Getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and the right macronutrients is crucial to optimal health and wellbeing. When you are following a restrictive diet plan, such as veganism, and cutting out whole food groups, it is important to make sure you’re catching up on any nutrient or nutritional deficiencies through other means.
When starting any nutrition or eating plan, it is important to make sure that you’re getting enough of all the important nutrients, and so you might need to think and plan ahead, so you can deal with any deficiencies you may encounter.
Given that vegans often ended up stuffing themselves with fruit and vegetables, it is hard to imagine most vegans not getting enough vitamins and minerals.
For vegans, protein can be one of the most challenging macronutrients to get enough of, especially from whole, natural sources. There are reports, that in order to get ‘complete’ proteins, you have to eat meat. But even if true, there are enough vegan sources of protein that when eating in combination, can and will give you enough of the right proteins.
Soy, tofu, tempeh and edamame are all soybean products and all rich in protein. Then of course there is the protein content in nuts and seeds, quinoa, beans, grains, hemp….suddenly it is hard to imagine not getting enough protein.
If you need to find additional protein for yourself, there are vegan protein powder supplements, including protein sources such as soy, hemp, peas and rice. They may not taste great but they provide plenty of vital protein. You can blent them with berries, or other low sugar fruits to change the taste and make them much more palatable.
Another issue can be lack of calcium or vitamin D, owing to lack of dairy in the vegan diet. Vegetables are dense in most vitamins and minerals anyway, plus soy, tofu and most cruciferous or green leafy vegetables are very dense in calcium. Which keeps your bases covered.
You can also hunt out a good vegan multi-vitamin to help top up your minerals and vitamins if you need to.
When transitioning to an eating plan or starting a completely new lifestyle, tracking your eating and how you’re feeling is critical. That way, if you are suffering any negative side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, light headedness or anything more serious, you can go through your food log, try experimenting with eliminating foods or adding foods, see where any deficiencies are and address them almost instantly.
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