Getting your diet right (checklist edition)

The truth is one can get their diet wrong no matter which diet they opt for, being vegan doesn’t make it harder. The key step to preventing deficiencies is to study the sources and the need for consuming a particular nutrient.    

 Study which nutrients you may be missing out and why

 Protein for your stamina

  1. Daily requirement is 12-15% of total calorie intake
  2. Plant based sources include whole plant foods such as legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds

 Vitamin B-12 for your nerves and blood cells

  1. Daily requirement is 2.4 micrograms
  2. Plant based sources include fortified foods such as cereal, nutritional yeast, non dairy milk or supplements

Iron to keep you warmblooded

  1. Daily requirement is 8.7 micrograms for an adult and 14.8 micrograms for a menstruating woman
  2. Plant based sources include lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, cashew nuts, chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, kale, dried apricots and figs, raisins, quinoa and fortified breakfast cereal
  3. Pro tip
    1. Intake of calcium at the same time as iron rich food will reduce the rate of iron absorption
    1. To increase rate of iron absorption consume vitamin C rich food

 Calcium for your bones

  1. Daily requirement for adults is 700mg/day, however for adolescents and teenagers it’s much more.
  2. Plant based sources include fortified soya, rice and oat drinks, Pulses, Sesame seeds, fortified linseed bread, Dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, figs, apricots, calcium-set tofu and soya.

 Omega 3 fatty acids for your heart

  1. Daily requirement is 1.1-1.6 micrograms
  2. Pro tip: Plant based sources are rich in ALA type fatty acids, which aren’t active in the body hence have to be converted into EPA and DHA type fatty acids. Due to which it’s necessary vegans consume an additional 2 micrograms.
  3. Plant based sources include fortified foods such as Chia seeds, Algal oil, Hemp seeds.

 Vitamin D to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy

  1. Daily requirement is 10-20 micrograms (Requirement increases with age)
  2. Plant based sources include Fortified juices, cereal and plant based milk, sunshine
  3. Pro tip : Vegan friendly vitamin D supplements are now available

Download vegan friendly apps such as:

  1. Happy Cow: Lists sources of vegan, vegetarian and healthy food. It also helps you find vegan friendly restaurants around you.
  2. 21 Day Vegan Kickstart: This app will provide you with meal plans for the first 21 days of your journey to being vegan.
  3. Meetup: This app will provide you a platform to connect with vegans close to you!

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