Vegan diets are regarded as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Dietitians of Canada.
Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals, which are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals("phyto" means "plant"). These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Phytonutrients are not essential, but they may help prevent disease.
More than 25,000 phytochemicals are found in plant foods, and six important phytonutrients are: