Do vegans get enough vitamins?

Do vegans get enough vitamins?

Yes, vegans get enough vitamins if they eat a balanced diet. Whole grains can provide necessary carbohydrate, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Soya products such as Tofu, chick peas are high in protein. Fruits and nuts contains fiber, and essential vitamins.

Vegan foods that contain vitamin B12

Some varieties of plant milk, soy products, yeast flakes, some breakfast cereals, vegan spreads, and yeast are the only reliable sources of B12 fortified foods. Another source of vitamin B12 is to take supplements. So why is vitamin B12 important? Because this particular nutrient is important to speed up reactions in the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to anemia and can also cause damage to the nervous system.

Pregnant women and feeding mothers, especially need to be careful to consume the required amount of vitamin B12. Since this particular vitamin is found all animal foods except honey, it is a bit of a challenge for vegans to consume it. But the good news is that vitamin B12 need not be obtained from animal products as it is made from bacteria. Here are some of the sources from which vegans can get vitamin B12:

  • Almond Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Cereals (ready to eat)
Nutritional Yeast

Vegans consuming adequate amounts of fortified foods are less likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency as compared to meat eaters. The US recommended intake of vitamin B12 for ordinary adults is 2.4 micrograms a day and 2.8 micrograms for nursing mothers. The intake is based on 50% absorption, typically for small amounts from foods.

For well-informed vegans including vitamin B12 is never a matter of concern.

Vegan food that contains calcium

Soy products, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and leafy vegetables are some vegan sources for obtaining calcium. It is a known fact that to maintain good bone health calcium plays a vital role. It is also important for muscle contraction, regulating blood pressure, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.

But how much calcium does a human body require? Adults need to take 1000 mg of calcium per day while its 1200 mg for women above 50 and men above 70. For children among the age groups of 4-18, the recommended amount of calcium is 1300 mg. Though a large percentage don’t meet the recommended amount.

The top calcium-rich foods for vegans are

  • Soy foods such as soya beans, soy milk, tempeh, tofu, etc to just name a few foods made from soya.
  • Beans, Peas, Lentils are not only calcium-rich but also have high nutrient levels like iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and folate.
  • Nuts especially almonds.
  • Seeds like Chia, sesame, flax, etc. contain calcium, hence butter made from them is another source.
  • Seaweeds like kelp and wakame are rich sources of calcium.
  • Green leafy vegetables are another way of increasing calcium intake. Spinach, bok choy, collards are some of the leafyes which are calcium rich.
  • Fruits like oranges, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc are some of the fruits which are high in calcium.

These are just some of the sources from which vegans can get the maximum amount of calcium. Other than this eating calcium-fortified foods are another easy way to include it in your daily diet. Getting sufficient nutrient though foods are the key to meeting your calcium needs.

Vegan food that can be eaten cold

Sandwiches, tarts, salads, frozen yogurts, pies, and pasta are some of the foods that vegans can eat cold. These simple foods need not be hot to be enjoyed. They taste just as good when eaten cold. Many of us don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen fixing elaborate meals, especially during summer. And if you are such a person here is a list of dishes which can be enjoyed cold.

These dishes are simple, tasty and packed with nutrients to keep you going. Have fun making and enjoy them as they require minimum or no cooking.

Here are five such meals which you can prepare with the least amount of fuss.

Vegan fish taco bowl– A simple and tasty bowl full of goodness. Made from hearts of palm the recipe is easy to make and very flavorful.

Mediterranean quinoa and veg salad– This dish is fresh and perfect for summer and you can carry forward the leftovers for breakfast or a snack.

Sabich Sandwich– If you haven’t tried this Israeli sandwich, you are in for a treat.

Artichoke tart– This hearty dish loaded with veggies is bound to make any day special.

Vegan Peanut Noodles & Veg– This quick and easy recipe is perfect to make if you don’t have too many vegetables handy.

All these dishes are not only easy to make but are healthy and need not be reheated before eating.

Vegan food that can be frozen

Burgers, burritos, gumbos, curries, and pies are some delicious vegan recipes which can be prepared and frozen so you have a delicious week. But why eat frozen food when you can make it fresh? Because it is not always feasible to cook if you are busy with work and you need to compromise with something quick and most times, not healthy food. Maintaining a balanced diet is the first step towards good health.

Make your own frozen meals and you can not only save up big time but it will also last you throughout the week. Some such meals are included here:

Soups– Enjoy a bowl full of delicious goodness at the end of a tiring day.

Vegan Veggie Burger– These are not only fast to make but are also by far tastier than the store bought ones.

Burritos- Go ahead and make these and you can carry it with you for lunch at work or have them at breakfast or dinner as well!

Slow cooker meals– Making these will take you time but will be well worth the effort.

Gumbos– Prepare a flavorful gumbo and you are in for a treat.

Putting in a little effort goes a long way as you can come home to a hearty meal at the end of the day or grab something healthy on the go.

Vegan food that contains palm oil

Bread, biscuits, vegan cheese,  crips, ice-cream, instant foods, sweets, margarine, and chocolate. It is a common ingredient in a lot of vegan products. Palm oil which comes from palm fruit and is considered vegan in its raw form. This versatile oil is every ideal for creating various textures and is difficult to avoid. Did you know that most processed foods, both vegan and non-vegan contain palm oil?

Though most vegans refuse to consume products containing palm oil as it basically damaging our environment. Huge rain forests are being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations leading to the extinction of several animal species. Vegans prefer to use

Coconut oil,  soybean, jojoba, rapeseed, and jatropha instead of palm oil. Here is a list of vegan foods which contain palm oil.

Earth Balance Vegan Butter– the natural oil blend in includes palm fruit oil among others.

Tofutti Vegan Ice Cream– The flavors that contain palm oil are Vanilla, Vanilla Fudge, Vanilla Almond Bark, Chocolate, and Wild Berry Supreme.

CLIF Builder’s & Luna Bars- This brand uses palm kernel oil which is certified by USDA

Glow Gluten Free Cookies- These cookies are gluten-free but contain organic palm oil.

Here are just a few things which are vegan and contain palm oil. But you are against deforestation and animal cruelty look out for better substitutes.

Vegan foods that contain iron

Legumes, nuts, grains, and vegetables such as tomatoes, collard greens, etc., are all rich sources of iron. The most common deficiency found in humans is Iron deficiency. In the UK the recommended amount of iron for adults is 8.7 mg per day.

But do vegan foods contain iron? Yes! Though meat and seafood are rich sources there is no lack of vegan foods which are also excellent sources of this mineral.

Various legumes and vegetables contain a form of nonheme iron which is usually found in animal products. Selecting the right kind of food is the key to meet the daily iron requirement without taking supplements.

Numerous factors affect the amount of iron to be absorbed in the human body. Some of the best sources are listed below:

Lentils- One cup of cooked lentils contains 6.59 milligrams (mg) of iron among other nutrients like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc.

Tofu- Has about 6.65 mg of iron packed in about half a cup.

Amaranth- This gluten-free grain packs about 5.17 mg of iron per cooked cup along with fiber, protein, and manganese.

Baked Potatoes- A medium potato with skin is also an easy source of iron.

Spinach- A cup full of cooked spinach packs about 6.43 mg of iron.

The National Institutes of Health provides a clear idea as to how much iron is needed by the human body on a daily basis. Low absorption and intake leads to anemia. Hence consuming a variety of plant-based iron-rich foods is highly recommended for vegans.

Vegan food that contains vitamin D

Soy milk, almond milk, soy yogurt, mushrooms, and tofu are some of the vegan foods which are an excellent source of vitamin d. Traditionally, vitamin D recommendation is based on the amount needed by the body to prevent diseases resulting from its deficiency. So how much of vitamin D is needed to maintain good health and what are its repercussions.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to diseases like rickets and osteomalacia. It is also known to prevent cancer. Some fortified products do not mention the sources of vitamin D and hence vegans should not stress too much about the presence of animal product traces in them.

Though half an hour of sitting in the sun is best and the easiest source of vitamin D. But including it in the diet is just as essential. Here is a list of foods which you can make a part of your diet in order to include vitamin D.

  • Portobello, morel, button, maitake, and shiitake mushrooms rich in vitamin D. According to researchers, mushrooms can provide an equivalent amount is vitamin D as a supplement.
  • Fortified almond and soy milk is another easy source of including vitamin D in your diet. But do check the label to see if it is fortified.
  • Taking supplements is a sure shot way to get your required daily amount.
  • Some tofu brands are also fortified but do check the label.

Vegans are usually at a higher risk of suffering from low vitamin D intake. Known as the Sunshine Vitamin, it is as essential as sunshine for the human body.

Vegan foods that contain all amino acids

Tofu, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, seeds, spirulina, quinoa, etc are all sources of amino acids. Did you know that the human body needs twenty different types of amino acids for functioning properly? The best sources of amino acids are animal proteins such as eggs, meat, and poultry. Though there are many plant-based foods which are now believed to contain amino acids.

Research indicates that an assortment of plant-based foods eaten in the course of the day can provide the human body with the required amount of nutrition. Nine out of the 22 amino acids are considered to be the most essential. About 3-4 serving of the following foods will provide sufficient amino acid lysine and protein.

Legumes—1/2 cup cooked

  • Beans— kidney, pinto, garbanzos, navy
  • Lentils
  • Peas—split or green
  • Soyfoods—edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk (1 cup), soy meats (3 oz)
  • Peanuts—1/4 cup

Seitan—3 oz (85 g)

Quinoa—1 cup cooked

Amaranth (grain) – 1 cup cooked

Pistachios—1/4 cup

Pumpkin seeds—1/4 cup roasted

Designing a vegan diet for people following a regular exercise regime is far easier than those who don’t. Including a wide variety of plant-based foods will ensure that your body gets sufficient amino acids for optimal health.

Vegan foods that contain iodine

Potatoes, prunes, corn, strawberries, cranberries, and seaweed are some of the vegan foods sources to obtain iodine. 140 micrograms are the required amount of iodine for the human body as per Government recommendations.

Now how can such a small quantity be beneficial for the human body? This tiny amount is so vital that it is known to damage brain development in babies during pregnancy. Iodine deficiency can lead to goiter, depression and weight gain leading to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Vegans are believed to be falling short of the required amount of iodine intake. The two potentially rich sources for vegans to obtain iodine is from iodized salt and seaweed.

Seaweed is known to absorb the iodine from seawater and is considered to be an excellent source. The presence of iodine in seaweeds like kelp, kombu, arame, nori, and wakame is quite high. Using them in moderation is recommended for people suffering from thyroid problems. You can also benefit from eating these following foods to get sufficient iodine requirement.

  • Potatoes, 1 medium, 60mcg
  • Prunes, 5 whole, 13 mcg
  • Bananas, 1 medium, 3mcg
  • Corn, ½ cup, 14 mcg
  • Cranberries, 4 ounces, 400mcg
  • Green beans, ½ cup, 3mcg
  • Strawberries, 1 cup, 13 mcg

The human body cannot produce iodine like vitamin D. So consuming iodine rich foods is the only way to get regular dosages.

Vegan foods that contain cholesterol

Lutein-Rich Spinach, Beans, Oats, Avocado, Walnuts, all soy products, and nuts are known to promote healthy cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is not always bad for us. How? It is actually important for maintaining a healthy heart.

It is produced in the liver due to saturated fats and can lead to clogged arteries. One of the reasons for recommending a plant-based diet is because it promotes heart health and improves liver function.

Though most plant-based foods boost the good cholesterol here are some specific benefits which can be obtained from them.

Lutein-rich spinach-  Lutein is found abundantly in spinach as compared to other greens. It is a yellow pigmented antioxidant and provides protection against macular degeneration. Research shows that it helps lower bad cholesterol.

Walnuts are an excellent source of omega 3 fats. It lowers cholesterol by reducing inflammation.

Fiber present in beans is known to heart health by lowering high cholesterol in a very short time.

Avocados are high in fats but ¼ a day is good enough to reap the maximum benefits.

All nuts and seeds contain monounsaturated fats which are known to reduce bad cholesterol.

Consuming these foods will help reduce bad cholesterol and improve heart health. Planning your meals are known to have multitude of benefits in maintaining a healthy heart and body.

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