NUTRITION. A plant-based diet is extremely healthy but needs to be well planned as well. Our menus should contain fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, algae, legumes and grains to get all the necessary nutrients.


A plant-based diet is suitable for people of all ages. It significantly reduces the risk of developing certain diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol.


With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, we can get all the nutrients our body needs.


Vegans do not eat foods of animal origin, which include meat (terrestrial and marine animals), milk and dairy products, eggs and honey. All the necessary nutrients are therefore satisfied by the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, algae, legumes and cereals.



Protein is the most important building block in our body. They help build, maintain and repair body tissues. They build muscle, bone, hair and many other tissues. There are more than 10,000 types of protein in our body, all made from the same 22 types of amino acids. 9 of these are called essential and the rest non-essential.


Essential amino acids are not only formed by the body, but are obtained from various food sources. Almost every food contains protein, including salad. When we consume proteins, our body breaks them down into amino acids and sends them throughout the body. Amino acids bind to each other to form new types of proteins.


By no means do you need to consume all the amino acids in one meal, so don’t bother with counting nutrients at every lunch. Eat a variety of plant foods throughout the day and you will consume everything you need. If you eat a wholesome plant-based diet, your body will take in all the nutrients it needs to function healthily.


1 gram of protein orginates from beef contains 14 times more fat and 23 times more saturated fat than 1 gram of protein from lentil.


The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA for protein is age and gender dependent. Pregnancy, activity level, and health status also affect your needs.


Protein sources: nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc.), seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.), legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, pinto beans, etc.), soy products (empeh, tofu, etc.), cereals and vegetables.


If you want to be able to create your own high-protein vegan meal plan, then you need to know just which ingredients your protein will be coming from. Here are some examples:

Group Proteins
lentils, cooked (½ cup) 9
tofu (1 cup)    10
black beans, cooked (½ cup)   8
quinoa, cooked (1 cup)  8
amaranth (1 cup)     7
soy milk (1 cup) 8
green peas (1 cup)  8
peanut butter (2 tbsp)  8
chickpeas (or hummus) (½ cup)  8
almonds (1 cup)   7
broccoli (1 cup) 8
tempeh (1 cup)          12
hemp seeds (3 tbsp)  13




A person needs to consume a lot of essential minerals for good health. Minerals are chemical elements that no animal can synthesize. All minerals originate from the soil, so the mineral content in plants depends on the soil in which they grow. It is important to consume sufficient amounts of three important minerals in particular - iron, zinc and calcium.



Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. It is a mineral used by the body to carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body, among other functions.
Food Source: Sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables, legumes/beans, seeds and nuts, dried fruits, prune juice, watermelon, cream of wheat, spinach, whole grains, bran flakes, blackstrap molasses.


Foods rich in vitamin C (fresh orange juice, tomatoes, raw green vegetables) improve iron absorption, so it is recommended that you eat it along with foods that contain iron.


The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron:



Iron (mg/day)


7-12 months



1-3 years



4-8 years



9-13 years



14-18 years



19 and up



9-13 years



14-18 years



19-50 years



51+ years


Pregnant Women

14-50 years



Iron can be found in many plant foods, particularly beans, including:

Food, standard amount

Iron (mg)

Soybeans, mature, ½ cup (cooked)


White beans, ½ cup (cooked)


Lentils, ½ cup (cooked)


Spinach, ½ cup (cooked from fresh)


Amaranth, ½ cup (cooked)


Chickpeas, ½ cup (cooked)


Soybeans, green, ½ cup (cooked)


Navy beans, ½ cup (cooked)


Refried beans, canned, ½ cup


Kidney beans, ½ cup (cooked)


Black beans, ½ cup (cooked)


Blackstrap molasses, 1 tbsp





Zinc is essential for the action of more than 300 enzymes that affect metabolism, immune function and cell renewal. It is also extremely important for skin health, DNA synthesis and protein production.

Food Source: Whole grains and cereals, pumpkins seeds, legumes, peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, soy products, sunflower seeds, nuts, yeast, wheat germ, maple syrup, spinach, raw collard greens, corn.



Calcium is needed to maintain healthy bones and teeth.

The recommended daily intake of calcium is about 700 mg per day for most adults.

Food Source: Green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard and turnip greens, bok choy, broccoli, tofu, beans, chick peas, sunflower and sesame seeds, brazil nuts, almonds, flax seeds, dried figs, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses.



Food Source: Cooked spinach, brown rice, almonds/nuts, legumes/beans, broccoli, wheat germ/bran, whole grains, dried figs, cooked oatmeal, green leafy vegetables, bananas, peanuts.



Food Source: Whole grains, brazil nuts, kidney beans, yeast.



Food Source: Sea salt, Iodized salt, Iodine–rich sea vegetables, kelp.




Vitamins are nutrients our body needs to work properly and stay healthy. By having a varied and balanced diet, our body should get all the nutrients.


Vitamin D

It helps your body absorb calcium and promote bone growth. The body needs vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.


The most effective and best source of vitamin D is the sun. It is recommended that you spend 10-30 minutes every day without sunscreen in moderate sunlight. Taking vitamin D in the form of a dietary supplement is recommended between winter and people living in areas with less sun.


Vitamin B12

The body needs vitamin B12 to maintain healthy blood and a healthy nervous system.

This vitamin is produced by bacteria. It is found in soil, water, etc. Because plants vary widely in their levels of this bacteria (and most of us favor our food scrubbed squeaky clean), we have to consume fermented food which is full of vitamin B12. Therefore, the intake of sour cabbage and other fermented foods is highly recommended to maintain a sufficient amount of vitamin B12.


B12 requirements vary based on age and gender, but broadly:

Age B12 mcg (micrograms)
0-6 months 0.4
7-12 months 0.5
1-3 years 0.9
4-8 years 1.2
9-13 years 1.8
14+ years 2.4
Pregnancy 2.6
Lactation 2.8



Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are a component of fats that are ingested with food. Important types of fatty acids are omega-6 fatty acids (omega-6 essential acid is linoleic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3 essential acid is linolenic acid).


Omega 6

Linoleic acid is abundant in many types of foods, including nuts, seeds, avocados, grains, and vegetable oils. Our needs for omega-6 fatty acids are low, so even a low-fat diet ensures a high enough intake of linoleic acid.


Omega 3

A proper balance of essential fats is important for optimal brain function, heart health, and infant/child development.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that partly converts to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in the body. It is present in several plant foods, including flax products, hemp products, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables.


Recommendations: 2 to 4 grams of ALA per day is supportive for most healthy adults. Here are some examples:

Food, serving size

ALA (grams)

Flaxseed, whole, 2 Tbsp.


Flaxseed, ground, 2 Tbsp.


Flaxseed oil, 1 tsp.


Walnuts (¼ cup)


Hempseed oil, 1 tsp.


Tofu, firm, ½ cup


Canola oil, 1 tsp.


Greens (mixed), 2 cups




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