Where do vegans get their … ?
Being vegan or vegetarian is so foreign to some of us that we have no idea what the concept involves or how it can possibly be healthy to cut out whole food groups from the diet. When we are brought up in a society that tells us we need meat for protein and iron, dairy for calcium and fish for omega 3s, it’s not hard to see why we would be sceptical of making the switch to eating purely plants. But what they don’t teach us at school or in food industry-sponsored marketing is that these nutrients can easily be obtained from plant-based sources.
Here is a list of what to include in your diet if you’re worried about becoming deficient in any of these nutrients.
Spirulina (One of the highest known protein sources on Earth containing 70% complete protein. Steak consists of only 25% protein once cooked.)
Bee pollen (not technically vegan)
I also need to mention that our Western obsession with protein is doing us more harm than good. It is incredibly difficult to become deficient in protein! According to the Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine, we don’t need anywhere near as much protein as we think, and excessive protein actually causes more trouble. Our bodies handle plant proteins much better than animal proteins as anything that is animal derived is acidic and difficult to digest.
Green superfoods like barley grass, wild blue-green algae and spirulina
Dark, leafy green vegetables
Romaine (Cos) lettuce
Sea vegetables such as kelp
Herbs and spices such as thyme and turmeric
Barley Grass powder (Has five times more iron than spinach and seven times more vitamin C and bio-flavonoids than orange juice.)
Note: Vitamin C increases iron absorption, so if you are worried you’re not getting enough from your plants, pair them with a vitamin C source.
Barley grass powder (barley grass has 11 times more calcium than cows milk.)
Dark leafy green veggies
This is the one area where vegans do need to take a supplement. You may be surprised to know that many meat eaters are also deficient in B12. This is because this vitamin can only be absorbed in the small intestine, and due to common intestinal ailments, even many meat eaters who consume high levels of B-12 are unable to absorb it in their gut.
Always be sure to take B12 supplements made from methylcobalamin and not cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in a laboratory. Methylcobalamin is the form that exists in nature and it is better absorbed, better retained, and contains no toxic cyanide. That’s always a bonus.
Before I made the switch, I was so clueless that I thought all vegans were frail tofu eating hippies. I never in a million years thought that I would be one of them. What I didn’t realise back then is that a plant-based diet is not restrictive at all, and it is certainly not unhealthy. “What can you eat if you’re vegan? You must starve!” Is a question I am asked regularly, to which I answer, “Everything! Besides meat and dairy.” Believe it or not, but removing these from your plate does not limit your culinary choices – it actually makes room for a whole world of delicious healthy foods.
Click here to read why I don’t recommend soy as a healthy substitute for vegans and vegetarians.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, what is the most common misconception you always have to clear up?
If you’re a meat eater, is there anything you are particularly concerned about with a plant-based diet?
Positive affirmation for the day: I have total faith that everything is going to be amazing.
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