Veganism has been seeing tremendous growth in India. People are willing to adopt veganism not only because of animal cruelty but also how beneficial it is for the health and environment. It is now a lifestyle that is witnessing a spike in popularity in the country. With the increasing awareness of the ill-effects of meat eating, people are gradually and consciously shifting towards plant based diets. While most Indian local food is vegan, below are few food options along with their health benefits that one can incorporate into their vegan diet as told by Janvi Chitalia, Gut and Functional Nutritionist, and creator on Koo App,
- A great source of excellent fats, essential minerals like iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and antioxidants.
- Coconut helps in controlling and maintaining weight. Coconut contains lauric acid, which is a saturated medium chain triglyceride (MCT). They are rapidly absorbed and digested by the human body thereby preventing the storage of fat and promoting a feeling of fullness.
- Helps in controlling blood glucose level. Coconut is high in fiber which can help in digestion and improve insulin resistance. This eventually makes coconut good for blood sugar control.
- Contains powerful antioxidants. Coconut contains phenolic compounds like gallic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid, and p-coumaric acid. It possesses antioxidative properties that help protect cells from free radicals that cause damage and increase the risk of disease.
- Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.
- Flaxseed improves cardiovascular health.
- Flaxseeds possess anti-inflammatory properties, and have been proven to be beneficial for decreasing the LDL ie, bad cholesterol in the body and increasing HDL ie, good cholesterol.
- Helps in chronic diseases as it contains polyphenols that protect the cells from damage that can lead to cancer and CVD
- Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation and in maintaining weight by promoting satiety.
- Lowers the risk of cancer with the help of phytoestrogens that they contain, and aids in stopping the growth of tumor cells, and protects the cells from getting damaged
3. Kidney Beans
- Kidney beans, a superfood that is rich in protein, iron, manganese, and folate.
- Helps in preventing cancer as it has anticancer effects. They are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which results in the formation of compounds that helps in reducing the risk of cancer.
- Helps in glycemic control as it is a low glycemic index food. When consumed, it does not increase the blood glucose level to a greater extent in a short period. They also contain bioactive compounds like phenolics that can help protect against the development of diabetes.
- It also helps in lowering cholesterol levels as they contain complex carbohydrates and fibre.
4. Mung bean (Moong)
- Moong is a great source of plant-based protein and is rich in folate, fiber, manganese, and magnesium.
- Moong is a great source of antioxidants including phenolic acids that helps the body from damage that can be caused by free radicals. So, it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, CVD, and cancer.
- Helps in lowering the LDL bad cholesterol and increasing HDL good cholesterol will protect cardiovascular health
- With fiber, potassium, and magnesium nutrients, it helps in reducing blood pressure.
- Almonds contain antioxidants and are a good source of Vitamin E, protein, magnesium, and fiber.
- Almonds help in managing diabetes and blood pressure due to Vitamin e and magnesium that they contain.
- Helps in scavenging free radicals with the help of their antioxidant properties
- Helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level, LDL a bad cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease
- Helps support the gut microbiome, by increasing the production of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate. It also enables in controlling inflammation and promotes good gut health.