Vegans Essential Nutrition
Maybe you are converting to Vegan, or already you are, but carious how to get the essential nutrition from plant based diet.
Well, as vegans, we shun meat because of our compassion for animals, but also to make the story fully complete, we have to talk about the disadvantage of being vegan (in case of essential nutrition, because other than I don’t think Being Vegan has any other disadvantages).
In plant foods, Vitamin B12 is harder to find. And nutrients like iron and Vitamin A are harder to
absorb. So you need a game plan with your diet.
First, you have to know which foods are high in these nutrients. Second, eat them in the right combinations to maximize absorption process. Also, you have to avoid foods that keep your body from absorbing them.
Without the right game plan for meeting your nutritional needs, a plant based diet has pitfalls.
Animal rights activists might wish nobody talked about these pitfalls. But understanding them is the key to thriving as a vegan.
This Article will show you which foods are high in essential nutrients, ready for you to print or save it for later.
Essential Nutrition For Vegans.
Leafy Greens plant foods are the highest in CALCIUM like spinach,kale, and turnip greens.
The food industry fortifies many staple foods with calcium – Orange juice, soy milk, tofu, and breakfast cereals, this helps ensure that we all get enough.
Does this mean you don’t have to worry about calcium?
Not necessarily. You’re not what you eat. You’re what you absorb
|PLANT SOURCES OF CALCIUM|
|FOOD||CALCIUM PER 100g (mg)||Serving size|
|Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulfate||350||1/2 cup|
|Orange juice, calcium fortified||201||6 ounces|
|Spinach, boiled||136||1/2 cup|
|cereal, calcium fortified||370-3570||cup|
|Almond butter||346||2 tablespoons|
|Soy milk, calcium fortified||170||2 tablespoons|
|Soy yogurt||132||6 Ounces|
|Report of the DGAC on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, The Vegetarian Resource Group|
So, What Interferes CALCIUM Absorption?
- Phytic Acid:
Occurs naturally in the bran of whole grains,nuts, seeds, soy isolates, and the skins of legumes.
What Phytic Acid does, it binds to minerals like calcium, zinc, Magnesium and manganese and forms an insoluble complex in your intestine, preventing these minerals to be absorbed.
- Oxalic Acid:
When Oxalic Acid and Calcium occurred in the same food, Oxalic Acid binds to calcium forming Oxalates, which is know as less Insoluble salt, It has the same effect on Iron, magnesium and sodium.
Some foods are high in Oxalic acid: Almonds, Mixed Nuts, Spinach, Chocolate and Cacao.
Raisins, soybeans, lentils, kidney, beans, spinach, collards, pumpkin seeds and oat cereal are Iron-rich plant Foods. Only 10% – 20% of the non-heme iron in plant foods gets absorbed by your body.
Interestingly, neither eggs nor dairy contain iron.
|PLANT SOURCES OF IRON|
|FOOD||IRON PER 100g||SERVING SIZE|
|Soybeans, mature, cooked||5.1||1/2 CUP|
|White beans, canned||3.0||1/2 CUP|
|Fortified instant cereals||2.5-6.5||Packet|
|Potato, baked||1.2||1 Potato|
|Black-eyed peas, cooked||2.5||1/2 cup|
|Cashews, dry||6.0||1/4 cup|
|Kidney beans||2.2||1/2 cup|
|White beans, canned||3.0||1/2 cup|
The secret is the lactic acid:
Lacto fermented vegetables – like sauerkraut- enhance iron absorption when combined with iron rich foods.
Protein is made up of 20 Amino Acids, and these Amino Acids divided Into essential and non-essential.
Essential Amino Acid are Nine, your body can’t make them, so you have to have them from your food, Unlike the non-essential Amino Acids, which your body can Create them.
Most Plant foods have all essential amino acid, but the amount of one or two are low. For example, while grains are low in Lysine, legumes are low in Methionine.
When you eat a well rounded diet of whole foods, you’re almost certain to get all nine Essential Amino Acids in the course of a day.
For example, you can eat beans with lunch and grains with dinner.
That said, many vegans still find it comforting to include whole proteins in their diets.
Well here’s great news, Soybeans, soy “meats”, tofu, quinoa, and spinach are high in all 9 essential amino acids.
The RDA recommends consuming 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram you weigh.
|PLANT SOURCES OF PROTEIN|
|FOOD||PROTEIN PER 100g||SERVING SIZE|
|Soybeans, mature, cooked||16.5||1 CUP|
|White beans, canned||9.9||1 cup|
|Kidney beans cooked||8.7||1 cup|
|Black beans, cooked||8.9||1 cup|
|Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 2010|
Plant foods don’t contain active Vitamin A. They contain its pre-cursor, beta-carotene. Beta carotene is 1/12 as potent as retinol, the active Vitamin A in animal foods.
Foods rich in beta carotene include broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach, collards, and kale, carrots, yams, pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
|PLANT SOURCES OF PRO VITAMIN A|
|FOOD||VITAMIN A PER 100g (mcg RAE)||SERVING SIZE|
|Carrot juice||956||1 cup|
|Sweet potato||961||1 medium|
|Pumpkin, cooked||250-750||1/2 cup|
|Spinach, cooked||480-605||1/2 cup|
|Mixed vegetables||215-585||1/2 cup|
|Turnip greens, raw||580||1 cup|
|Fortified instant cereals||180-260||packet|
|Romaine lettuce||436||1 cup|
Since beta carotene is the precursor to Vitamin A, it might seem like you could get enough Vitamin A just by eating beta carotene foods. But the rate of conversion to Vitamin A isn’t guaranteed. Although your body is designed to turn beta carotene into Vitamin A, two things can affect this conversion process:
- The beta carotene in vegetables is hard to absorb, especially those with tough cell walls.
- Few people eat beta carotene together with the nutrients that supercharge Vitamin A production (when combined with beta carotene foods).
The most reliable plant sources of B12 are supplements and B12-fortified foods. These include cereals, non-dairy milks, Red Star nutritional yeast, and “meats” made from wheat gluten or soybeans).
|PLANT SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12|
|FOOD||VITAMIN B12 PER 100g (mcg)||Portion Size|
|Red Star nutritional yeast||48.5||1 Tbsp|
|Fortified breakfast cereals||2.5-6.0||1 OUNCES|
|Fortified soy milk||1.1||1 CUP|
|Fortified rice milk||0.60||1 cup|