People may follow a vegan diet for various reasons, including a desire to lose weight, reduce their environmental footprint, or help address concerns about animal welfare.
Switching from a typical non-vegetarian diet to a vegan or vegetarian diet will inevitably imply replacing nutrients provided by meat and animal products with nutrients provided by fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. Because of their increased consumption of such foods, vegans/vegetarians may have a higher daily intake of certain nutrients that are extremely beneficial to health. Several studies, for example, have shown that vegan diets contain more fibre, antioxidants, potassium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E than non-vegetarian diets. Vegan/vegetarian diets can even help people maintain a healthy heart and lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
A poorly planned vegan/vegetarian diet, on the other hand, can result in insufficient intake of certain vitamins and minerals. As a result, vegans/vegetarians must avoid nutrient-deficient fast-food vegan diets and instead look out for whole-food diets.
This article describes how people can increase the intake of nutrients that are often deficient in a vegan/vegetarian diet.
There are many good reasons to go animal product / meat-free, but you face the risk that you could run low in some essential nutrients.
Here's some of them you need to watch out for:
Vitamin B12 is required to produce DNA, red blood cells, certain neurotransmitters, and myelin, the protective sheath that surrounds nerves. A vitamin B12 deficient diet can cause fatigue, lethargy, light-headedness, heart palpitations, weight loss, and other health problems. Problems with movement and sensation, memory loss, mood changes, confusion, forgetfulness, depression, and visual disturbances are examples of nervous system symptoms.
Although vitamin B12 is abundant in meat, milk, and dairy products, vegans cannot ensure adequate B12 intake by eating plant sources of the nutrient. As a result, supplementing your vitamin B12 intake with a multivitamin containing the RDA for the day is a good idea.
You’re probably aware that calcium is necessary for the formation and maintenance of strong bones. We usually think of dairy as a calcium source, but there are many others. Plant-based calcium sources are not as well absorbed in the body, resulting in a deficiency. Low calcium levels can increase your risk of weak bones and osteoporosis over time. Natural sources of calcium and dairy include broccoli, soybeans, chickpeas, black beans, and almonds. Of course, you can also experiment with plant-based milk, cereals, and juices. However, taking a supplement daily is a good idea for all vegetarians and vegans, especially women and children.” For more on calcium and its benefits, read our blog – The Many Health Benefits of Calcium For Athletic Men & Women.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and the leading cause of anaemia worldwide. Because the body absorbs two to three times more iron from animal sources than plant sources, vegetarians may struggle to get enough iron. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout our bloodstream and maintaining our energy levels. Iron deficiency symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, headache, pale skin, weakness. When vitamin C is combined with iron sources, it can help increase absorption. Iron-rich foods for vegetarians include beans, lentils, spinach, cereal with cashews, and tofu, as well as these iron-rich foods. However, there is a greater chance that you will still require iron supplementation. The best way to do this is to incorporate a great multivitamin, such as Maximult from Epicvita for Men and Women, into your daily routine and ensure you meet your iron goals daily. If you are interested to know more on iron and its role in the human body then do give our blog a close read, Iron – Why Is It Important For Both Men and Women
You may have heard that zinc is vital for preventing colds and play a role in regulating the body’s immune system. However, if you are a vegetarian, it may be challenging to obtain it naturally. Because zinc is found in limited quantities in plant-based foods, zinc absorption from plant-based foods is reduced, and a deficiency can occur. A zinc deficiency can impair the immune system, cause slow wound healing, hair loss, diarrhoea, and cause a loss of appetite.” Try pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, cashews, and chickpeas instead, but keep in mind that you may still need a supplement or multivitamin to get your daily dose of zinc. Try reading our blog, What Does Zinc Do? Does It Help in Bodybuilding & Staying Fit? This blog covers significant benefits of incorporating zinc into your daily diet.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D. The sun is the best source of vitamin D, and as little as 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure per day is enough to prevent a vitamin deficiency. "Vitamin D contributes to good bone health and boosts the body's immune system, so it's critical to get enough of it." You could have weakened bones and an increased risk of depression and diabetes if you don't take it. The problem with getting vitamin D from food is that "dietary vitamin D is present in few food sources, primarily of animal origin." As a result, it is one of the vitamins for vegetarians that is even more difficult to obtain from their sources.
Best Way of Supplementation
Now that you know these are the nutrients, you may lag if you follow a vegan/vegetarian diet, and it can get overwhelming to supplement each of these individually. However, you don't have to put a hole in your pocket by buying different supplements. Instead, add a great multivitamin like Maximult from Epicvita for Men and Women, which will fulfil your daily requirements of all the required and essential nutrients.
The Bottom Line
For all the vegetarians or vegans out there, following the said lifestyle have many health benefits, but they may not contain all the necessary nutrients your body needs. Therefore, to avoid a deficiency, you should make sure to consume a variety of nutritious plant-based foods and consider taking supplements to fulfil the nutrients needs.
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