If you have dry or inflamed skin, fatigue, stubborn weight or digestive issues it could be time for some anti-inflammatory plant power in your diet.
A well-planned plant-based diet is an opportunity to include more vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds and whole-grains, and as a consequence your meals may contain higher levels of vitamin C and E, fibre, folate, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Over the long term, vegan diets can be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals including iron and the B family – both key for energy production, but in the short term there’s nothing wrong with mixing things up and experimenting with new ingredients and methods of cooking.
TREAT top tips for going vegan:
- Get inventive! As humans, we’re creatures of habit and tend to rotate the same meals over and over again, going vegan part-time can encourage creativity in the kitchen!
- Don’t forget protein – It’s vital for optimising liver detoxification and building lean muscle, eat a variety of plant-based proteins throughout the day to meet your needs, the best vegan sources are beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, include a source at every meal.
- Keep protein interesting by making a batch of falafel, whiz up nut butters and bean spreads or add a handful of lentils or beans to cooking sauces.
- Pick 2 or 3 different recipes a week and experiment with spices, sauces and methods of cooking.
- Make ‘preparation’ your middle name and stock up on beans, lentils, colourful veggies, spices and herbs. Be inspired with these satisfying chickpea burgers or our warming black bean chilli.
- Don’t fear fat – essential omega 3 fats help to reduce inflammation and support detoxification pathways in our bodies. Oily fish is usually your best option but there are plenty of plant based choices – drizzle walnut or flax oil on salads and veggies, or sprinkle pumpkin seeds or ground flaxseed on your breakfast. Seaweed is another good source of omega 3, and includes iodine, which can also be tricky to get enough of in a vegan diet.
- Vegetables are king! When cutting out animal products, it’s easy to give carbohydrates the spotlight, and leave veggies with only a cameo appearance. Reduce pasta or rice and give vegetables centre stage – fill half your plate with colourful veg. Roasted, sauteed, steamed or raw and crunchy … the choice is yours!
- For something different – try fermented soya products like tempeh, which is loaded with fibre, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. It’s quite porous, so great for soaking up flavoursome marinades and sauces, delicious sauteed in coconut oil and a dash of tamari soya sauce. Add to sandwiches, stir-fries, salads or crumbled into pasta dishes.
Embrace the vegan diet and flex your creative cooking skills by experimenting with different foods and cooking styles. Remember to include plant protein at every meal, and load up on antioxidant packed veggies too!