Getting everything you need from a plant-based diet
Nowadays increasing numbers of people are opting to take on an entirely plant-based diet. This is usually called veganism, because it excludes the use of any kind of animal product. This means no more meat, dairy, eggs, honey, gelatine, and animal fat. The most common reason for taking on this lifestyle tends to be for the sake of animals, as millions are exploited, harmed and killed every year for the sake of human consumption. Other reasons include environmental factors (because factory farming creates more methane gas than any other industry and contributes to deforestation) and health reasons (animal products have been linked to various serious health complaints).
One of the main concerns of those considering a vegan lifestyle is whether they will be able to get everything they need from an entirely plant-based diet. In short, the answer is yes, you can get everything you need to thrive on a vegan diet. To help you along, here’s how to source some nutrients and vitamins that are commonly associated with consuming animal products!
Generally, we associate Omega 3 with the consumption of fish or cod liver oil. But you really don’t need to eat fish in order to include it in your diet. In actual fact, Omega 3 is not actually produced by fish. It’s produced by the algae they consume. Microscopic algae actually produce Omega 3 when converting the sun’s rays into energy. So, if you’re looking for a completely vegan source of it, turn to vegan dha which cuts out the fish and goes straight to the nutrient’s original source! This is also an easy way to gain all of the Omega 3 that you need without additives, soy, lactose, gluten pesticides and GMOs!
There are two types of protein that you need to bring into your diet: complete proteins and incomplete proteins. ‘Complete proteins’ are amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein and there are 9 of these that the body can’t produce on its own. These nine are called ‘essential amino acids’ and it’s important that you get these into your body through your diet. Now, we are all well aware that meat is packed with protein. But this doesn’t mean that it’s the only source of protein out there. Plenty of protein can be found in leafy greens such as kale, grains such as quinoa, nuts such as cashews, and soy products such as tempeh.
Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy lifestyle, because low levels of the vitamin can result in aneamia and even nervous system damage. Getting enough B12 also reduces potential risk of heart disease and complications during pregnancy. The easiest ways to get this vitamin while maintaining a vegan diet is to eat foods fortified with the vitamin (at least 3 micrograms a day) or take a supplement. It’s as simple as that!
While you may need to think a little more about where you get certain vitamins and nutrients when you live a vegan lifestyle, there’s always a way to incorporate everything you need into your diet!
*This is a collaborative post