Vegans could be deficient in Vital Nutrients
The choice to eat vegan or vegetarian has become more mainstream, or perhaps due to the health benefits of these dietary choices. A well-planned vegan or vegetarian diet can help to lower your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol and increase your fibre, vitamins and minerals which have a positive effect on heart disease, blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
On the flip side, a vegan type diet does not guarantee your good health, especially if you are consuming the wrong types of carbs, fried foods, white pasta and vegan sweets. If you are not eating a well-balanced form of a Vegan or Vegetarian diet, you could be missing some vital nutrients such as proteins. Vegans need to ensure they are getting a complete protein (all those essential amino acids) which means the proper combining of some food groups. Protein is required for not only the production of red blood cells but for muscle growth and tissue repair. The mineral zinc is harder to obtain in a vegan diet, it may seem inconsequential, but your body needs zinc to boost the immune system. Iron consumption can be problematic for vegans because you require twice as much as non-vegans and the iron in plant foods is not as easily absorbed as the iron sourced from an animal, leaving many vegans deficient. Omega 3 fatty acids are mostly found in fish and are required for the brain, heart, joint, etc. Vitamin D is needed for bone, joint and mental health but it is not easily acquired on a vegan diet, nor is B12 which is required for energy and red blood cell production. Your body needs iodine to support your thyroid and calcium for strong bones both of which are harder to obtain from a vegan diet.
Top Supplements for Vegans
Eliminating any food group from your diet may put you at risk of missing out on certain micronutrients. Once you know what nutrients may be lacking in your diet, you can better adapt your dietary choices to ensure you’re consuming foods that are fortified with the required nutrients or consider adding in the appropriate supplements to balance out your needs. There are plant-based sources of Omega 3 in the form of algae and plant-based sources of Vitamin D coming from sunflowers, but one of the best all-around supplements for vegans, vegetarians,
picky eaters, low carb dieters etc. is Spirulina, as long as it is organically and sustainably sourced and fermented like Prairie Naturals Spirulina. Spirulina is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. It contains a full spectrum of minerals, trace minerals and a highly concentrated complete protein source (all those essential amino acids). It contains B vitamins necessary for a healthy central nervous system. It does contain B12, but the form of B12 does not absorb well – sorry, you still need to obtain this in a stand-alone supplement. Spirulina is one of the best plant sources of absorbable iron and has more calcium than milk. It contains GLA and Omega 3 fatty acids. Spirulina has other health benefits as well: It can help with inflammation, contains powerful antioxidants and due to its high chlorophyll, content, it helps remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system. Look for brands such as Prairie Naturals Spirulina, it is organic, fermented, sustainably harvested and comes in a powder or tablets and capsules. If you are taking any anti-coagulation medicine, have an autoimmune disease, pregnant or nursing you should consult with your health care provider. Spirulina may weaken the effect of some immunosuppressants and may also interfere with drugs that slow blood clotting.
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