Welcome to our article about vegan vs. plant-based! Yes, there is a difference, and this article will tell you all you need to know. After all, people are definitely interested in vegan and plant-based lifestyles.
Part of knowing which one is right for you starts with a good understanding of the two lifestyles. This will help you answer those tough questions pertaining to diet, such as:
- Do vegans eat fish? (No)
- Is peanut butter vegan? (Yes!)
- Is plant-based healthy? (Yes.)
- Is plant-based the same as vegan? (No).
Let’s get started right away with a quick definition of each lifestyle choice.
A Quick Guide to Vegan v. Plant-Based
If you are a vegan, you abstain from eating all animal products such as dairy, meat, poultry, fish, broths, and stocks containing animal products, candies with gelatin, honey, and products containing whey or casein.
There are other foods to avoid also, but this is a shortlist.
If you are plant-based, you focus on consuming foods that come mostly from plants. You are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian or that you NEVER consume dairy, meats, and poultry, or fish.
You simply seek to get most of your energy from nuts, whole grains, seeds, oils, legumes, and fruits/veggies.
Given that there are HEAPS of resources out there on the internet, it gets confusing to know where to turn when you are seeking to make the transition to a vegan or plant-based lifestyle.
That being said, it’s best to turn to some books you can always pull off the shelf and reference.
Our two picks for help on your vegan and plant-based questions are:
#1 The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners by Alice Newman
- Looks great on Kindle and other e-reader devices
- Great price and very affordable as a paperback book
- Offers readers the chance to read about the plant-based lifestyle at the introduction of the book, and then offers up tons of great recipes
- Offers readers a 21-day meal plan
- Recipes inside do not use esoteric or exotic ingredients; for the most part, you can buy most items at your local market
- The meals are flat out DELICIOUS!
With a 4.4 out of 5-star rating, this cookbook was enough to make us drool because it is priced so fairly and contains a mountain of great information you can always reference. It discusses the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
The recipes are well-written and easy to follow. We tried the Chickpea Omelet and the Kickin’ Mango Smoothie for breakfast and a dessert; both items tasted awesome.
The lack of recipe photographs may be bothersome for some folks, but we think the cookbook is all around worth it.
Now see our Vegan lifestyle guide:
#2 The Vegan Reset: 28 Day Plan To Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle by Kim-Julie Hansen
- Offers readers the chance to reset their lifestyle, and get their body feeling its best
- You do not have to permanently change your lifestyle- this is just a chance to try it out.
- Helps readers understand the changes their body will experience as a result of moving from their current diet to veganism
- Helps readers know how to shop, what weight loss can be like when you are vegan, and what kitchen essentials are recommended but not necessary to live this lifestyle
This is such a great resource for anyone curious about veganism and how to approach it. If you’re like most of us and you’ve grown up eating eggs, meat, dairy, and other animal products, you simply cannot give that stuff up cold turkey and expect to follow it forever.
It’s best to ease into it over the course of 28 days. This book is a great guide to help you do just that.
Customers rated it favorably – the book features a 4.6 out of 5-star rating. We are inclined to agree!
Recipes We Tried
We tried out a few recipes in the book to see if they were any good. The Loaded Sweet Potatoes from Day 1 were to die for- the sauce you make for those potatoes is top-notch.
We also tried out the Chickpea Tacos from day 3 and WOW. What a delicious and easy weeknight meal or lunch.
The book is very friendly and welcoming to all those who are interested. It is not preachy or condescending. Too often, people think veganism comes with an air of superiority.
This book shows you that it’s something everyone can enjoy and that you won’t go hungry or want for anything whilst on this reset.
Let’s Bring It Together
Regardless of whether or not you want to live a plant-based lifestyle or a vegan one, you need to make sure you feel good doing it.
This means you eat a well-rounded diet that contains less processed foods and sugar and more wholesome foods.
Keep portions reasonable, and make sure you get regular exercise to the best of your ability, doing an activity you enjoy.
It also means making sure you get the right nutrients. Getting the right balance on a Vegan diet is so important, and it can sometimes lend itself to deficiencies when it comes to certain vitamins and minerals – check out this Healthline article for some more info on that.
So, what does this mean? Well, you need to make sure you are getting ALL your nutrients, and the best way to do that is by getting your hands on multivitamins and supplements designed just for vegans and those living a plant-based lifestyle.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best supplements and multivitamins for vegans and plant-based folks with the help of the knowledgeable staff at Future Kind.
These will help keep you feeling great and motivated to keep up your lifestyle change!
Iron is critical in the fight against anemia. You will enjoy more energy, more vitamin C, and when we say it is the most bioavailable blend sold on the market today, we mean it.
The inclusion of acerola cherry is the reason why you get a dose of Vitamin C with this supplement. More than 30% of the world’s population is deficient in iron, so don’t be part of the problem, especially when it’s this easy to get it!
It will help boost your immune system and helps you lower those stress levels.
Iodine helps with immune system function and promotes thyroid health. It can increase your metabolism and is found in only some of the foods we consume. You need it for good heart health, skin health, and energy.
If you are vegan, chances are you are not getting enough of this particular nutrient. You will also enjoy healthier hair, and this stuff helps keep your body temperature in check, too.
Great news for those who are always cold! Future Kind makes it very easy for you to get this nutrient in the form of their easy to swallow, vegan capsules.
Common knowledge dictates that vitamin C is necessary for our good health as it helps us fight off the common cold. But did you know that it also promotes the creation of collagen in our body and has antioxidant properties?
Most vegans and plant-based eaters get this nutrient by eating fruit. But if that fruit is out of season or you live in a place where such foods are accessible, it’s important to get a supplement and make it part of your day.
Even by eating fruit, we lose half of the dose of vitamin C we get from such foods, so supplementation really matters.
Vitamins for Sleep
In The Vegan Reset, there is a discussion about the fact that you might need more sleep as fatigue can happen as part of the shift in dietary change. You must make sure you are getting quality sleep, and this vitamin is the way to do just that.
It contains helpful and natural ingredients like hops, lemon balm leaf, melatonin, chamomile, valerian root, 5-HTP, and passionflower herb to help you get the sleep you want.
You will get up feeling refreshed at the start of the day. It is a non-habit forming capsule and is a natural approach to helping you get restful sleep.
Super Vegan: Stress-Busting Vitamin
Yes, the name of this capsule is Super Vegan, and its primary function is to help you keep stress to a minimum. Life, in general, is stressful- family matters, work issues, and personal dilemmas can leave you feeling annoyed.
Add in a dietary change like plant-based or veganism, and the stress gets bigger. The solution? Meditation, exercise, and these awesome capsules that include Ashwagandha.
This Ayurvedic herb has been used for hundreds of years to help people lower their stress. It also has a positive impact on power output- you may notice an improvement in your performance at the gym!
Omega 3 fatty acids are important, and for a while, it was very hard for vegans, especially to get such nutrients. The bulk of the world’s population isn’t getting enough of this stuff because there are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA, EPA, and ALA.
These vegan supplements are made from algae, which is where fish get it in the first place. This eliminates the harming of our finned friends in the making of such capsules, AND you don’t need to ingest chemicals or pollutants, either. The capsules also have a nice peppermint smell to them.
Drum roll, please, for our VIP Vitamin….
The Essential Multivitamin
Here is the vegan multivitamin you’ve been looking for. This fights away the most common deficiencies vegans, and plant-based folks deal with. It helps fight against lack of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin B12.
Vitamin D3 is necessary for bones that are strong and healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids are necessary for the health of our brains. And Vitamin B12 helps in the metabolism of protein and red blood cell formation.
This vitamin has a ton of benefits, like better mental focus, better absorption of calcium, and better immune system health. It’s easy to swallow and cruelty-free, too!
What nutrients should vegans look for in a multivitamin?
You want to make sure the multivitamin contains the main nutrients that most vegan and plant-based folks are missing from their diets.
These main nutrients include:
Vitamin D3 – Needed by our body to support a healthy heart, and healthy bones, among other benefits. Vitamin D3 is Cholecalciferol, which is great at boosting blood levels of Vitamin D3.
DHA- This is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is needed for top-notch brain function and good mental health.
Iron-Look for Heme iron in particular. This is necessary because it increases your body’s absorption of non-heme iron when eating plant-based foods.
Vitamin B12- Promotes the development of red blood cells, brain function, and nerve health.
What to look for when choosing a vegan multivitamin?
Curious about what criteria your vitamins should meet? Check these out:
- Manufacturing Practices:
- Does the maker of the vitamins use a clean, sanitary cGMP facility?
- Do they know where their ingredients come from?
- Are the ingredients natural and safe? Make sure your manufacturer of choice is transparent about how they get their ingredients and how they make their products. Future Kind, for instance, offers great insight on their audit process on their About and Quality Page.
- Vitamin Blend:
- Does the multivitamin you have your eye on contain the nutrients we outlined above? If not, consider looking elsewhere to get what you need.
- If the capsule contains gelatin, you might want to look elsewhere. Gelatin is made from animal bones, so that would make the product non-vegan friendly. Future Kind’s supplements are completely free of gelatin and any other animal-based products.
Thank you for taking the time to consider a vegan or plant-based lifestyle. The health benefits are totally worth it. It is definitely a shift in lifestyle and a big change, but your improved health and well-being will be worth it. Good luck, eat healthily, and be well!