A vegan diet is one of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly lifestyles one can choose. But - it’s easy to miss out on some key nutrients if we aren’t careful!
In order to reach optimal health, we need to educate ourselves and plan for incorporating all necessary vitamins into our daily meals.
Luckily, there are plenty of plant-based sources of all the nutrients you’ll ever need to thrive while eating vegan! Some are trickier than others, but it’s nothing that careful attention and a little planning can’t fix!
Here are our recommendations on how to get some of the trickier nutrients on a consistent basis:
This nutrient is vital for the proper functioning of red blood cells! An iron deficiency can leave you tired, lethargic and weak.
Examples of vegan-friendly sources of iron include tofu, beans, lentils, raisins, kale, quinoa, and chickpeas.
Zinc is an essential part of a healthy immune system. Even trace amounts of it can help fight off infections, such as the common cold.
Vegan sources of zinc include oatmeal, tofu, cashews, and sunflower seeds.
Together with iron, Vitamin B12 also helps promote healthy red blood cells. A lack of this nutrient puts you at risk of anemia, heart disease, and nervous system damage.
While there are no plant-based sources of Vitamin B12 widely available, plenty of vegan foods are fortified with it – for example soymilk and cereal. You should also consider adding a Vitamin B12 supplement to your daily routine!
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium and is a must for optimal bone health.
Getting your dose of Vitamin D is free and easy – just expose yourself to sunlight! Take a walk outside and let nature do it’s work! If you live in colder climates, consider taking a supplement or eating Vitamin D fortified foods in the winter months.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The “good fat” commonly found in fish promotes healthy heart and brain function.
Skip the fish and get this nutrient straight from chia seeds, brussel sprouts, walnuts, and flaxseed!
This is an essential mineral that is required for healthy and strong bones.
Even though we most commonly think of cow’s milk as a calcium source, almond milk actually contains much more of this nutrient! Other alternative sources include soybeans, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and okra.
THRIVE ON PLANTS!
As you can see, a carefully planned vegan diet can easily supply you with all the proper nutrients for a longer and healthier life.
Remember, balance is key!