Vegan Foods - What Can and Can't Vegans eat?

If this is your first time, a vegan diet can be quite confusing. This is especially true if you have vegan guests coming home. When it comes to going vegan or having a vegan party at home, you need to have a proper idea of what vegans eat and what they cannot.

Here is what vegans can eat.

1. Fruits

Fruits
  • Fruits can be a great alternative to animal foods.
  • Fruits contain all the essential vitamins, nutrients, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants required for the human body.
  • Not just this, fruits contain a lot of water, which keeps the body hydrated.
  • Mashed bananas are an excellent substitute for eggs in baking recipes like cakes.
  • Since vegans do not eat dairy-based ice-cream, banana ice-cream is a great substitute for it. Banana ice-cream is a blend of frozen bananas until they become smooth.
  • For those vegans looking for a meaty flavor, jackfruit is a great alternative.
  • Citrus fruits like oranges, limes, lemons, and others are a rich source of vitamin C.
  • In addition to this, other fruits like watermelon, pomegranate, bananas, apples, kiwi, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc. are also healthy and nutritious for vegans.

2. Vegetables

Vegetables
  • Although vegetables are not the tastiest, they are highly nutritious, perhaps the most on planet Earth.
  • Even though vegetables are not particularly tasty, they can be converted into the tastiest dishes with some useful tips and tricks.
  • Vegetables are rich in iron, calcium, and minerals, making them ideal alternatives for animal foods.
  • Green leafy and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and others are great for vegans.
  • Also, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, and kale are green vegetables that have a lot of vitamins.
  • Potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini can also be used in various dishes.

3. Legumes

Legumes
  • Legumes are a type of bean found in plants of the Fabaceae family.
  • When vegans consume legumes, they don't have to worry about their protein intake even if they are not consuming animal-based sources of proteins like meat, eggs, milk, and fish.
  • Legumes contain tonnes of proteins. Lentils contain 25.8 g of plant proteins per 100 g.
  • Legumes are a great alternative to animal products.
  • Not just proteins, legumes are also rich in iron, fibers, calcium, potassium, zinc, and antioxidants.
  • Legumes like lentils, beans, soybeans, chickpeas, and peas are great substitutes for meat and other animal-derived foods.

4. Nuts

Nuts
  • Nuts are essential for people who have adopted a vegan lifestyle.
  • Nuts are nutritionally rich, containing most of the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that the human body needs.
  • They are also a great source of iron, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E.
  • They also contain antioxidants and other useful plant-based compounds.
  • In addition to consuming nuts directly, you can also use them to make delicious nut butters or vegan cheese.
  • The healthiest nuts to eat for vegans are almonds, Brazil nuts, Walnuts, Peanuts, Cashew Nuts, and Pistachios.

5. Cereals and whole grains

Cereals and whole grains
  • Whole grains and cereals are a key component of the vegan diet.
  • Whole grains and cereals are rich in fiber and a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B complex, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
  • Barley, wheat, corn, amaranth, quinoa, and oats can be used to make filling and flavourful dishes. They can also be included with rice, pasta, and bread.

6. Seeds

Seeds
  • The three main types of seeds, which appear to be small and tiny but are loaded with proteins and other nutrients, are flax, chia, and hemp seeds.
  • Chia and flax seeds contain omega-3-fatty acids, which improve the brain and heart health.
  • Hemp seeds contain easily digestible proteins. They boost the immune system, aid digestion, prevent skin disorders, and reduce the risk of heart diseases as well.
  • The seeds can be consumed by sprinkling them on your favorite salads or smoothies.
  • Apart from these three seeds, vegans can also consume sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

7. Beverages

Beverages
  • When buying beverages, vegans need to check whether the vegan logo is present on them or not.
  • Some companies make use of animal-derived products, which may not be included in the label of the ingredients, especially in the case of alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer.
  • Tea, coffee, fruit juices, water, vegan soft drinks, and even alcoholic drinks can be a part of the vegan diet.

8. Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices
  • Spices and herbs are not only a great way to add flavor, fragrance, and taste to dishes, but also have important properties like antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-carcinogenic.
  • Spices and herbs have the potential to heal various illnesses and diseases.
  • Turmeric, ginger, holy basil, cinnamon, oregano, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, garlic, ginger, curry powder, saffron are some of the herbs and spices that vegans can look forward to including as a part of their diet.

9. Vegan prepared foods

Herbs and spices
  • The vegan diet does not restrict the consumption of processed foods, provided that they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
  • Before purchasing any processed food, it is best to check for the vegan logo and the ingredients as well.
  • Everything is available in vegan form: vegan cheese, frozen pizza, ice cream, noodles, biscuits, everything.
  • Also, while buying sugar, vegans must be careful as some companies make use of bone char made from the bones of animals during sugar production.

What vegans can't eat?

Vegans abstain from eating any animals, animal foods, and products derived from animals. These include:

Meat

Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, etc.

Fish and seafood

All types of fish, shrimp, squid, scallops, mussels, crab, lobster, etc.

Dairy products

Milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, cream (whipped/sour), ice cream, etc.

Eggs of any animals

Honey

Animal-based products/ingredients

Lactose, casein, egg white albumin, gelatin, cord liver oil, shellac, vitamin D3 derived from animals, and omega-3 fatty acids from fishes.

A vegan diet is healthy, protein-rich, and fiber-rich. They help you lose weight and keep your heart healthy. Vegan diets are highly effective in controlling blood sugar levels, lowering LDL cholesterol, and minimizing the risk of cancer and arthritis. They help to improve kidney function. By going vegan, you can eat a variety of tasty and healthy plant-based meals.