5 Nutrients Vegans Might be Missing
by Callum Allan on May 19, 2023
Veganism has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and it's no surprise why. People are becoming more conscious of the impact of their food choices on not only on their health but also on the planet. However, one of the concerns of following a vegan diet is whether you can get all the necessary nutrients your body needs. There are nutrients that are commonly found in animal products that vegans need to be extra careful getting in their diet. Here are five nutrients vegans might be missing in their diet and how to make sure they get enough.
1. Vitamin B12 - Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. It is found mostly in animal products, making it difficult for vegans to get enough from their diet. Vegans should take a B12 supplement or consume fortified foods like plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, or breakfast cereals.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health, eye health, and brain development. They are usually found in fish, making it challenging for vegans to get enough omega-3s. The best sources of vegan omega-3s are flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts.
3. Iron - Iron is vital for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Plant-based iron is less easily absorbed than animal-based iron, which can result in iron-deficiency anaemia if vegans don't consume enough. Good vegan sources of iron include lentils, tofu, spinach, quinoa, and fortified cereals.
4. Vitamin D - Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and teeth, and it's mostly found in fatty fish and fortified dairy products. Sun exposure is also an excellent source of Vitamin D, but not everyone lives in a sunny region. Vegans can get Vitamin D from fortified plant-based milk, mushrooms, and supplements.
5. Protein - Protein is crucial for muscle growth and repair, and it's usually found in animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy. However, there are plenty of protein-rich vegan options, including lentils, chickpeas, edamame, tofu, and tempeh. Consuming a variety of these foods throughout the day can help vegans meet their daily protein needs.
Being a vegan doesn't have to mean missing out on key nutrients. By being mindful of their food choices and focusing on incorporating a variety of sources of the above-mentioned nutrients, vegans can fuel their active lifestyle and maintain optimal health. A well-planned vegan diet can provide a wealth of health benefits, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and support overall longevity. So whether you're a vegan or thinking of making the switch, have faith that you can absolutely get all the nutrients your body needs.