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Digestive System Healthcare

Vegan pyramid of proper nutrition

The vegan diet is currently a very popular nutritional trend. It is a very restrictive version of a vegetarian diet, which consists of eliminating from the menu the meat, fish, eggs, milk and its products, and even honey, which is a product of bees. So how does a vegan pyramid of proper nutrition look like? Is there any risk of deficiency when using this diet? We will also present a few recipes for vegan milk, a drink that is a vegan substitute for standard cow’s milk.

What is veganism?
Veganism is a lifestyle that mainly involves the use of a radical variety of vegetarian diet, that is, which is based on vegetable products. Unlike vegetarianism, veganism completely excludes from the menu not only meat but also milk, cheese, eggs, and honey. However, veganism is not only the use of a meatless diet but also the elimination of animal products from all other aspects of life.

Vegan pyramid of proper nutrition
Despite the exclusion of all animal products from the vegan diet, it is considered a very varied way of feeding. The vegan pyramid indeed deviates from the pyramid of healthy nutrition and physical activity, which is in force in Poland but combines the emphasis on the recommended high consumption of vegetable products.

At the base of the vegan food, the pyramid is, of course, vegetables and fruits. It is recommended to eat mainly raw, as least processed vegetables and fruits. It is also worth paying attention to the fact that they are colored – orange, yellow, green or blue. Then they provide our body with various vitamins and minerals. In the vegan diet, the ratio of fruit to vegetables should be 1 4.

At the next level of the pyramid, there are cereal products, which are a very good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Of course, it is best to choose whole grain products, such as whole-grain sourdough bread, oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, all kinds of groats, brown rice, wholemeal pasta. At the next level of the vegan pyramid, instead of dairy, there are vegetable drinks, preferably enriched with vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 acids. You can prepare them, for example, from soybeans, nuts, coconuts or cereals.

The source of protein in the vegan diet are legume seeds. It should be included in the menu every day to avoid possible protein deficiencies. Legumes are worth eating with the addition of raw vegetables, which are a source of vitamin C. At the penultimate level of the pyramid, there are omega-3 acids. Due to the lack of fish in the vegan diet, it is worth to bet on plant sources of fatty acids, e.g. rapeseed oil, linseed oil, olive oil, linseed, chia seeds or nuts, mainly Italian ones.

At the very top of the vegan food, the pyramid is sugar. He is indeed vegan, therefore the temptation to limit it is large. This does not mean, of course, that it is recommended to eat it. Both those who come to life in the standard Pyramid of healthy nutrition and physical activity, as well as those who are on a vegan diet, should limit to a minimum the consumption of simple sugars, highly processed, fried and fatty foods.

In addition to the above-mentioned permitted products in the vegan diet, hydration is equally important. It is worth consuming water in the amount of about 1.5-2 l / day. Also, you can include all vegan drinks in the diet, such as coffee, tea, natural fruit and vegetable juices.

Some useful tips before starting a vegan diet
If we are considering the transition to veganism, it is worth doing it gradually, systematically, never from day today. It is necessary to eliminate meat, fish, eggs and dairy products from our daily menu, however, each of these products must be eliminated one by one, eg every two weeks we exclude one group of products from the diet. It is also worth learning to replace traditional culinary techniques, such as frying, their healthier counterparts, such as steaming and baking. Thanks to this, the vegan diet will contain more nutrients contained mainly in vegetables and fruits.

Risk of shortages in the vegan diet
Undoubtedly, a diet based on plant-derived products is helpful in the prevention of many diseases and achieving a slim figure. However, to achieve satisfactory results, the vegan diet must be properly balanced. Unfortunately, when eating a vegan diet, the occurrence of nutritional deficiencies is highly likely.

The most common shortages concern:
– proteins – to avoid its deficit, one should consume green leafy vegetables, legume seeds, nuts, seeds, tofu, quinoa and vegetable drinks;

– calcium – to minimize the risk of deficiency of this mineral it is worth to diet full of green leafy vegetables, broccoli, almonds, dried apricots, hazelnuts, tofu, sesame, amaranth, quinoa, and enriched plant drinks;

– iron – to minimize the risk of shortage, one should consume legume seeds, nuts, cereal, green leafy vegetables, beets and beetroot leaven, seeds and parsley;

– omega-3 fatty acids – mainly due to the non-use of marine fish, it is worthwhile that the vegan diet abounds in products such as rapeseed oil, linseed oil, olive oil, hemp seeds, nuts or seaweed.

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Healthcare

Vegan products rich in protein

The role of protein in the diet 

Protein for vegetarians is as important as for meat fans. This component in the body has primarily building and regulatory functions. Thanks to proteins 

grow muscles, 

tissues regenerate (wound healing), 

the immune system works, 

hormones are secreted. 

Proteins are large and complex molecules. Their single building block is amino acids. 20 different amino acids build proteins. Amino acids are divided into 

endogenous, that is, one that can create an organism, 

exogenous, which must be provided with food. 

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Here you can find plant proteins – CLICK

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There are 8 exogenous amino acids referred to as FILM TWLT. This is an abbreviation of the first letters 

phenylalanine 

isoleucine 

lysine 

methionine 

tryptophan 

valine 

leucine 

threonine 

It is the content of exogenous amino acids, in particular lysine and methionine, which determines the quality of vegetable protein. 

Limiting amino acid and combining vegetable proteins 

A wholesome protein is one that provides all amino acids. Egg protein is considered to be the pattern. In vegetable products, most proteins are deficient (with the exception of soy protein). When one or several amino acids are missing, the body can not properly use such a source of protein. Such an amino acid is professionally referred to as a limiting amino acid. 

In legume seeds, the restriction amino acid is methionine. 

In cereal products, the limiting amino acid is lysine. 

Fortunately, it turns out that it is enough to eat the sources of both limiting amino acids within 24 hours to satisfy the body’s needs. You can also combine wholegrain cereal products and legume seeds in one meal and thus create a meal that provides wholesome protein with a combination of both ingredients. 

Sources of vegetable protein 

The best source of protein for vegans is legume seeds, which contain about 20-25% of this ingredient. Less protein is found in cereal products (5-15%). Its source is also pits, nuts, seeds and to a lesser extent some vegetables (eg sugar peas). 

Vegan, like any healthy person, should provide 0.8-1 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. If you weigh 60 kg, eat from 48 to 60 g of protein daily. Remember, however, to properly combine the sources of limiting amino acids. 

Plant products – sources of protein and lysine (primarily legume seeds) 

Boiled soybeans 

tempeh 

White beans from cans 

Cooked lentils 

tofu 

Plant products – sources of protein and methionine (pips and cereals) 

Pumpkin seeds 

Sunflower seeds 

Peanuts 

Maize 

Barley flour 

How to properly combine vegetable proteins? 

Make sure that you have both lysine and methionine in each of the 3 main meals (breakfast lunch and dinner). See how to do it! 

Incorrectly composed dinner 

Buckwheat with pumpkin seeds, zucchini, spinach and dried tomatoes. 

Buckwheat and pumpkin seeds – sources of methionine 

The lysine source is missing 

A properly composed dinner 

Buckwheat with pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, zucchini, spinach and dried tomatoes. 

Buckwheat and pumpkin seeds – sources of methionine 

Chickpeas – the source of lysine 

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You can read also: Soy protein in diet

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Healthcare

7 tips that will help you at the beginning with vegan diet!

Do you want to try a vegan diet due to health, philosophy or ecology? You can be sure that your body will be grateful. The inclusion of a larger amount of ingredients of vegetable origin is associated with an increase in dietary fiber intake, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This in turn results in a lower risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

Remember that if you are suffering from any disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding before you switch to veganism, consult a dietitian. In special physiological situations, also the vegan diet needs to be modified. 

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Here you can find dietary fiber – CLICK 

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1. Start with a positive attitude! 

Why do you want to go vegan? The answer to this question is crucial and your belief in the rightness of decisions will help you persevere in the new decision. When you know exactly why you change the way you eat a vegan diet then it’s easier to focus on what you gain. Do not think about what you will not eat! Think about what you add to your diet – fresh vegetables and fruits, legume seeds, seeds, nuts, cereal, algae … 

2. Find a store with a rich offer of vegan food 

At the beginning of the vegan diet, the most difficult is to fill holes in animal products. Before you start your vegan adventure, find a shop with a large selection of vegan food near your home. Browse through his offer and prepare a universal shopping list, based on which you will build a menu for the whole week. Remember, however, that you do not have to buy all products in special vegan stores. Not everything has to have an eco label, superfoods, you do not have to fill the basket with products of unknown names (tempeh, nori, wakame?). The basic products of the vegan diet can also be found in the greengrocer’s and the usual grocery store. 

3. Change your diet gradually 

You do not have to go on vegan day-to-day! At the beginning, try to gradually reduce meat and fish. Take 1-2 months for it. At this time, enter more legumes, which are a very good source of vegetable protein. Over time, eliminate other animal products from the diet – eggs, milk and milk products. For each stage, take a few weeks. 

During the first month of using a vegan diet, plan more time for cooking. After all, you learn completely new dishes, it always lasts longer! 

4. Increase the amount of legumes gradually 

The main source of protein on the vegan diet are leguminous vegetables. Remember to introduce them into the diet gradually starting from 1-2 tablespoons per day, reaching 1-2 glasses a day in a few months. Legume seeds have a lot of dietary fiber, which favors flatulence and gases. The digestive tract, however, gradually adapts to their greater amount. For this reason, after some time you will no longer feel unpleasant symptoms. 

5. Look for simple recipes 

Do not expect from yourself that after 2 weeks of using a vegan diet you will be proficient in developing a menu without animal products. It’s important that you start with 5-6 simple, fast and tasty recipes that will be your basis for modification. With time, try new dishes and experiment boldly! 

6. Take care of supplementation 

Supplementation, especially vitamin B12 (occurs only in animal products) and vitamin D is very important on a vegan diet. Remember, however, that you can not decide on a dose or form of taking a supplement alone. Always do it in consultation with your doctor or dietitian! 

7. Do not criticize! 

Are you on a vegan diet? Share your experience, but do it with kindness. Do not criticize others for their approach to veganism. Do you eat honey? It’s unacceptable, no vegan is eating honey! Have you heard such statements? Believe me, for animals, health and ecology, those who choose semi-vegetarianism (from time to time they eat meat) are also important. The more they are, the less harm the animals, the better the state of our planet! 

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You can read also: Pea protein – only for vegetarians?