I felt compelled to write about how vegans get all of the adequate nutrients they need to thrive and live a healthy life. There are so many critics who feel a vegan diet is not enough and that a person needs to incorporate meat and dairy into his/her diet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, But are you getting enough protein? What people fail to understand is how jam packed beans are with protein. Although I am in no way a doctor or a nutritionist, I have found through research, that there is no reason why a person couldn’t get all of the nutrients needed by eating a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. I started this lifestyle over a year ago when my daughter was born. Since eating this way, I no longer feel depressed, like I’m in a fog, sick from stomach pains, and fatigued. Many adults I’ve found often say they wish they felt like they did in their teens. Well, I wake up everyday with the energy of a teenager! Although I’ve been a vegan for several years, I spent the majority of those years eating processed food. I can’t imagine going back to eating that way and feeling run down all of the time. I’m here to tell you, a commitment to this lifestyle will change you forever in the best way possible.
Here is a list of nutrients most people believe to be harder to find in vegan foods as opposed to meat and dairy. I use this list as a daily checklist to make sure that my vegan daughter is getting all of the necessary vitamins, protein, and fat.
|Important Vitamins and Nutrients Vegans Need to Get Daily||Vegan Food Sources Containing Vitamins and Nutrients|
|Protein||Ezekiel bread, beans|
|Calcium||kale, oranges, soybeans, dates, sesame seeds|
|Vitamin D||the sun, mushrooms|
|Zinc||chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, corn, peas, oatmeal, chia seeds|
|Iron||kale, whole grains, beans, seeds, dates|
|B12||fortified nutritional yeast, Silk soymilk, fortified soy products and cereals (I’m not a fan of processed food, so this has been a challenge for me)|
|Riboflavin (B2)||mushrooms, sesame seeds, chia seeds, spinach, avocado, wheat|
|B3||peas, mushrooms, avocado|
|B5||mushrooms, avocado, sweet potato|
|B6||bananas, avocado, spinach|
|B9 (Folate)||lentils, spinach, asparagus, lettuce, avocado, mango, oranges, wheat bread|
|Healthy Fat||avocado, hummus (made with oil), olive oil|
And, they say you can’t thrive as a vegan!!!!