You don’t need dairy for calcium, but you still need to ensure you are getting enough calcium from plant sources for strong bones. Aim to include three portions of calcium-rich foods every day.
Examples include: calcium-set tofu (check for ‘calcium’ anywhere in the ingredients list), fortified plant-based milk or juice, dark leafy greens such as kale or broccoli.
Other vegan calcium sources with smaller amounts include: almonds, tahini, figs, beans, sweet potato and oranges.
Healthy fats are important for our heart, brain and hormonal health2. Aim to include a small amount of healthy unsaturated fats with most meals.
Examples include: avocado, pecans, almonds, cashews, olives, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. In addition, it is important to ensure a source of omega 3 fatty acids and you can get these from specific plant foods including: flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds.
It’s important that we all stay well-hydrated to stay focused, energised, and support our bowel movements. Aim for around two litres per day, but this may increase if you are very active or the weather is very warm.
The best source of hydration (and the most environmentally friendly) is tap water, but a couple of teas or coffees can also contribute to your intake. Try to avoid sugary and fizzy drinks and limit fresh fruit juice to 150ml per day.
To optimise your vegan diet, choose a variety of different plant foods from each group as this will maximise your intake of different nutrients and beneficial plant chemicals. Some nutrients need a little extra help and are beneficial to get in fortified foods or supplements: