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happy vegansWhether you have recently made your choice and decided to switch to veganism or you have been living as a vegan, there are few essentials to keep in mind, ensure that your body is getting the benefits of the diet. To help with, it is important that you follow some basic tips and keep some essential foods in your pantry.

Important items to keep in your pantry:

  • Dried beans and lentils are high in minerals, fibres and proteins, which is all that your body needs. They are also healthy, cheap and easy to prepare. If you are concerned about the time it takes to prepare them you can cook them in large batches and freeze them.
  • Quinoa: one of the only plant-based whole proteins and it is very good for you. Use it in place of rice or with salads and soups.
  • Nuts and seeds such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, iron and essential fatty acids that your body needs.
  • Dried fruits are high in fibre and antioxidants and make for a perfect snack especially for sugar cravings. They are also a high source of iron an important mineral that is missing in a vegan diet.
  • Spices are what make your food tasty and unique. Legumes, soy products and vegetables can be cooked and flavoured in so many different ways so you are not eating the same food all the time. Spices also have various health benefits.
  • Nutritional yeast is often used a cheese replacement in many vegan dishes. It is also packed with vitamins, amino acids and other essential nutrients.
  • Canned sauces make the perfect solution when you want a quick meal on the go, open heat and add to pasta.

Additional tips:

  • Cook for yourself; there are many easy available online classes for free and it is never too late to learn
  • Avoid processed foods: especially those that contain a high level of chemicals
  • Understand the nutrients you might be lacking and take supplements when you need to, especially for vitamins D and B12.
  • Know the different protein combinations and make sure you include them in your meals.
  • Talk to other vegans who might be able to give more tips about the recent new products and update your recipe lists.
  • Make your own snacks and granola, pack it with nuts, seeds and fruits and avoid the use of sugar.

Photo Credit: Obra Shalom

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