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Things to consider in plant based eating

March 10, 2023
5 min
Members Only

It’s simple- the more plants in your diet, the better! The benefits to your health of eating more plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes and pulses, are well documented. From heart health to gut health to cholesterol, there is no doubt that eating more plants is good for us. It has also been identified as a more sustainable dietary pattern, as it associated with significantly lower C02 emissions than meat or dairy.

A quick note - why do we call it plant-based, not vegan? Vegan is a lifestyle choice, which omits all animal products. It extends past the food that you eat to include clothing, beauty products and cleaning products. Plant-based is focused on the health benefits of a diet centred around these nourishing foods, and  is less strict than veganism.

Eating more plant-based diet can help us achieve some of the nutrition goals which we can find challenging, such as getting enough fruit and vegetables, or hitting our daily fibre target. It can help us to create a nourishing and sustaining diet, that is  full of flavour and enjoyment. What’s not to love?

However, changing how we eat can be intimidating. It can feel quite daunting , but it can also bean opportunity to try new foods that you might love!

Here are our top tips on moving to a more plant-based diet

Stick to the same core nutrition principles

- No matter what kind of dietary pattern you follow, the basics will remain the same. Enrich dishes, whether they include meat or not, are based on the same core guidelines. We always need to think about a plate that includes quality protein, carbohydrates (preferably wholegrain), healthy fats and a variety of fruits and vegetables. In this way, we are creating plates that are nutritionally balanced and nourishing.

Make sure you are eating enough

- Plant foods are naturally lower in energy than animal-based products. It can be easy to under eat if you are not aware, which can leave us feeling hungry, irritable and tired. To sustain our energy levels throughout the day it is important to make sure you are eating enough. Snacks made of wholesome ingredients can be a great way to prolong our energy. Make sure you have sources of healthy fat such as nuts and seeds, and include starchy carbohydrates as the base of your meals for more satisfaction.

Don’t forget about vitamins

- It can be difficult to get all the nutrients we need from a plant-based diet, as many of these essential vitamins and minerals are found primarily in animal sources. Those of special concern include iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitaminB12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

- To ensure your diet remains balanced and wholesome, consider using products that have been specially fortified with the above elements, such as plant milks or breakfast cereals.

- Iron is not as well absorbed from plant sources, so including a source of vitamin Cat the same time (such as citrus fruit, strawberries, or tomatoes) can help boost absorption.

- Consider a vitamin D supplement in the winter months, as this is beneficial for even those who do consume animal products.

- VitaminB12 is absolutely essential for our brains and nervous system. Plant-based sources include yeast extract (or nutritional yeast), which is delicious sprinkled over most savoury meals.

- Oily fish is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids, so a plant-based diet needs to include alternatives such as walnuts or ground flaxseed.


- Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids, some of which cannot be made by the body and so must be sourced from food. While animal products do contain all of these amino acids, plant-based proteins will contain a selection. For this reason, consuming variety of these plant proteins in your diet makes it easier it is to get a blend of the essential amino acids that you need to stay healthy.

- Vegan sources of protein are plentiful and include tofu, tempeh, edamame (soybeans), lentils, chickpeas and beans. Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, and seeds, like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, also contain protein.

Take your time

- If you are not used to eating a lot of fibre, this can initially be quite hard on the digestive system. You may experience some digestive discomfort, especially when consuming pulses and legumes. Work your way forward slowly – start with one plant-based meal a day, then move to one plant-based day, and see what feels the best for your body.

Get creative in the kitchen

- Trying to include more plant-based meals in your week can be overwhelming if you don’t usually cook this way. Let us help you –take some inspiration from Enrich and try this month’s recipe for absolutely delicious lentil dahl, packed full of plant protein.

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