Adopting a vegan diet is a difficult transition for most people, but it does not necessarily have to be as difficult as people believe it to be. For example, receiving rounded nutritional fulfilment from vegan meals is widely believed to be extremely difficult, but that’s not quite true. It is indeed possible to get all your essential/semi-essential nutrients from purely vegan food sources.
Unfortunately, not every vegan knows what meal options they have and how to utilize those options to supplement what they are not taking from animal derived sources of food anymore. In this post, we will look at some of those options and more.
Can Junk Food be Vegan and Nutritious?
As it happens, vegan “junk” food is not only available, but depending on what the ingredients are and how it was prepared, it can also be nutritious! If you like cheeseburgers, search for vegan burgers near me and you’ll find a huge selection available.
Are vegan burgers the most nutritious vegan meal you can eat? The answer is no, but compared to their meaty alternatives, their nutrition value is significantly higher. Both the patties and the cheddar/provolone cheese used in these burgers are plant based, while each burger is also full of nutritious veggies. These occasional treats are a reminder of the fact that life as a vegan does not necessarily need to exclude all the food items you loved before.
Protein deficiency is the first problem that we need to address because an unbalanced vegan diet is often responsible for that. Proteins are the building blocks of life, and every human being needs to consume their recommended quantity of protein daily to live healthy. According to the Dietary Reference Intake chart, we should be consuming at least 0.36 grams of protein per pound of our bodyweight.
Therefore, take care to calculate how much protein is your daily minimum requirement and then try to consume at least a few grams more than that. For example, a vegan man weighing 180lbs would need to consume 65 – 70 grams of protein per day, while a 135lb vegan woman can settle for roughly 50 – 55 grams of protein daily. As for the vegan sources of protein, there are plenty.
- Quinoa seeds are a rounded source of all 22 proteins: 4 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Tempeh: 20 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Oats: 10 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Lentils, Sorghum, and Tofu: 8 – 9 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Black-eyed, edamame, butter, soya, and kidney beans: 7 to 10 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Peas and chickpeas: 7 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Buckwheat and spelt: 5 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Brown rice, teff, amaranth, and broccoli: 4 – 5 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Walnuts: Roughly a gram of protein per piece.
- Almonds: About 3 grams of protein in every 2 almonds.
Iron deficiency is also common among vegans who do not how to counter the effects of leaving animal derived sources of food completely. Since iron deficiency can lead to low RBC counts, anemia, and immunocompromise, make sure that the aforementioned sources of protein made a part of your daily meal in proper quantities.
Just like non-vegan sources of protein, the vegan sources of protein are also rich in iron. Examples would include beans, broccoli, and tofu. Add a few raisins and your favorite brand of iron-fortified vegan cereal to the mix and iron deficiency should never be a concern for you at any point.
As we all know, calcium is an extremely important nutrient for everyone, but it is particularly important for women to never suffer from calcium deficiency. While women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, men are not immune to brittle bones either. So, make sure your vegan diet includes calcium-fortified fruit juice, soymilk, kale, broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, spinach, watercress, lettuce, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and other leafy greens that are known to be rich in calcium.
Finally, we have vitamin C, which vegans should not lack but it still needs to be mentioned separately. The reason here is that vegans must consume more Vitamin C than non-vegans. Unless there is enough vitamin C in their diet, their digestive system will have a difficult time extracting and absorbing iron from vegan sources. Just make sure you are having enough whole fruits. Some of the common sources of vitamin C for anybody are oranges, tomatoes, melons, brussels sprouts, potatoes, plums, acerola cherries, peppers, guavas, kale, kiwis, and lemon juice.
If you have a medical condition, do consult with your physician before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle. Also, it might be a good idea to obtain at least a portion of your daily nutritional requirements from food supplements and multivitamins.