Healthy Vegan – Being the vegan is an awesome decision for reasons of activity, health, or weight loss. But because meat and dairy literally on the table now, it is very important to nourish your body and get the nutrients you need. Vegan diet composed entirely of plant-based foods. That means no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or milk. While many people adopt this way of eating of the animal rights and environmental issues, others are opting for health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight, and of course the cholesterol.
That’s not to say veganism does not have nutritional deficiencies. Because it does not include all the food groups, it can also come up short in the nutrition section – unless you plan carefully. If you’re considering becoming a vegan healthy, make sure you do not miss the six essential nutrients:
- Calcium: Because vegans do not consume dairy, fracture risk was nearly 30% greater than non-vegans. But not all, green vegetables may help. For example green broccoli, Chinese cabbage, leaf lamtoro, bok choy, and vegetables are all rich in the form of calcium that is easy to absorb. You can also get your calcium fix from nuts such as tempeh, tahini, almonds, and almond butter, and from fortified foods such as orange juice, cereals, soy, rice and almond milk. For maximum absorption, looking for a brand fortified with calcium carbonate.
• Protein: While both plant foods and animal protein supply, animal foods provide complete protein, wrapped in amino acids the body needs to build muscle and synthesize antibodies, enzymes and hormones. Because plant proteins are often deficient in some amino acids, getting enough of these nutrients can be tricky, but not impossible. There is one exception: Soy. Soy foods such as edamame, soy milk, and tofu provide complete protein vegan diet. Rounding out your plate with vegetable proteins such as tempeh, quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter can also help you get the nutrition.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is hard to get even if you are not vegetarian. Because it is mainly found in fatty fish and cow’s milk, it is more difficult to get if you are a vegetarian. While fortified foods such as cereals, milk alternatives, and orange juice supply some vitamin D, they may not be enough to get 600IUs you need each day. If you are outside in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day, consider supplements.
• Omega-3: Vegan had blood levels of DHA and EPA, long-chain omega-3 fats (found mainly in fish), which helps improve brain, eye and heart health. Foods such as ground flaxseed, chia seeds, green beans, walnuts, and canola oils provide ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), cousin of omega-3 DHA and EPA. Although not quite as efficient as the long chain varieties, our bodies can convert about 10% of ALA from food into EPA. Because it may not be enough, considering the DHA and EPA supplements made from microalgae culture.
- Iron: This mineral comes in two forms: heme iron (from animal foods) and non-heme iron (from plant foods). Of the two, your body absorbs heme iron much more efficiently than non-heme variety. No wonder vegans need almost twice as much iron as omnivores. In the iron-rich foods such as quinoa, bulgur, potatoes, beans, grains, and beans a must. Pairing this with a diet high in vitamin C such as strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, and peppers helped to transform their iron into forms that are easier to absorb.
• Vitamin B12: If you are a vegetarian, getting enough vitamin B can be a real challenge. Unlike other vitamins, B12 is found only in animal foods. While some form of nutritional yeast can give small amounts of foods such as miso, tempeh, seaweed and spirulina. Since vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining DNA and red blood cells are healthy, your best bet fortified foods such as cereals, soy milk and vegan meat substitutes or supplements.