Veganism the right way

Now i don’t claim to love the vegan diet, however i am also not one to judge people for their choices, if you choose to give up meat then good for you (and for me.. more chicken for me).
My only issue is with so many people jumping on the vegan band wagon there is a greater need to educate people on how to go vegan properly so you are not creating nutrient deficiencies in your diet which can lead to serious health risks.
It is naive to think that you can get everything your body needs easily from just eating salad and vegetables.

When you turn vegan there are 12 nutrients that you might not be getting enough of. I will now do my best to explain what they are and where to get them from so you can be vegan and proud.

There are 3 main Vitamins that that you need to make sure you are getting enough of as these normally come from animal products.
Vitamin D- needed for healthy bones and immune strength,
B12- to help support your brain and,
B3- to help your body’s cells produce and use energy.

Where to find them:
Vitamin D- lot of sunlight is the obvious one otherwise try fortified soy, rice milk or fruit juice
Vitamin B12- Again fortified soy and rice milk are a good choice, otherwise yeast extract or B12 vegan supplements are available
Vitamin B3- Avocados, dates, passion fruit, peanut butter, portabello mushrooms, wholegrain bread.

There are 4 main minerals that you also need to make sure you are getting in
Iron- allows blood to carry oxygen around the body
Calcium- movement, brain signalling and strong bones
Zinc- controls which genes ends up becoming proteins
Selenium- protects your cells from toxins

Where to find them:
Iron- Pumpkin seeds, Spinach, dates, Brazil nuts, chickpeas (tannins in black tea and red wine can reduce your body’s ability to absorb the iron from plant based foods. Avoid drinking these around meal times)
Calcium- Fortified non dairy milk (rice/soy), sesame seeds, dried apricots, broccoli
Zinc- cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts , oats and peanuts
Selenium- Brazil nuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds

There are 3 amino acids
Lysine- keeps bones healthy and to absorb calcium
Tryptophan- regulates mood and natural sleep rhythm
Methionine- strong joints, hair, nails and detoxification.

Where to find them:
Spirulina, soya beans, pumkin seeds, peanut butter, white beans, buckwheat, Brazil nuts, quinoa (cooked)

And finally 2 fatty acids
EPA and DHA needed for a healthy brain , regulate blood pressure and to keep inflammation down.

(many vegans will site the fact that they eat flaxseeds and chia seeds so they get omega fats in their diet.. however what they don’t know is that these provide Omega 3 ALA which our body then has to convert into EPA and DHA, this converstion is inefficient and as a result many vegans are defficient in EPA and DHA)

Best sources of EPA and DHA for vegans is from seaweed and microalgae which you’ll unlikely find in peoples diets at the quantities needed to reach your recommended daily allowance. Therefore look for a vegan friendly EPA + DHA supplement.

The recommended allowances of each of these 12 nutrients vary and some of the vegan sources of these nutrients are not very nutrient dense and therefore it is likely that whilst you are eating many of these foods its likely you can still be deficient in some of the key nutrients.

To find out more email us and we can take you through a nutritional profile and discover what key nutrients you might be deficient in and how to correct this through diet or correct supplementation.

There is nothing wrong with a vegan diet- but you can always be a better vegan.

 

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