The vegan lifestyle is a choice that most people commit to because they want to stay fit and healthy, reducing risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Contrary to what other people think about plant-based food being bland and boring, there are a host of recipes that makes you feel like eating the regular meat and dairy products.
Going vegan is also a great opportunity to learn more about nourishing the body, as well as getting started in cooking. For individuals with an active lifestyle, especially those athletes and hobbyists, here are some of the best vegan recipes to fuel the body for busy days ahead.
Read on to know more about the vegan lifestyle, best alternatives for some ingredients, and the top five vegan recipes for energizing the body.
Why Go Vegan
Most people shift to vegan lifestyle to help animals and prevent them from getting into a cycle of slaughter for human food. PETA claims that for every person to turn vegan can save nearly 200 animals per year, with the amount of meat not consumed.
By choosing the plant-based diet, one can also feel lighter as excess fats are cut off. Meat eaters gain extra pounds for munching on animal products, especially dairy and meat. According to studies, vegans are 20 pounds lighter than normal meat eaters—a great thing if you want to finally lose weight and start living healthy.
Another reason to love the vegan diet is to get away from food poisoning due to the contaminated animal products. Thinking about it, animal flesh and bodily fluids are top sources of food poisoning. Bacterium linger in poultry, safe to say, if these aren’t prepared well and stored properly. There are about 2.4 million food poisoning cases each year in the United States, resulting to severe abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and even fever.
Understanding Nutrition in Vegan Lifestyle
So, if one is committing to a plant-based diet, will it affect the overall nutrition that a person get? Let’s dive into this in a deeper and find out how you can get all the nutrients without taking protein and other nutrients from the animal produce.
Vegan diet, when done right, can drastically improve one’s health, getting away from cancers, lowering blood pressure, and reducing risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, this lifestyle promotes weight loss, as you consume less saturated fats. The catch is doing the research on how to obtain certain nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin B-12 from consuming meat and animal products.
The one thing to know when in a vegan diet is to plan every meal carefully to avoid having nutritional deficiencies. It would be great to talk to a doctor to learn about ways to obtain essential nutrients that the body needs.
Best Alternatives for Animal Products
Even without consuming animal produce and products, you can still obtain nutrients from plants or greens. For instance, to get vitamin B-12, better consume fortified cereals, yeast spreads, and plant milks. Beans and dark leafy greens are great sources of iron.
Calcium is easy, as one needs to eat tofu, tahini, and leafy greens to keep the levels up. Spending time under the sun also keeps the bones and teeth healthy, which comes from vitamin D. Since fish isn’t also part of the vegan diet, you can still get Omega-3 fatty acids with seaweeds and algae.
For zinc, munch on beans, nuts, nutritional yeast, and oats. Finally, iodine can also come from seaweeds and fortified snacks.
Five Best Vegan Recipes to Boost Energy
These are some of the best and easy-to-make vegan recipes to boost your energy while keeping the body nourished and healthy.
1. Loaded Baked Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a great source of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has cancer-fighting properties as well as support the immune system. For this recipe, you can get 11 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber.
Ingredients needed are medium sweet potatoes, cooked black beans, salsa, chopped cilantro, mashed avocado or dry-roasted pumpkin.
Start by washing the sweet potatoes and pierce each with a fork then bake inside the oven. Place a dish inside the oven with 1/2 cup of water and bake for ten minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Split the potatoes in half and top with the rest of the ingredients.
2. Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Another nutritious vegan recipe to try is the Mediterranean pasta salad. For a long time now, the Mediterranean diet is known to have lots of benefits including the support for fertility, loaded with vitamins and nutrients.
For this pasta dish, you’ll be needing gluten-free pasta about two cups, vegan yogurt, white wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and garbanzo beans.
Before anything else, cook the pasta with salt and a dash of oil. In a separate bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, and Italian seasoning. Strain the chopped tomatoes to remove liquid, then chop cucumber into cubes. Add the pasta together with the beans, then mix together with the vegan yogurt.
3. Green Tacos
Indulge Mexican staples like tacos without the greasy meat. For this vegan recipe, we’re using only plant-based ingredients like green lentils, walnut pieces, oregano, cumin, chili powder, virgin oil, salt and pepper to taste.
For the toppings, you can put onion, salsa, Romaine lettuce for wraps, and cilantro or avocado. To make the green tacos, simply cook the lentils and toast the walnuts. In pan, cook pepper and onion with the virgin oil, until it becomes translucent. Add cooked lentils and walnuts into a food processor and pulse until it resembles the taco meat. Mix in seasoning like chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and oil. Get a large lettuce leaf then fill with the toppings of choice.
4. Breakfast Tofu Scramble
Want a twist in your scrambled egg for breakfast? Try this tofu scramble for that great nutritional value that also has good taste. Tofu is a valuable source of iron, calcium, phosphorous, and manganese, keeping the body healthy.
This recipe is simple, using only kitchen staples like eggs, red and green peppers, mushroom, garlic, salt, and tofu. As simple as combining all the ingredients into one bowl, and cooking with vegan oil and frying the egg, you’re good to go.
5. Vegan Burger Sandwich
What’s a burger without beef patty or meat, you may ask. But this particular recipe makes use of the tempeh “bacon” which you can find at vegan groceries or stores.
For this, you just need the tempeh bacon, sprouts, tomato, vegan mayonnaise, and whole-wheat bread. Start by warming the tempeh bacon over medium heat in a dry sauce pan, about two minutes per side. Cut into bacon slices and set aside. Next is to prepare the bread, adding mayonnaise then placing tomato slices, and then adding the tempeh bacon.
Switching to the vegan diet isn’t as hard these days as there are numerous grocery stores that offer ready-made vegan produce. It’s up to you to become creative and take your time planning the meals so you don’t end up having nutrients deficiency. Most importantly, use fresh greens and plant-based ingredients to get delicious meals every time.