTrusted Source and a 2015 reviewTrusted Source, suggest that these compounds may help protect against cancer.

    How to eat onions

    It can be easy to incorporate onions into soups, stews, stir-fries, and curries. To get the most from their antioxidants, eat them raw — in sandwiches, salads, and dips such as guacamole.

    12. Alfalfa sprouts

    Each cup of alfalfa sprouts contains only 8 caloriesTrusted Source and a good amount of vitamin K.

    These sprouts also boast several compounds that contribute to good health, including:

    • saponins, a type of bitter compound with health benefits
    • flavonoids, a type of polyphenol known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
    • phytoestrogens, plant compounds that are similar to natural estrogens

    Traditionally, some have used alfalfa sprouts to treat a range of health conditions, such as arthritis and kidney problems. However, very few scientific investigations have explored these uses.

    Research suggests that alfalfa sprouts contain antioxidants, which are compounds that may help fight diseases including cancer and heart disease.

    Eating sprouted legumes such as these may have other benefits. StudiesTrusted Source suggest that sprouting, or germinating, seeds increases their protein and amino acid contents.

    Germination may also improveTrusted Source the digestibility of alfalfa and other seeds and increase their dietary fiber content.

    How to eat alfalfa sprouts

    People enjoy alfalfa sprouts in salads and sandwiches.

    13. Bell peppers

    Sweet bell peppers may be red, yellow, or orange. Unripe, green bell peppers are also popular, though they taste less sweet.

    A cup of chopped red bell pepper provides:

    • 39 caloriesTrusted Source
    • 190 mg of vitamin C
    • 0.434 mg of vitamin B6
    • folate
    • beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A

    Antioxidants and bioactive chemicals present in bell peppers includeTrusted Source:

    • ascorbic acid
    • carotenoids
    • vitamin C
    • beta carotene
    • flavonoids, such as quercetin and kaempferol

    How to eat bell peppers

    Bell peppers are extremely versatile and can be easy to incorporate into pasta, scrambled eggs, or a salad. A person might also enjoy them sliced with a side of guacamole or hummus.

    14. Cauliflower

    One cup of chopped cauliflower contains:

    • 27 caloriesTrusted Source
    • plenty of vitamin C
    • vitamin K
    • fiber

    The American Heart AssociationTrusted Source recommend eating 25 g of dietary fiber each day to promote heart and gut health.

    Also, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables contain an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol. ResearchTrusted Source has linked this compound with cancer-combatting effects in animals. However, confirming the effects in humans requires more research.

    And like broccoli, cauliflower contains another compound that may help combat cancer: sulforaphane.

    How to eat cauliflower

    A person can pulse raw cauliflower in a blender to make cauliflower rice or turn it into a pizza base for a low-calorie, comforting treat. People may also enjoy cauliflower in curries or baked with olive oil and garlic.

    15. Seaweed

    Seaweed, also known as sea vegetables, are versatile and nutritious plants that provide several health benefits. Common types of seaweed include:

    • kelp
    • nori
    • sea lettuce
    • spirulina
    • wakame

    Seaweed is one of the few plant-based sources of the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. These are essential for health and are mostly present in meat and dairy.

    Each type of seaweed has a slightly different nutritional profile, but they are typically rich in iodine, which is an essential nutrient for thyroid function.

    Eating a variety of sea vegetables can provide the body with several important antioxidants to reduce cellular damage.

    Also, many types of seaweed contain chlorophyll, which is a plant pigment that has anti-inflammatory propertiesTrusted Source.

    Brown sea vegetables, such as kelp and wakame, contain another potent antioxidant called fucoxanthin. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that this has 13.5 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E.

    How to eat seaweed

    When possible, choose organic seaweed and eat small amounts to avoid introducing too much iodine into the diet. People enjoy sea vegetables in sushi, miso soups, and as a seasoning for other dishes.


    Eating vegetables every day is important for health. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as antioxidants and fiber.

    Research consistently shows that people who eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day have the lowest risk of many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

    Enjoy a range of vegetables daily to reap as many health benefits as possible.

    Fruit and vegetables

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    Fruit and vegetables

    About fruit and vegetables

    Fruit and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. They can also help protect against some diseases. So keep reading on this site https://thevegangarden.com/ to learn more about it.

    Most Australians will benefit from eating more fruit and vegetables as part of a well-balanced, healthy diet and an active lifestyle. There are many varieties of fruit and vegetables available and many ways to prepare, cook and serve them.

    Fruit and vegetables are best bought when they are in season. Otherwise try frozen or canned vegetables as they are just as nutritious and budget-friendly as well.

    You should eat at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day. Choose different colours and varieties.

    If you are someone who doesn’t look forward to eating fruit or vegetables, start slowly with those you do like. Try serving, flavouring or cooking them in different ways. You can also disguise them in sauces, minced meals or curries.

    Fruit and vegetables

    Vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables

    Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. Many of these are antioxidants, and may reduce the risk of many diseases:

    • vitamin A (beta-carotene)
    • vitamin C
    • vitamin E
    • magnesium
    • zinc
    • phosphorous
    • folic acid.

    Folic acid may reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

    Research has shown that consuming these nutrients as food, within fruits and vegetables, is more beneficial for health than consuming them as supplements.

    Fruit and vegetables for good health

    Fruits and vegetables are low in fatsalt and sugar. They are a good source of dietary fibre, which can make you feel fuller for longer and prevent overconsumption of food. As part of a well-balanced, healthy diet and an active lifestyle, a high intake of fruit and vegetables can help you to:

    • reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
    • lower your cholesterol
    • lower your blood pressure.

    Fruit and vegetables and protection against diseases

    Vegetables and fruit contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, or plant chemicals. These biologically active substances can help to protect you from some diseases.

    Scientific research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of:

    • type 2 diabetes
    • stroke
    • heart (cardiovascular) disease
    • cancer – some forms of cancer, especially bowelstomach and throat cancers later in life
    • high blood pressure (hypertension).

    Types of fruit

    Fruit is the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant. It generally contains seeds. Fruits are usually eaten raw, although some varieties can be cooked. They come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and flavours. Common types of fruits that are readily available include:

    • apples and pears
    • citrus – oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and limes
    • stone fruit – nectarines, apricots, peaches and plums
    • tropical and exotic – bananas and mangoes
    • berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit
    • melons – watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons
    • tomatoes and avocados.

    Types of vegetables

    Vegetables are available in many varieties and can be classified into biological groups or ‘families’, including:

    • leafy green – lettuce, spinach and silverbeet
    • cruciferous – cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
    • marrow – pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini
    • root – potato, sweet potato and yam
    • edible plant stem – celery and asparagus
    • allium – onion, garlic and shallot.


    Legumes or pulses contain nutrients that are especially valuable. Legumes need to be cooked before they are eaten – this improves their nutritional quality, aids digestion and eliminates any harmful toxins. Legumes come in many forms including:

    • soy products – tofu (bean curd) and soybeans
    • legume flours – chickpea flour (besan), lentil flour and soy flour
    • dried beans and peas – haricot beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils
    • fresh beans and peas – green peas, green beans, butter beans, broad beans and snow peas.

    Colours of fruits and vegetables

    Foods of similar colours generally contain similar protective compounds. Try to eat a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables every day to get the full range of health benefits. For example:

    • red foods – like tomatoes and watermelon. These contain lycopene, which is thought to be important for fighting prostate cancer and heart disease
    • green vegetables – like spinach and kale. These contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect against age-related eye disease
    • blue and purple foods – like blueberries and eggplant. These contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the body from cancer
    • white foods – like cauliflower. These contain sulforaphane and may also help protect against some cancers.

    Selecting fruits and vegetables

    To maximise nutrients and appeal, buy and serve different types of fruit and vegetables. Try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, and choose for freshness and quality. You should:

    • Eat with the seasons – this is nature’s way of making sure our bodies get a healthy mix of nutrients and plant chemicals.
    • Try something new – try new recipes and buy new fruit or vegetables as part of your weekly shopping.
    • Let colours guide you – get different combinations of nutrients by putting a ‘rainbow’ of colours (green, white, yellow–orange, blue–purple, red) on your plate.

    Fruit and vegetable serving suggestions for your family’s health

    Some examples of serving sizes of fruits and vegetables include:

    • ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots or pumpkin)
    • ½ cup cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils (preferably with no added salt)
    • 1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
    • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
    • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
    • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
    • 125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (no added sugar) – only occasionally
    • 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas) – only occasionally.

    Vegetables and fruit are a handy snack food and are easily carried to work or school. Include them in everyone’s meals and snacks for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some suggestions include:

    • Keep snack-size fruit and vegetable portions easily accessible in your fridge.
    • Keep fresh fruit on the bench or table.
    • Add fruit and vegetables to your favourite family recipes or as additions to your usual menus.
    • Use the colour and texture of a variety of fruit and vegetables to add interest to your meals.
    • Think up new ways to serve fruits and vegetables. Try serving, flavouring or cooking them in different ways. You can also disguise them in sauces, minced meals or curries.
    • Frozen or canned vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, and are a convenient, budget friendly option as well.
    • Make simple changes every day. Try adding salad to sandwiches, or having extra vegetables with dinner.

    Some simple ways to serve fruits and vegetables include:

    • fruit and vegetable salads
    • vegetable or meat-and-vegetable stir-fries
    • raw fruit and vegetables
    • vegetable soups
    • snack pack, stewed or canned fruits or dried fruits.

    Limit fruit juice, as it does not contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit. It also contains a lot of sugars. These sugars are not necessarily good for your health, even though they are ‘natural’. Instead, have a drink of water and a serve of fruit.

    Preparation and cooking of fruit and vegetables

    Vegetables are often cooked, although some kinds are eaten raw. Cooking and processing can damage some nutrients and phytochemicals in plant foods.

    Suggestions to get the best out of your fruit and vegetables include:

    • Eat raw vegetables and fruits if possible.
    • Try fruit or vegetables pureed into smoothies.
    • Use a sharp knife to cut fresh fruits to avoid bruising.
    • Cut off only the inedible parts of vegetables – sometimes the best nutrients are found in the skin, just below the skin or in the leaves.
    • Use stir-fry, grill, microwave, bake or steam methods with non-stick cookware and mono-unsaturated oils.
    • Do not overcook, to reduce nutrient loss.
    • Serve meals with vegetable pestos, salsas, chutneys and vinegars in place of sour cream, butter and creamy sauces.

    Some nutrients such as carotenoids may actually be increased if food is cooked. For example, tomato has more carotenoids, especially lycopene, when it is cooked – a good reason to prepare fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways.

    Once you’ve prepared and cooked your vegetables and fruit, spend some time on presentation. People are more likely to enjoy a meal if it’s full of variety and visually appealing, as well as tasty.

    Meals with others tend to include more foods from the 5 food groups. For example, people often report that they can’t be bothered cooking vegetables just for themselves.

    Sit at the table to eat and enjoy your food without distractions like television. Television watching is associated with eating more discretionary choices like takeaway or convenience foods and fewer foods from the 5 food groups. It also makes it much more difficult to recognise and respond to our body’s signals about hunger and fullness (satiety).

    Daily allowances of fruit and vegetables

    Different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 5 kinds of vegetable and 2 kinds of fruit every day.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults eat at least 400g, or 5 portions, of fruit and vegetables (excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes and other starchy roots) per day to reduce the risk of disease. This amount of fruits and vegetables also ensures adequate fibre intake and can also reduce total sugar intake.

    A national nutrition survey conducted by the Australian Government showed only 6.8% of Australians eat the recommended amount of vegetables, whilst just over half (54%) met the recommendations for usual serves of fruit.

    Children and teenagers have special food needs because they are growing and developing. They also need extra energy for playing and being more active. Even though they need more energy, children have a smaller stomach capacity than adults and cannot eat the same serving sizes. However, you should encourage your children to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

    By eating well, your children will have the energy they need to play, concentrate better, learn, sleep better and build stronger teeth and bones. Building good habits in their early years can also provide the protection of a healthy diet throughout their lives.

    Childcare and school lunchboxes, like meals and snacks at home, should continue to reflect the 5 food groups and not include discretionary foods and drinks.