Knowing how to obtain a proper nutrition as a vegan isn’t actually all that difficult. That said, it is something that many people need to learn. Moreover, it must be a conscious effort for many individuals, particularly those who have lived the majority of their lives eating animal-based products.
The reason that you need to actually focus on proper nutrition as a vegan is that you will need to know where to find some of the nutrients that you would automatically be receiving if you were eating meat, fish, poultry, dairy, or other animal based products. These nutrients are all available through plant-based sources, of course, but you will need to know what to eat in order to obtain the right balance.
By learning proper nutrition as a vegan, you will be able to enjoy many of the benefits of plant based eating. Consider focusing on the following as you learn where to find the nutrients you need every day without the consumption of animal based foods.
· Protein – When you are vegan, one of the most common questions people will ask you is how you are able to obtain enough protein. Protein is readily available in the plant-based world. You just need to know where to look. Foods such as black beans, tofu, nuts, tempeh, chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, and even broccoli are packed with delicious protein.
· Vitamin B12 – This is an essential vitamin that is important to both mental and physical health. You don’t need to look to meat to obtain it as long as you choose the right breakfat cereal, fortified nutritional yeast or fortified rice or soy milk. You may even discover certain vegan meats that contain this vital nutrient.
· Omega 3 fatty acids – For many people, the top source of Omega-3 fatty acids is fish. These fatty acids are essential for healthy joints, skin, hearts and even brains. That said, fish isn’t the only source. You can also find it in walnuts, canola oil and flaxseeds.
· Calcium – Milk isn’t the only place to get a great source of calcium. Instead, eat more almonds, tahini (sesame paste), broccoli, beans, collard greens and kale. You can even drink it in fortified soy, rice or almond milk, in fortified orange juice and in certain tofu brands.
· Iron – There are tons of plant based iron-rich foods. They include beans, lentils, spinach, oatmeal, chickpeas, nuts, nutritional yeast, certain grains, molasses and many others. Make sure to get enough vitamin C while you’re at it, as that vitamin helps to improve iron absorption. Fortunately, most dark green leafy veggies contain both iron and vitamin C, so you’ll be covered.