A vegan diet can be very good for your body. Whether you want to lose weight, get smoother skin or help save the environment, a vegan diet is a simple way to do it. A vegan diet does not include animals or animal products like eggs and milk. Vegetarians do not eat meat but still eat animal products while vegans do not take any animal products at all. This shows that it is important for vegetarians to supplement nutrients and for vegans to find plant-based nutrients.
There is a wide variety of plant-based foods that you can choose including fruits and vegetables. There are many creative recipes that will have you licking your fingers after you are done. Despite all these benefits, you should find out if a vegan diet is for you due to some related health risks if not taken the right way.
It is obvious when you cut out some foods from your diet, you won’t benefit from its nutrients. Foods like meat and eggs are rich in protein but all come from animals. Lack of certain vitamins can cause harm to your body. During times like winter, it is important to ensure that you get enough vitamin D. Vegans regularly consume foods fortified with vitamin D like breakfast cereal, orange juice, and rice milk. If these foods are unavailable, adding daily vitamin D supplements could help.
Vegans should also consume foods rich in Vitamin B 12 like rice beverages, fortified soy or Vitamin B 12 supplements. This is because no plant-based food contains any significant amount of vitamin B 12. Lack of this vitamin has been found to produce psychiatric symptoms like mood disturbances, psychoses, paraesthesia, and dementia. In children, symptoms include failure to thrive and macrocytic anemia.
Lack of Zinc
Vegetarians are considered to be more at risk of zinc deficiency due to their diet. Zinc deficiency could lead to hair loss, dermatitis and immunological problems. Phytates, which is a common component found in legumes, grains, and seeds binds zinc and decreases its bioavailability. It is important to combine a vegan diet with foods that are rich in zinc like soy products, legumes, and whole grains.
Lack of Calcium
To ensure that you get enough calcium in your diet it is important to take calcium-fortified foods on a regular basis. Sources of calcium include leafy greens, calcium-fortified soy, and calcium-fortified orange and apple juices. Calcium is important to keep bones strong and healthy. It is also needed for other tasks like nerve and muscle function and aids in blood clotting. It can be found in foods like cabbage, broccoli, and okra.
If you are considering a vegan diet, you are advised to stop eating meat slowly. Try out meat alternatives and gradually exclude animal products. Other nutrients that could be of short supply in a vegan diet include Iron and Omega-3 fatty acids. Consult a doctor before starting this diet to know what supplements you need.