More and more people are choosing to go with a vegan diet these days. There are many reasons to choose a vegan diet, including lowering your carbon footprint, not directly harming animals for food and improving your own body’s overall health. No matter the reason, if you’re switching over from eating meat to going vegan, there are going to be some changes in the amounts of certain vitamins and minerals going into your body. Here’s what to know if you’re going vegan so you can ensure a healthy and balanced diet.
Supplements for a balanced vegan diet
Switching to a vegan diet almost certainly means you will be eating more plants, which will result in an increase of many healthy antioxidants and vitamins for your body. But there are some vitamins and minerals that are most often found in meat or dairy products, and you may want to take some supplements to make sure your body isn’t running low on these at any time. Here’s what to eat on a vegan diet.
- Protein: Probably above all else, protein is often mentioned as something that’s likely to be lacking in vegan diets. While it’s true that vegans do not get the dense amounts of protein packed into meat products, it’s actually not hard to get enough protein with a vegan diet. You likely don’t need protein supplements on a vegan diet, but you should seek out plant-based foods that are high in protein like nuts, peanut butter, seeds, grains and beans. Tofu and other soy products also contain a large concentration of protein.
- Vitamin B12: This is naturally present in foods made from animals, including meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Consequently, it’s one of the most common vitamins vegans may be lacking in their diet. Fortunately, there are affordable B12 supplements available in pill form or other forms that can be easily incorporated into your diet to offset this.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These help to improve your brain and heart function. They’re commonly found in fatty oils from fish, including fish oil supplements, but they’re also found in many plant-based sources like flaxseed meal and fatty nuts.
- Iron: Meat, particularly red meat, is chock full of iron. This is important for your body in the production of red blood cells, especially for women. Plant-based foods that contain a lot of iron include beans, broccoli, wheat, raisins and tofu. Iron supplements are also common for those on vegan diets.
- Calcium: It’s often recommended for children to drink milk at a young age to ensure strong bone and teeth development. There are many vegan sources of calcium, however, including soybeans and dark leafy greens. Many juices and plant milks are fortified with calcium, and calcium supplements are also available.
For more information on what to eat on a vegan diet, and for all your supplement needs to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your vegan diet might not be providing, pay a visit to Bee Hive Natural Foods today to check out our selection.