The vegan plate is designed as a guideline for a healthy plant-based diet. The plate states which foods should be integrated into the diet. This model allows you to see clearly what you need every day. It makes sure that you get all essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are needed for optimal health. Let’s look at all the essential parts of the vegan plate.


Consume at least 1.6 (women) to 2 liters (men) of water daily. Preferably choose (tap) water, possibly supplemented with one to a few cups of unsweetened black or green tea or coffee. Limit the consumption of sugary drinks, artificially sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages.

The recommended amount of water takes into account the amount of fluid consumed through food. Adult women are generally recommended to consume 2 liters of water daily, adult men 2.5 liters. However, we can assume that those who eat plant-based and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, get at least 20 percent of the recommended amount of fluid through food. That is why I recommend adult women at least 1.6 liters and men 2 liters of water daily.

Fruits and veggies

Consume at least 300 grams of fruit and at least 200 grams of vegetables daily, plus 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables.

Supplement this with a maximum of 1 tsp dried seaweed per day such as dulse, Irish moss, sea lettuce or wakame or one sheet of nori.

Green leafy vegetables such as kale, bok choy and broccoli also play an important role in a healthy plant-based diet, as they are a good source of calcium. The calcium absorption from kale, bok choy and broccoli is 1.5 to 2 times higher than from cow’s milk. Other nutritious green vegetables include arugula, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage and herbs such as parsley, coriander, basil, thyme and oregano.

In addition, make sure that you eat something orange every day. Orange fruits and vegetables, as well as dark leafy greens, are important sources of beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for good vision, healthy hair and nails, and a strong immune system.

If you don’t consume enough iodized bread and don’t use iodized salt, seaweed offers a solution as a healthy source of iodine. Keep in mind that the amount of iodine can fluctuate, with some species (like kelp) being extremely high in iodine per serving. It is therefore recommended to avoid seaweeds which are extremely high in iodine and to use small portions of seaweed. You can take iodine through a teaspoon of dried seaweed, a nori sheet or take an iodine supplement of 150 mcg daily.

Healthy carbs

Vary daily with at least 3-4 servings of different types of starchy foods. Starchy foods include tubers (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cassava), whole grains (such as oats, wheat, and spelt), and pseudograins (such as quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat).

Whole grains, pseudo grains and tubers provide healthy complex carbohydrates which give you energy, and fibre which keep you saturated for a long time. They also contain B-vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy vegan diet.


Vary daily with at least 2-3 servings of different types of legumes (tofu, tempeh, peas, beans and lentils), plus 2-3 servings of fortified and unsweetened soy drinks and yoghurts. Limit the consumption of processed meat replacers.

Since legumes are rich in protein, regular consumption of beans, peas, lentils and soy products contribute significantly to protein and amino acid consumption. In addition to protein, legumes are also rich in fiber, iron, zinc, folic acid and potassium. Legumes are naturally low in saturated fat and salt, which makes them extra healthy, especially compared to animal protein.

Unsweetened and fortified soy drinks and yoghurts are an important and healthy source of protein, vitamin B2 and calcium.


Consume at least 25 grams of unroasted and unsalted nuts and seeds or 25 grams of natural (pea)nut butter daily. An avocado is also a good source of healthy fatty acids. In addition, provide sufficient omega-3 in the form of ALA in the diet every day by consuming, for example, 1 tbsp broken flaxseed, 1 tbsp chia seed or 1 handful of walnuts. 

Consuming high-fat products such as nuts and seeds is important to get enough healthy unsaturated fatty acids and the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. In addition, the consumption of healthy fats is important for the absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients.

In addition to unsaturated fatty acids, these foods also provide fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants; all beneficial for your health. Nuts and seeds are also rich in protein, iron and vitamin B1, making them an excellent alternative to meat.


Consume an algae oil capsule with 250 mg omega-3 in the form of EPA and DHA daily. Groups with a higher requirement (e.g. pregnant or lactating women) or lower conversion (e.g. diabetic patients or patients with cardiovascular disease) are advised to take a 300 mg algae oil capsule daily, of which at least 200 mg DHA.

Supplement 50-100 µg daily or 1000 µg twice a week of vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin.

Throughout the year, ensure that the skin is exposed to the sun for 15-30 minutes daily for a sufficient vitamin D production. If this is not possible for you, supplement 25 to 50 mcg/1000 to 2000 IU of vitamin D3.

The vegan plate is adapted from the Dutch ‘Schijf for Life’, which has been designed by plant-based dieticians.

I have simplified some of the advice to make it more realistic and accessible. Also, I have added some important basic principles into this model.