When adopting a vegan diet, it is important to ensure that all essential nutrients are present in your diet in order to avoid deficiencies. Here are some tips to avoid them when you are vegan:
The proteins :
Vegetable proteins are mainly present in legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans), tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds. Be sure to include a variety of protein sources in your daily diet to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. It is mainly found in animal products. Vegans should therefore be sure to consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 , such as certain plant milks, cereals, nutritional yeast, or consider taking a supplement.
The iron :
Iron of plant origin, called non-heme iron, is less well absorbed by the body than iron of animal origin. To optimize iron absorption, consume foods rich in iron, such as leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale), legumes, sesame seeds, dried fruits and combine them with foods rich in vitamin C , such as citrus fruits or peppers, which promote the absorption of iron.
Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth. Plant sources of calcium include tahini (sesame paste), leafy green vegetables, calcium-enriched tofu, chia seeds, and almonds. You can also opt for plant milks enriched with calcium.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for heart health and proper brain function. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and canola oil are good sources of omega-3s for vegans. You can include them in your diet as whole seeds, oil, or plant-based omega-3 supplements.
Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption and bone health. It is mainly synthesized by the skin during exposure to the sun. Vegans can get vitamin D through safe and moderate exposure to sunlight or by using dietary supplements.
Iodine is important for thyroid health. Vegans should make sure to consume sources of iodine, such as iodized salt, seaweed (nori, wakame) or consider taking an iodine supplement if needed.
It's also a good idea to have your nutrient intake checked regularly by a healthcare professional and, if necessary, to consult a nutritionist who specializes in vegan diets to make sure you're getting all the essential nutrients in your diet.