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Vegan and plant-based glossary

Every vegan and plant-based diet term; explained in a way that makes sense.

Ever wondered what the difference is between veganism and plant-based? Our vegan and plant-based glossary explains vegan and plant-based diet terms in a way that makes sense.


A condition in which there is a deficiency of red cells or haemoglobin in the blood.

Anaerobic microorganisms

Bacteria that don’t require oxygen to live.


A substance that removes potentially damaging oxidising agents in the body.


Relating to the heart and blood vessels.


Short for deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA is the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms.


People who include small amounts of animal products, such as meat and fish, while focusing mainly on vegetarian foods are referred to as semi-vegetarian or a flexitarian.  

Gastrointestinal tract

The organ system that takes in food, digests it to extract and absorb energy and nutrients and expels the remaining waste as faeces.

Nervous system

The network of nerve cells and fibres that transmit nerve impulses between parts of the body.


Softening of the bones, typically through a deficiency of vitamin D or calcium.


People who follow a plant-based diet, that cuts out meat, but still eat fish are referred to as pescatarians.


A diet consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits, and with few or no animal products.


Someone who does not eat meat or fish but still include dairy and eggs is referred to as vegetarian.


A way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.